Revolutions — Forms That Turn

Revolutions — Forms That Turn

Biennale of Sydney

June 17, 2008

Revolutions – Forms That Turn
Artistic Director, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
18 June – 7 September 2008
Vernissage: Tuesday, 17 June
Opening: Wednesday, 18 June

The 16th Biennale of Sydney celebrates 35 years of showcasing contemporary art with the exhibition Revolutions – Forms That Turn.

From June to September the city’s leading museums – the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, as well as Artspace and spectacular outdoor sites such as the old industrial Pier 2/3, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the stunning Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour will host more than 180 artists, with over 50 new projects being realised. A unique online venue has also been developed.

The impulse to revolt. Revolving, rotating, mirroring, repeating, reversing, turning upside down or inside out, changing perspectives. Through installations, performances, films, texts, an evolving online venue, conversations and other events, Revolutions – Forms That Turn articulates the agency embedded in forms that express our desire for change. Such literal and formal devices are charted for their broader aesthetic, psychological, radical and social perspectives. This Biennale is a constellation of historical and contemporary works of art that celebrates and explores these dynamics, both in art and life. It includes some of the twentieth century’s most revolutionary artists from Kasimir Malevich, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Luigi Russolo, Marcel Duchamp and Tina Modotti to Jean Tinguely, Gianni Colombo, Atsuko Tanaka, Joseph Beuys, David Medalla, León Ferrari, Jannis Kounellis, Mario and Marisa Merz, Bruce Nauman and Hélio Oiticica.

Australian artists involved include Vernon Ah Kee, Richard Bell, Gordon Bennett, Destiny Deacon, Shaun Gladwell, Simryn Gill, Rosemary Laing, Tracey Moffatt, TV Moore, Mike Parr and Stuart Ringholt.

For this Biennale, new works by artists including Lene Berg, Gerard Byrne, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, William Kentridge, Anawana Haloba, Pierre Huyghe, Brian Jungen and Paul Pfeiffer, amongst others, have been created, many of which are presented in the unique range of buildings on Cockatoo Island which was the location of a convict-built prison and later a shipyard.


‘The “space” explored by this exhibition,’ says Artistic Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev ‘is the gap between the first part of the title – revolutions – which suggests a directly political and content-based exhibition, and the subsequent phrase – forms that turn – which suggests the autonomy and isolation of the art object, spinning on its own and detached from daily life, or the energy and potential latent in forms themselves (turns that form). The first term collapses (is over-turned) into the second, and within that gap perspective suddenly shifts. It is a space of rotation, confusion, revolt, insubordination, anarchy and disruption of order, a space of “revolution”.’

Artistic Director
2008 Biennale of Sydney

Founding Partner: Transfield
Government Partners: Visual Arts and Craft Strategy – a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW and the City of Sydney
Major Venue Partners: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cockatoo Island, Pier 2/3
Major Partners: Anita & Luca Belgiorno-Nettis Foundation, The Balnaves Foundation, International Art Services, JCDecaux, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Exhibition Partners: Artspace, Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney Opera House
Accommodation Partner: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
Newspaper Partner: The Sydney Morning Herald

The Biennale of Sydney gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the many organisations and individuals that make the exhibition and its program possible.

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Biennale of Sydney
June 17, 2008

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