December 16, 2015 - Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Tracey Moffatt to represent Australia at the 2017 Venice Biennale
December 16, 2015

Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Tracey Moffatt, Self Portrait, 1999. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.

Tracey Moffatt to represent Australia at the 2017 Venice Biennale

Tracey Moffatt to represent Australia at the 2017 Venice Biennale

The Australia Council for the Arts announces that Tracey Moffatt has been selected to represent Australia at the 57th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2017.

Tracey Moffatt will be the sole artist exhibiting at the Australian Pavilion in the Giardini, with the exhibition to be curated by Natalie King.

Venice Biennale 2017 Commissioner Naomi Milgrom AO said she was thrilled that Tracey had agreed to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2017. “With a career spanning over 25 years, Tracey is one of Australia’s most celebrated and differentiated contemporary artists, invigorating the art scene both locally and internationally. Tracey is the first Australian Indigenous artist to present a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale, marking this appointment as significant, bold and inspirational—a moment to be celebrated by all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, as it will be by all Australians.”

Tracey Moffatt said she was privileged and very excited to be invited to develop a solo exhibition in the Australian Pavilion.

“Last week, when Commissioner Naomi Milgrom telephoned to inform me that it was to be me, Ms. Moffatt, for Venice in 2017, I was a little in shock,” Moffatt said. “Naomi Milgrom and the wonderful curator Natalie King and I will indeed enjoy our Venice 2017 journey together, and we three will make sure that we keep up the humour. But we three are dead serious about art: Naomi, with her collecting and commissioning; Natalie, who has worked as a curator for more than half her life; and as for me, I haven’t really had a life—I’ve only had art. I’ve already started on my artworks for the Australian Pavilion. Thank you, this is a privilege for me.”                                

Tracey Moffatt is one of Australia’s most successful artists, both nationally and internationally. Highly regarded for her formal and stylistic experimentation in film, photography and video, her work draws on the history of cinema, art and photography, as well as popular culture and her own childhood memories and fantasies. 

Tracey has held around 100 solo exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Australia. Some of her films have been selected for the Cannes Film Festival, and in 1997, she was invited to exhibit in the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale. In 2016, the Art Gallery of NSW will present Laudanum and other works, which will provide an in-depth study of her use of the still and moving image.

Australia Council Chair Rupert Myer AO said the Council was extremely pleased to have one of Australia’s most prominent contemporary artists exhibiting at the pavilion. “The Venice Biennale is the most important and prestigious event on the international contemporary arts calendar, and the Council considers our involvement to be an important part of the way we promote Australian artists to international audiences,” Mr. Myer said.

“At this year’s Biennale, which closed on November 22, a record 287,690 people visited the new Australian Pavilion to see Fiona Hall’s wondrous installation, and we are delighted to now build on this momentum into 2017 with Tracey Moffatt.”

Tracey’s exhibition will be curated by Natalie King. Natalie is a curator and widely published arts writer with more than two decades experience in international contemporary art. Her unique cultural footprint has seen her develop a depth of expertise and networks across indigenous as well as contemporary arts, realising landmark projects in Australia, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Current roles include Chief Curator of Biennial Lab, City of Melbourne; Senior Research Fellow, Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne; and Creative Associate of MPavilion. She has curated Tracey’s work into group exhibitions at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and the 13th Dong Gang International Photo Festival, Korea.

Tracey was selected by a five-member panel comprising: Naomi Milgrom AO, Australian Commissioner for the Venice Biennale 2017, Chair of the Selection Advisory Panel; Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator, Public Art Fund, New York; Rebecca Coates, Acting Director, Shepparton Art Museum and independent curator; Lisa Havilah, Director, Carriageworks; and Chris Saines, Director, Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art.

Naomi Milgrom also said that she was delighted to announce the continued support of The Balnaves Foundation as the Major Partner, and The University of Melbourne and White Rabbit Gallery as Supporting Partners.

“The Venice Biennale is Australia’s key private-public arts partnership and through our collaborative efforts, we are able to maximise international profile and opportunities for Tracey Moffatt and the broader Australian contemporary visual arts sector. As the new Commissioner for Australia, I’d like to acknowledge and thank our Major and Supporting Partners, and all our individual donors for their continued commitment to this project.”

For further media information:
Karen Smith, Media Manager
T +61 498 123 541 / k.smith [​at​]

The Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government's arts funding and advisory body manages Australia's representation at the Venice Biennale.

Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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