Sydney to Host New Biennial of Contemporary Australian Art in 2017
'The National: New Australian Art' will focus on cultural identity.
In March 2017, Sydney will present “The National: New Australian Art,” a new biennial focusing on contemporary art from down under. It will span three locations within the capital: the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.
Conceived as an exhibition to be realized in three editions (in 2017, 2019, and 2021), the press release describes the curatorial vision for the exhibition as “[representing] a mix of emerging, mid-career, and established artists drawn from around the country and Australian artists practicing overseas.”
New and commissioned works will take the form of many mediums, including painting, video, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance. Artists include Matthew Bradley, Julie Gough, Alex Gawronski, Khaled Sabsabi, and Agatha Gothe-Snape, among others, in a total of 50 participating artists.
“The National: New Australian Art” will focus on “cultural identity, or the search for identity, particularly looking at how indigenous artists reference the land and narratives in their art, subjects well suited to Australia’s multi-cultural landscape,” according to ArtAsiaPacific.
“Each institution and each curatorial team has a different perspective, we are also looking at emerging artists, mid-career artists, and senior artists,” said Michael Brand, the director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW). “There are some guiding principles but it is not about identity here and politics there.”
“We wanted to create an event in Sydney where anyone interested in Australian or international art would feel that this is the moment to come and get a range of these experiences,” Brand continued.
“The National” recalls the now-defunct, highly-popular Australian “Perspecta,” which ran from 1981 until 1999 at the AGNSW. “We [the organizers] felt there was a gap after Perspecta and believed the best way to fill that gap was to work together and to do something big,” Brand told ArtAsiaPacific yesterday.
The full list of participating artists, according to venue, is as follows:
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Ronnie van Hout
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Keg de Souza
Dale Harding, Taloi Havini
Alex Martinis Roe
Chris Bond & Wes Thorne
Atlanta Eke & Ghenoa Gela
Jess Johnson & Simon Ward
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
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