Biennale of Sydney

International artists, performers and culture-jammers converge on Cockatoo Island for the Biennale’s 20th anniversary

By Benjamen Judd

The 20th Biennale of Sydney is has taken over the city, providing cutting edge art, performances and talks until June 5. 

Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, who comes to Sydney from Munich's Haus der Kunst, via a post at London’s Hayward Gallery. Rosenthal’s background and speciality lie in performance art – an art form that visitors will no doubt find to be a primary focus of this year’s collection of works. 

The theme for this momentous number is straight out of the realms of science fiction, namely a line from the work of William Gibson: the future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed. 

How does this relates to the art? Through ideas. Rosenthal has presented an exciting break away from previous Biennale’s where a visual circus held sway and instead focuses on ideas, whether they’re half formed through interactions or teased out in the way of performance.

There are still plenty of more traditional representations such as painting, video, sculpture and photography. Spread out across the major galleries and art spaces including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art and of course the creative nexus, Cockatoo Island, the 20th Biennale of Sydney will no doubt offer something for everyone’s taste. 

Rosenthal has brought together a huge mix of international artists (there are only 14 Australian artists involved this year), including dancer Benoît Lachambre, Ricardo Basbaum, multi-media artist Nina Beier, Turkish installation artist Cedvet Erek and American body artist, boychild

As large as the event is, taking place in multiple locations, make sure that you check both the event calendar and maps to avoid missing out on anything that you want to see. 

The 20th Biennale of Sydney will is now showing until June 5.

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