The Biennale of Sydney has announced the appointment of Juliana Engberg as the Artistic Director of the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014).
‘Juliana Engberg has worked with many of the leading international artists of the last decades and has a history of curating intelligent and distinctive exhibitions and programs,’ says Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer. ‘Juliana’s curatorial wit and incisive perspective on presenting exhibitions in unique buildings and spaces will no doubt surprise and delight audiences in 2014. We are extremely pleased that Juliana has accepted the invitation to become the Artistic Director of the 19th Biennale of Sydney.’
A curator, writer, publisher and designer, Juliana Engberg is currently the Artistic Director of ACCA (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia), where she has curated numerous exhibitions including: We Are All Flesh (Berlinde de Bruyckere), I Packed the Postcard in My Suitcase (Pipilotti Rist), TRILOGY (Yael Bartana), Appearances (Nathan Coley), ‘(Waiting for –) Texts for Nothing’ Samuel Beckett in Play (Joseph Kosuth), The Dwelling, Gestures and Procedures, Cinema Paradise, The Water Hole (Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger) and Eight Miles High (Jim Lambie).
Engberg was Curator of the Melbourne Festival Visual Arts Program for seven years (2000–06), during which time she curated new projects by Tacita Dean, Martin Creed, Daniele Puppi, Callum Morton, Fiona Tan and Van Sowerine. In 2007, Engberg was the senior curatorial advisor for the Australian presentations at the Venice Biennale and recently inaugurated the ACCA POP-UP PROGRAM in Venice to coincide with the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Engberg received the coveted Herald ‘ANGEL’ award for the visual arts programs she developed for The Edinburgh International Arts Festival 2009.
Engberg was the inaugural curatorial resident at Spike Island Artspace, UK (2000–01), a Visiting Critic at the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland and a visiting juror for the Rijksacademie, Amsterdam. Prior to this, she was Artistic Director of the internationally acclaimed Melbourne International Biennial 1999 Signs of Life and Senior Curator of the Art & Industry Biennale, Christchurch, New Zealand in 2002. Engberg has worked as Senior Curator at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne and was Assistant Director of the Monash University Gallery, and Director of the formative contemporary art space, the Ewing and George Paton Galleries, The University of Melbourne.
Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, Chairman, says: ‘The Biennale of Sydney has a proud history of attracting and working with independent Artistic Directors of international standing. Juliana is one of Australia’s most accomplished curators and the Biennale is very pleased to be able to work with her.’
Juliana Engberg says: ‘The Biennale of Sydney, as one of the most established and certainly one of the largest of the world’s biennales, provides an exciting and challenging opportunity for curatorial development. There is a great artistic history to reflect and build upon, and take forward. My curatorial quest is to further invigorate the Biennale with works that excite the imagination of the audience and answer their desire to discover new artists, different ideas and emotionally charged and intellectually stimulating art. I hope to provide memorable encounters that linger in the minds of the audience. I am for the celebration of artistic imagination. I believe works that encourage exuberance, joy, exalted states and transcendence are valuable to the human psyche. And I am for the power of artistic observation. Art that elevates the commonplace by bestowing upon it extraordinary concentration, that helps us see our world as remarkable, essential and fragile. I am for art that probes certainties, whether they be historical or contemporary. I’m looking forward to creating a Biennale that provides opportunities for artists and audience in a mutual quest of discovery and participation.’