For the second time in Biennale history, artist selection for the 12th Biennale of Sydney (2000) was decided by an International Selection Panel, comprised of internationally distinguished directors, curators and with Nick Waterlow OAM as the Chairman.
Their combined expertise pulled together 48 artists from 23 countries and focused on the concept of contemporary artists whose work had endured the test of time and whose ideas had a significant impact over the preceding 30 years. The exhibition featured well-respected artists including Bill Henson, Cai Guo-Qiang, Jeff Wall and Marlene Dumas among others.
In a year full of big names, Yoko Ono was and is one of the most recognisable. Her contribution to the 12th Biennale, Ex it (1998), consisted of 100 coffins with live trees planted in each one. While the installation even had Edmund Capon – the Art Gallery of NSW’s Director at the time – helping out with the planting, its original configuration wasn’t in line with Ono’s strict Feng Shui principles and the coffins were moved to face away from the gallery’s door.
Ono is returning to Sydney this November with her War Is Over! (If you want it): Yoko Ono exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Opening 15 November, visitors will have the opportunity to experience Ono’s sculptures, films, sound compositions, immersive installations and hands-on art activities (including writing love messages to your mother!).
Image: Courtesy Yoko Ono official Flickr.
Images from 12th Biennale of Sydney (2000)