Posted on 28 January 2014 in Media Releases, News
Fine Art Union: Annette Stav Johanssen and Synnøve G. Wetten, Monument Resurrection, 2009 (video still), video. Courtesy the artists. Photograph: Fine Art Union

It was announced today that the public program for the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire will include artists Tacita Dean, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Nathan Coley, Hubert Czerepok, Douglas Gordon, Callum Morton and John Stezaker, among others. Additionally, the public program features numerous visiting curators and academics, including Professor Russell Ferguson, Agnieszka Pindera, Stephanie Rosenthal and Professor Semir Zeki.

Underpinned by a schedule of talks, tours and film screenings, major events, performances and forums for You Imagine What You Desire will take place across the 12-week period, with extensive opening, middle and end programs held at various venues and outdoor spaces in Sydney.


The 19th Biennale’s Opening Weeks provide special opportunities to witness artist performances by Eglė Budvytytė, Hubert Czerepok, Sara van der Heide and Tori Wrånes, and performance works by Yingmei Duan, Bianca Hester and Mel O’Callaghan, which will also take place at other times throughout the exhibition.

Acclaimed artist Douglas Gordon, whose work Phantom (2011) will be presented for the first time in Australia as part of the 19th Biennale, will deliver the Keynote Address at City Recital Hall. The free event will be held on the Biennale’s opening evening on Friday, 21 March.

An Artist One-on-One Program will be held on 20–21 March, in which members of the public will be given the opportunity to connect individually with 19th Biennale artists such as Søren Thilo Funder, Mikhail Karikis, Ann Lislegaard, Mathias Poledna, Randi & Katrine and Yhonnie Scarce. Audiences are invited to express their interest through the Biennale website, with participants selected via a ballot system and paired randomly with participating artists.

During the opening weekend (22–23 March), Artistic Director Juliana Engberg will lead a series of In Conversation talks with Biennale artists: John Stezaker and Callum Morton at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; Broersen & Lukács and Gabriel Lester at Carriageworks; and Bindi Cole and Nathan Coley at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

On Monday, 24 March, independent Polish curator Agnieszka Pindera will join 19th Biennale artists Hubert Czerepok, Agnieszka Kalinowska, Norman Leto and Agnieszka Polska for Future Poland, a panel discussion at Artspace that will explore the transformative potential of artists in contemporary Poland. The following evening, Carriageworks will host 19th Biennale artists Bodil Furu, Siri Hermansen and Susan Norrie for Where Angels Fear to Tread, a panel discussion focusing on artists who embed themselves into communities to produce longer, documentary-style films.

Launched in 2010 to mark the contribution made by Nick Waterlow to the arts and academia, the Nick Waterlow OAM Memorial Lecture will be held at the Art Gallery of NSW on Saturday, 5 April. Presented by Juliana Engberg, the lecture will explore the libidinous, amorous and compulsive aspects of the art act.


The Biennale’s Middle Program will take place from 30 April – 4 May, marked by the unveiling of the inaugural City of Sydney legacy artwork, a major new commission created especially for Sydney by renowned artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.

From 1–4 May, the Biennale of Sydney and Carriageworks will present the world premiere of a commissioned work by celebrated artist Tacita Dean. Furthering Dean’s exploration of the relationship between the aural and the visual, Event for a stage (2014) will undoubtedly be a Biennale highlight. Four ticketed performances will be held across the performance dates, with Dean also participating in an In Conversation talk with Juliana Engberg on 4 May.

Closing the gap between the fields of art and cognition, the Art Gallery of NSW will present The Amorous Procedure on 3 May. Featuring keynote speaker Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College London, the forum examines the phenomenology of imagination, cognition and neural activity. On 4 May, Chief Curator at London’s Hayward Gallery, Stephanie Rosenthalwill present a lecture examining the production and presentation of performance in public institutions.


The 19th Biennale’s final weekend begins with Dream Factory, a forum on 7 June that explores how the perceptive and psychological qualities of film influence the practice of contemporary artists. Hosted by Carriageworks, Dream Factory includes a keynote by Russell Ferguson, Professor of Art at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Joining forces with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Female Voices of VOX (Sydney Philharmonia Choirs), the Biennale will present Henrik Håkansson’s epic THE END (2011) at historic Pier 2/3 in Walsh Bay. Bringing together cinema and sound, this powerful work of life, death, tragedy and comedy is a climactic event to mark the final days of You Imagine What You Desire.


The Biennale and its Major Venue Partners present a number of tailored education programs and resources for students and educators.


Throughout the exhibition, a Biennale Ferry will operate daily from Wharf 6, Circular Quay to Camber Wharf, Cockatoo Island. Online bookings are essential for all passengers travelling on the Biennale Ferry. The return fare is $7. Free travel on the Biennale Ferry is available for children under 16, booked school groups and priority access groups.

Bookings for the Biennale Ferry open on 1 March.

You can also travel to Cockatoo Island via regular Harbour City Ferries services or by water taxi.

Image: Fine Art Union: Annette Stav Johanssen and Synnøve G. Wetten, Monument Resurrection, 2009 (video still), video. Courtesy the artists. Photograph: Fine Art Union