The 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire opened on 21 March under the artistic direction of Juliana Engberg at five venues across Sydney, all of which are free to the public. The venues this year include the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Carriageworks, Cockatoo Island and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. The 19th Biennale’s Opening Weeks were filled with free events and provided special opportunities to witness artist performances and key forums and lectures.
Recap: Opening week program Highlights
- The Keynote Address at City Recital Hall was delivered on Friday, 21 March by acclaimed participating artist Douglas Gordon, whose work Phantom, 2011 is being presented for the first time in Australia at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
- Artist performances by Eglė Budvytytė, Hubert Czerepok, Sara van der Heide and Tori Wrånes took place, as well as performance works by Bianca Hester, Yingmei Duan and Mel O’Callaghan, which also occur at other times throughout the exhibition. Check out their artist pages for more images from Opening Week performances.
- During the opening weekend (22–23 March), Artistic Director Juliana Engberg led 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.
- Indepedent Polish curator Agnieszka Pindera joined the 19th Biennale artists Hubert Czerepok, Agnieszka Kalinowska, Norman Leto, and Agnieszka Polska on 24 March at Artspace for Future Poland, a panel discussion that explored the transformative potential of artists in contemporary Poland.
- On the evening of 25 March, Carriageworks hosted 19th Biennale artists Bodil Furu, Siri Hermansen and Susan Norrie for Where Angels Fear to Tread, a panel discussion that focused on artists who embed themselves into communities to produce longer, documentary-style films.
- Most recently, the Nick Waterlow OAM Memorial Lecture was held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on Saturday, 5 April. Presented by Juliana Engberg, the lecture explored the libidinous, amorous and compulsive aspects of the art act.
Want to experience more of the 19th Biennale? Check out the Middle Program, from 30 April, including a special world premiere by celebrated artist, Tacita Dean, the launch of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s City of Forking Paths (2014), and the Amorous Procedure Forum as well as a special curator lecture by Stephanie Rosenthal.