Record number of Australian artists invited to present works at the 56th Venice Biennale

    06 March 2015

    The Australia Council for the Arts announced today that seven Australian artists have been selected to exhibit in the official curated program of the 2015 Venice Biennale.

    Daniel BoydEmily FloydMarco FusinatoNewell HarrySonia Leber and David Chesworth and the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye have each been chosen by internationally acclaimed curator and art critic Okwui Enwezor for the Biennale’s headline International Art Exhibition, All the World’s Futures.

    Enwezor announced the inclusion of these artists in the central exhibition at the first official press conference of the 56th Venice Biennale today. The inclusion of these artists in the central exhibition, along with other exhibitions showing at the Biennale, means a record number of over 40 Australian artists will be showing works at this year’s Biennale. 

    “This is an incredible result, one that raises Australia’s international profile and demonstrates the quality of work coming from our visual arts sector. This international recognition highlights the global interest in Australian art, and marks an impressive year for Australian visual art and artists” said Mr Tony Grybowski, Chief Executive of the Australia Council for the Arts.

    Australian Commissioner Simon Mordant AM said “the Venice Biennale is the most prestigious event for contemporary visual arts globally. The 56th Venice Biennale is an important milestone for Australia, with Fiona Hall’s exhibition Wrong Way Time being the first exhibition presented in the new Australian Pavilion, opening not just a beautiful new building but a new chapter for Australian design and visual arts internationally.”

    In 2014, the Australia Council for the Arts supported Okwui Enwezor’s visit to Australia during which he met with artists and visited key visual arts institutions in Sydney and Melbourne. Mr Grybowski said that the Australia Council was thrilled that Enwezor’s strong engagement with Australian art has culminated in seven artists receiving invitations to exhibit in the curated exhibition, which is the centrepiece of the Venice Biennale.

    Australia’s presence at the Biennale will also extend to a further six venues around Venice including:

    • more than 30 Australian Indigenous artists will present works in the exhibition COUNTRY, an official collateral exhibition in partnership with the Gervasuti Foundation, curated by Chiara Massini; 
    • six Australian artists have been invited to exhibit in the exhibition Personal Structures, a group exhibition presented by Global Art Affairs;
    • one Australian artist will present work in the group exhibition of glass works, titled Glasstress 2015 Gotiki, presented by The State Hermitage Museum and Berengo Studio; and

    · Fiona Hall’s exhibition Wrong Way Time, the first to be unveiled in the new Australian Pavilion in Venice’s historic Giardini.

    The Australia Council for the Arts is delighted to support these artists exhibiting at the Venice Biennale through an extension of our public-private partnership. Each Biennale, Australian patrons proudly support Australia’s representation at the prestigious event, and this year their support will be extended to every Australian artist exhibiting in Venice.

    The Australia Council congratulates all of the artists on their invitations to exhibit at the 56th Venice Biennale.

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION


    Fiona Hall: Wrong Way Time
    Fiona Hall: Wrong Way Time,curated by Linda Michael, is Australia’s official exhibition, presented in the new Australian Pavilion.

    Wrong Way Time will be an installation of disparate elements which find alignments and create tensions around three intersecting concerns: global politics, finances and the environment.  In common with many of us, Hall sees in these states ‘a minefield of madness, badness and sadness in equal measure’, stretching beyond the foreseeable future.

    Wrong Way Time will be the first exhibition to be held in Australia's new pavilion, designed by architecture firm Denton Corker Marshall. Funded through donations from over 80 private benefactors led by Simon and Catriona Mordant’s $2 million donation, and a contribution of $1 million from the Australian Government through the Australia Council, the pavilion is the first twenty-first century pavilion to be built within the Biennale's historic Giardini precinct.

    All the World's Futures
    The 56th International Art Exhibition will take place in Venice in the Giardini and Arsenale venues from May 9 to November 22 2015.  The curator, appointed by the Biennale Board, is art critic, journalist and writer Okwui Enwezor. 

    Australian artists included in the exhibition: Daniel Boyd, Emily Floyd, Marco Fusinato, Newell Harry, Sonia Leber and David Chesworth, and a work by the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

    COUNTRY
    Supported by the Gervasuti Foundation and curated by Chiara Massini, COUNTRY is an official collateral exhibition of the 2015 Biennale.  It will feature the works of Italian artist Giorgia Severi with the works of more than 30 Indigenous artists from remote areas across Australia.

    The artists include: Jimmy Tchooga, Helicopter (Joey Tjungurrayi ), Larry Gundora, Daniel Rockman, Joan (Eve) Nagomara, and Tossie Baadjo Nangala from the Balgo Art Centre.  Manaya Sarah Daniels Napanangka, Payi Payi (Bai Bai) Sunfly Napangarti, Maudie Mandigalli Napanangka, Linda Charmawina Napangarti, Mayan Kathleen Paddoon Napanangka, and Dr Zohl de Ishtar from the Kapululangu Women’s Law and Culture Centre, WA. Kelly Ryan and Clive Freeman from Boolarng Nangami Aboriginal Art and Culture Studio, NSW. Jenny Trindall and Jamie-Lea Hodges from Outbackarts, NSW. Ian Crombie from Anangu Antakirinja Matuntjara Yankunytjatjara, SA. Noblene MacKenzie–Stuart and Angelina Stuart, from Adnyamathamha tribe, SA. Bronwyn Stuart and Larissa Meneri from Western Aranda, NT. And Katie Ward, Ruth Bates, Manupa Butler, Nancy Carnegie from the Kayili Art Centre in Patjarr Gibson Desert in West Australia and Tjanpi Desert Weavers.


    Personal Structures - Time, Space, Existence
    Presented by the Global Art Affairs Foundation, this biannual group exhibition is presented across two venues, the Palazzo Bembo and the Palazzo Mora.  The exhibition is part of a project initiated in 2002 by the Dutch artist Rene Rietmeyer, who noticed that even in the most distant corners of the world, there are artists working with the themes of time, space and existence, thereby expressing themselves in a very personal way. Australian artists include Michael Cook, Ariel Hassan, Sam Leach, Phebe Parisia, Reko Rennie and Mike Parr. Australian curator Tony Bond has also contributed to the development of Mike Parr’s installation.


    Glasstress 2015 Gotika
    Presented by The State Hermitage Museum and Berengo Studio, Glasstress is a high profile biannual group exhibition of glass works presented at the Franchetti Palazzo in Venice and the Berengo Foundation in Murano.  Titled Gotika, the exhibition will explore how medieval ideas and communication methods impact modern consciousness, and the work of Australian Penny Byrne will be included.

    FACT SHEET

    • Founded in 1895, the Venice Biennale is the oldest and largest established biennale in the world.
    • Australia has been represented at the Venice Biennale since 1954 with Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale and William Dobell the first to exhibit. Since then 37 distinguished contemporary visual artists have exhibited under Australia’s banner.
    • Nearly 90 countries exhibit at the Venice Biennale and Australia is one of 29 granted a site in the historic Biennale Gardens.
    • More than 30,000 of the world’s leading curators, collectors, critics and media attend the three-day Vernissage (preview) period and more than 440,000 people visit the exhibition over six months.
    • The 2015 Venice Biennale will be held from 9 May to 22 November 2015.
    • More than $1 million is raised for each Venice Biennale from sponsors, philanthropic foundations and private individuals.
    • The Australian representation at the 2015 Venice Biennale will be supported by Major Partner The Balnaves Foundation, and Supporting Partners Maddocks, The University of Melbourne, White Rabbit Gallery, Macquarie Group Foundation, Anita Luca Belgiorno-Nettis Foundation, Collider, Heide Museum of Modern Art, ERCO, Arts NSW, Arts QLD, Arts SA, Arts Victoria and DCA WA.
    • The project is also supported by many individuals, including members of the Commissioner's Council, being Simon Mordant AM, Charles Green, Susan Armitage, Hamish Balnaves, Anita Belgiorno-Nettis, Paul Eliadis, Adrian Fini OAM, Mark Henry, Roslyn Oxley OAM, Lisa Paulsen and Nick Tobias.
    • The new pavilion, designed by architects Denton Corker Marshall, will be complete in time for the opening of the Venice Biennale.
    • Construction of the new Australian Pavilion is a public private partnership, with the Australian Government contributing $1 million through the Australia Council for the Arts and the balance raised from philanthropic support. Over 80 Australian families and companies have contributed to the new Australian Pavilion.

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