Announcing Australia’s artistic team for Biennale Arte 2021

    01 November 2019

    As Commissioner for Australia, the Australia Council is pleased to announce Marco Fusinato and Alexie Glass-Kantor have been selected as the artist and curator for Australia’s representation at the 59th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia (Biennale Arte 2021). Fusinato’s exhibition will be presented at the Australian Pavilion within the historic Giardini della Biennale precinct from May to November 2021.

    Marco Fusinato has led a distinguished career as a contemporary Australian artist and musician. Combining gallery practices and live performance, Fusinato works extensively across installation, photography, performance, recording, and publishing. Throughout his practice, he has challenged power structures and authority, confronting conventions of conformity and consumerism, aiming to provoke and resist the status quo. Marco Fusinato lives and works in Melbourne.

    Alexie Glass-Kantor is one of Australia’s most highly regarded curators, currently the Executive Director of Artspace in Sydney and the curator of Encounters for Art Basel Hong Kong.

    Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM said: “We are excited to announce Marco Fusinato and Alexie Glass-Kantor as Australia’s representatives at Biennale Arte 2021 and look forward to the realisation of this work that will reflect the richness of Australia’s creativity. Representing Australia at la Biennale di Venezia offers one of the most significant international opportunities for Australian contemporary visual artists. Australia’s continued participation at Venice maintains our commitment to Australian contemporary visual arts and artists and connecting Australian and global audiences.”

    Fusinato said he was honoured to be selected to represent Australia at the Biennale Arte 2021. “It’s an immense privilege to have been chosen from among such a high calibre of shortlisted artists to present my work at the prestigious Biennale Arte 2021. I look forward to working with Alexie Glass-Kantor to present my work at this unparalleled international platform,” he said.

    The 2021 artistic team was chosen through an open call for applications, assessed by an independent expert panel of visual arts professionals. The Venice Selection Panel for 2021 comprised Rhana Devenport, Juliana Engberg, Kelly Gellatly, Julie Gough and Aaron Seeto.

    The Australia Council is Commissioner for Australia’s National Participation at the Biennale Arte 2021.


    Media contact:

    Brianna Roberts. Media Manager

    Australia Council for the Arts

    Phone: (02) 9215 9030   

    Mobile: 0498 123 541

    Email: b.roberts@australiacouncil.gov.au


    Background

    Artist Biography

    Marco Fusinato is an artist and musician whose work has taken the form of installation, photographic reproduction, performance and recording. His work has been presented in many exhibitions, including ‘All the World’s Futures’, the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, (Venice 2015); ‘The Imminence of Poetics’, 30th Sao Paulo Biennale, (Sao Paulo 2012); ‘SUPERPOSITION: Art of Equilibrium and Engagement’, the 21st Biennale of Sydney, (Sydney 2018); ‘The National 2017: New Australian Art’, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, (Sydney 2017). His work was also included in ‘Soundings: A Contemporary Score’, the first ever exhibition of sound at the Museum of Modern Art, (New York 2013) and ‘Sonic Youth: Sensational Fix’ (2008-2010) a travelling exhibition around European museums of artists who have collaborated with the NYC rock band Sonic Youth.

    Fusinato has held regular solo exhibitions at Anna Schwartz Gallery since 2006, a selection being ‘This is Not My World’ (Melbourne 2019); ‘Mass Black Implosion’ (Melbourne 2017); ‘The Infinitives’ (Sydney 2015); ‘There is No Authority’ (Sydney 2012); and ‘Noise & Capitalism’ (Melbourne 2010).

    As a musician, Fusinato explores the idea of noise as music, using the electric guitar and mass amplification to improvise intricate, wide-ranging and physically affecting frequencies. His ongoing series of durational noise-guitar performances ‘Spectral Arrows’ – described as a monumental aural sculpture – was first performed at the 2012 Glasgow International Arts Festival and has since been performed in museums and theatres worldwide. He also performs regularly in the experimental music world, primarily as a solo artist.

    Fusinato’s first recordings were released in 1996 and over the decades has released many other recordings, primarily on vinyl format, a selection being; ‘Ripping Skies’ (No Fun, USA) 2009; ‘Ambianxe’ (Spring Press, USA) 2010; ‘L’Origine/TEMA’ (Bocian Records, Poland) 2013; ‘Spectral Arrows: Rotterdam’ (De Player, Netherlands) 2013; ‘Spectral Arrows: Venice’ (Bocian Records, Poland) 2017; Marco Fusinato + Striborg, ‘Extended Breakdown’ (theblackesthole, Australia) 2019 and ‘Spectral Arrows: Melbourne’ (theblackesthole, Australia) 2019.

    Fusinato was recently nominated for two prestigious awards, the Nam June Paik Art Centre Prize, South Korea (2018) and the Nasher Prize, Dallas, USA (2017). He was the recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship in 2016.

    Marco Fusinato is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.


    Curator Biography

    Alexie Glass-Kantor is a curator, cultural producer and advocate for the arts. She is currently the Executive Director of Artspace, Sydney, supporting the commissioning of contemporary art, publishing initiatives, and research residencies for artists and curators. Since 2015 she has led the opportunity for collaborative co-commissioning projects and touring exhibitions, including: Justene Williams with Performa 15; Tracey Moffat and Gary Hillberg Montages: The Full Cut tour to nineteen regional galleries with Museums & Galleries NSW (M&GNSW); Nicholas Mangan with Chisenhale Gallery; VOLUME: Another Art Book Fair 2015 and 2017 with Printed Matter Inc. and Perimeter Books; Angelica Mesiti with Art Sonje Centre, Proto Cinema and Kunsthalle Tbilisi; Helen Johnson with the ICA London; Keg de Souza with Griffith University Art Museum; Ramesh Mario Nithyendran with the Dhaka Art Summit (DAS); Sovereign Words with DAS and the Office for Contemporary Art Norway; Köken Ergun with the Australian War Memorial and Proto Cinema; Just Not Australian with Sydney Festival and M&GNSW; Mel O’Callaghan with Le Confort Moderne, Museum of Contemporary Art & Design (MCAD) Manila and UQ Art Museum; and upcoming Taloi Havini with DAS and Sydney Festival 2020.

    She conceived two significant survey exhibitions: 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS co-curated by Artspace, which utilised social media, commissioning, and symposia to examine socially-engaged practice through mapping art-as-action across Asia and was accompanied by a publication with Thames & Hudson; and 21:100:100 one hundred sound works by one hundred artists a survey of sound works co-curated with Emily Cormack, Marco Fusinato and Oren Ambarchi at Gertrude Contemporary and presented with Melbourne Festival and MONA. With Natasha Bullock, Glass-Kantor co-curated Parallel Collisions: 12th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia. She was the curator for Nicholas Mangan for the SITE international Biennial, Lucky Number 7, SITE Santa Fe in 2008. In 2020 she will co-curate with Michelle Newton an Artspace Pavilion Project for the Gwangju Biennale.

    Since 2015 she is the curator for Encounters for Art Basel Hong Kong, the sector dedicated to large-scale installations. For Encounters she has developed new works with artists Lee Bul, Elmgreen & Dragset, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Mit Jai Inn, Brook Andrew, Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, Ulla von Brandenburg, Tony Albert, Shinji Ohmaki, and others.

    Glass-Kantor holds various board positions including Chair, Contemporary Art Organisations Australia; Academic Board, National Art School; Advisory Board, Monash University, Curatorial PhD Program; Council Member, Sydney Culture Network; Ambassador, University of NSW Art & Design; and Council Member, Advisory Board, MCAD, De La Salle College of Saint Benilde. She regularly contributes to public programs and symposiums, recently chairing three-editions of We The People’s, We The Arts in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland in Pakistan and the UNIC, and is a Jury Member for the Advance Awards. 


    Shortlisted Artistic Teams

    The Australia Council wishes to recognise and congratulate all the artistic teams shortlisted in this highly competitive process:

    Adam Linder and Hannah Mathews

    Dale Harding and Vivian Ziherl

    David Haines, Joyce Hinterding and Anna Davis

    Patrick Pound and Susan Bright

    Artistic Selection Process

    A call for artistic proposals opened in June 2019, enabling all Australian artists and curators who met the published criteria to submit an application as part of a two stage process. The artistic team was selected by an independent Venice Selection Panel, made up of national and international members with expertise across the visual arts.

    Australia at the Venice Biennale

    Australia’s representation at the Venice Biennale began in 1954, and since then 40 distinguished contemporary visual artists have exhibited under the Australia banner. The Venice Biennale provides Australian artists with critical international coverage, exposing them to key new audiences, markets and contexts. This exposure helps build the profile of Australian contemporary visual arts and establishes international cultural links, networks and dialogue for individual Australian artists. The Biennale represents a significant platform for the Australia Council for the Arts and our supporters to showcase contemporary Australian visual arts across global borders. Click here to find out more about previous artists.

    Australia’s national participation in the Venice Biennale is managed by the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s principal arts funding and advisory body. The Australia Council also owns the Australian Pavilion. The Australia Council is the Commissioner for Australia at the Venice Biennale.

    Australia’s participation in each Biennale is supported by a highly successful private-public partnership. The 2021 Venice project again will draw on invaluable support from the Venice Council comprising distinguished arts philanthropists and leaders from the contemporary visual arts community who will spearhead advocacy and fundraising efforts, chaired by Kerry Gardner AM.


    The Australian Pavilion

    The 2015 opening of the award-winning Australian Pavilion designed by Denton Corker Marshall celebrated the first 21st Century pavilion in the Giardini della Biennale. The Australian Pavilion provides an elegant home to showcase the best of Australian art and architecture. It is one of only 29 national pavilions within the Biennale Gardens, all built at different periods by various countries. The development of the Australian Pavilion was made possible through a public-private partnership led by the Australia Council with the then Commissioner Simon Mordant AM. The original pavilion, designed by Philip Cox, opened in 1988 and hosted 22 artists during its lifetime.


    Learn more about the Biennale Arte 2021.

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