Biennale of Sydney

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Biennale of Sydney

SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement

16 Mar - 11 Jun 2018

Julian Abraham ‘Togar’, Diabethanol, 2018 (detail), mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Installation view of the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) at Cockatoo Island. Photograph: silversalt photography. Courtesy the artist
Eija-Liisa Ahtila, POTENTIALITY FOR LOVE – MAHDOLLINEN RAKKAUS, 2018
angular video sculpture of 22 DIP LED modules, 4K/HD, 7:54 mins, looped
two research tables with attached ‘monitor mirrors’, 4K/HD; 2:08 mins and 3:06 mins, looped
vertical single channel projection, 4K/HD, 2:35 mins, looped
Installation view of the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Photograph: Document Photography. © Crystal Eye – Kristallisilmä Oy, Helsinki. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris and London
Ai Weiwei, Law of the Journey, 2017, reinforced PVC with aluminium frame, 312 figures 60 x 6 x 3 m. Installation view (2018) at Cockatoo Island for the 21st Biennale of Sydney. Courtesy the artist and neugerriemschneider, Berlin. Presentation at the 21st Biennale of Sydney was made possible with generous support from the Sherman Foundation. Photograph: Zan Wimberley
Ai Weiwei, Law of the Journey, 2017, reinforced PVC with aluminium frame, 312 figures 60 x 6 x 3 m. Installation view (2018) at Cockatoo Island for the 21st Biennale of Sydney. Courtesy the artist and neugerriemschneider, Berlin. Presentation at the 21st Biennale of Sydney was made possible with generous support from the Sherman Foundation. Photograph: Zan Wimberley
Ai Weiwei, Law of the Journey, 2017, reinforced PVC with aluminium frame, 312 figures 60 x 6 x 3 m. Installation view (2018) at Cockatoo Island for the 21st Biennale of Sydney. Courtesy the artist and neugerriemschneider, Berlin. Presentation at the 21st Biennale of Sydney was made possible with generous support from the Sherman Foundation. Photograph: Zan Wimberley
Ai Weiwei, Crystal Ball, 2017, crystal, life jackets, 100 x 100 x 100 cm. Installation view (2018) at Artspace for the 21st Biennale of Sydney. Presentation at the 21st Biennale of Sydney was made possible with generous support from the Andrew Cameron Family Foundation. Courtesy the artist and neugerriemschneider, Berlin. Photograph: Document Photography
Brook Andrew, What’s Left Behind, 2018, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable. Contributing artists: Rushdi Anwar, Shiraz Bayjoo, Mayun Kiki, and Vered Snear. Installation view of the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Photograph: Document Photography. Courtesy the artist; Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne; Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney; and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris and Brussels
Brook Andrew, What’s Left Behind, 2018, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable. Contributing artists: Rushdi Anwar, Shiraz Bayjoo, Mayun Kiki, and Vered Snear. Installation view of the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Photograph: Document Photography. Courtesy the artist; Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne; Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney; and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris and Brussels
Brook Andrew, What’s Left Behind, 2018, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable. Contributing artists: Rushdi Anwar, Shiraz Bayjoo, Mayun Kiki, and Vered Snear. Installation view of the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Photograph: Document Photography. Courtesy the artist; Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne; Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney; and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris and Brussels
Sydney Ball, ‘Modular sketches’, 1967–69, acrylic, pencil on paper, 58.0 x 78.0 cm; 69.7 x 88.5 x 3.5 cm frame (each). Collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. Installation view of the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Photograph: Document Photography. Courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney and Singapore and the Sydney Ball Estate
21st BIENNALE OF SYDNEY 2018

SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement

The 21st Biennale of Sydney examines the world today by borrowing the word ‘superposition’, the quantum mechanical term that refers to an overlapping situation. Microscopic substances like electrons are said to be dualistic in nature: they paradoxically exist in the form of waves and granular particles simultaneously. The state of superposition lies across all conceptual levels: from different climates and cultures to views of nature and the cosmic orders, conceptions of Mother Earth and interpretations of land ownership, readings of human history and conditions, the history of modern and contemporary art and the meaning of abstractions. The 21st Biennale of Sydney offers a panoramic view of how they all come together in a state of 'equilibrium', while delving into the workings of individual phenomena, considering the equivalence of these opposing notions through the lens of 'engagement'.

According to the theory of Wuxing in ancient Chinese natural philosophy, everything in this world is made up five main elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each of these elements gives rise to the next element, either through a process of symbiosis, where one element encourages the formation of the others, or a situation of mutual conflict and antagonism, in which each element resists and suppresses the others. These reciprocal relationships are regulating the cardinal directions, the seasons, colours, our bodily organs and functions, and emotions. In reality, a diversity of elements come together in a state of repeated collision, collapse and rebirth at each level, and today we seem to be witnessing an accelerated process of antagonistic conflict between different standards of value, faiths and beliefs, and political systems.

The participating artists in the 21st Biennale of Sydney were not chosen to represent or symbolise a particular theme. By placing these artworks, oriented towards diverse concerns and issues which resonate with overall perspectives of the Biennale on multiple levels, across seven venues in the city of Sydney, it is my hope that the Biennale as a whole will serve as a microcosm of the history of Earth, the human race, and a condensed version of the history of Sydney. From the repeatedly overlapping value systems contained within, the Biennale will encourage us to consider how all things in this world interact with complementarity in a state of equilibrium and engagement. Taking Sydney in 2018 as a starting point, the 21st Biennale of Sydney SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement promises to be a creative and critical experience for observing the world.

Mami Kataoka
Artistic Director of the 21st Biennale of Sydney

ARTISTS

Abraham Cruzvillegas
Ai Weiwei
Akira Takayama
Ami Inoue
Anya Gallaccio
Brook Andrew
Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) with Baloji and Renzo Martens
Chen Shaoxiong
Chia-Wei Hsu
Ciara Phillips
Dimitar Solakov
Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Esme Timbery
Francisco Camacho Herrera
Geng Xue
George Tjungurrayi
Haegue Yang
Jacob Kirkegaard
Julian Abraham ‘Togar’
Jun Yang
Kate Newby
Khaled Sabsabi
Koji Ryui
Laurent Grasso
Lili Dujourie
Liza Lou
Luciano Fabro
Marc Bauer
Marco Fusinato
Maria Taniguchi
Marjolijn Dijkman
Marlene Gilson
Martin Walde
Michael Stevenson
Michaël Borremans
Miriam Cahn
Mit Jai Inn
N.S. Harsha
Nguyen Trinh Thi
Nicholas Mangan
Nicole Wong
Noguchi Rika
Oliver Beer
Prabhavathi Meppayil
Rayyane Tabet
Riet Wijnen
Roy de Maistre
Roy Wiggan
Ryan Gander
Sam Falls
Samson Young
Sa Sa Art Projects
Semiconductor
Simryn Gill
Sosa Joseph
Su-Mei Tse
Suzanne Lacy
Svay Sareth
Sydney Ball
Tanya Goel
Tawatchai Puntusawasdi
Tiffany Chung
Tom Nicholson
Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen
Wong Hoy Cheong
Yarrenyty Arltere Artists
Yasmin Smith
Yukinori Yanagi
Yvonne Koolmatrie