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Biennale of Sydney
May 12, 2010 - August 1, 2010

Looking Forward: Sydney Biennale
by Natalie Hegert

DAVID ELLIOTT-- "Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age"

For the past two years I’ve had the pleasure of working on the 17th Biennale of Sydney (, which will open from 12 May – 1 August 2010. Titled ‘THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age,’ it will showcase the freshest, most exciting and innovative contemporary art. Situated in the heart of Sydney, in a country that has traditionally regarded distance as a disadvantage, this Biennale will celebrate distance by including art from Australia and all around the world. By providing a unique experience of a wide range of good art, the exhibition will express the power of art, as well as its creative richness.

There is no more suitable stage than Sydney for this exhibition. It will take place against the iconic backdrop of the harbour and Sydney Opera House at the site where British explorers first encountered the local inhabitants. At that time, colonial powers believed western civilisation was invincible and that they had the right to collect and possess universal knowledge. We now recognise such an ambition is both infantile and dangerous. The Biennale of Sydney venues combine established and high-profile museums, dedicated contemporary art spaces, heritage sites and buildings, as well as outdoor city areas. In 2010, the 17th Biennale of Sydney will be situated across a series of venues: Cockatoo Island, Pier 2/3, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Artspace and the foyer of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Held every two years, the three-month exhibition will be accompanied by a program of special events, public tours, artist talks, film screenings and international guest lectures across Sydney – and admission to the exhibition and these events is FREE.

David Elliott is the Artistic Director of the 17th Biennale of Sydney and a curator, writer, broadcaster and museum director primarily concerned with modern and contemporary art.

(Image: Fiona Foley, HHH #1, 2004, ultrachrome print on paper, 76 x 101 cm. Courtesy the artist, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne and Andrew Baker, Brisbane.)

Posted by Natalie Hegert on 1/24/10

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