19th Biennale of Sydney
On the theme of 'You Imagine What You Desire', the 19th Biennale of Sydney opened in Australia on 21st March and runs till 9th June 2014. The event has been the subject of major recent controversy with a threatened artist boycott in response to the sponsorship partner, since overturned, a decision now questioned by the Arts Minister.
It is the largest contemporary visual arts event in the Asia-Pacific region and features an extensive programme of artists and works from around the world.
Read this Sydney Biennale review by Moira Jeffrey for a-n, giving a balanced account of the story so far ...unveiled in October 2013 an exciting selection of works by more than 90 artists from 31 countries to be brought together across five venues in Sydney, for the highly anticipated 2014 edition. However, the Biennale has since been dogged with controversy due to its sponsorship arrangements and a number of the artists first announced withdrew during February in protest. In early February, an open letter was published calling for a boycott of the 19th Biennale of Sydney because of sponsorship received from Transfield. Read more about the Biennale Boycott Then, on March 7th it was announced that the Biennale of Sydney was severing ties with its founding partner and sponsor Transfield Holdings and, as a consequence, was facing an uncertain future. However, some of the artists who had withdrawn were considering their participation options as a result. Read more about the background to the decision and the reaction of Australia's Arts Minister. And the latest [as this item is published here] is the response of the Australian arts community to the Minister's threat. Biennale website for the up to date list of participating artists and venues! Bottom Image: Randi & Katrine, The Village, 2014, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable. Installation view of the 19th Biennale of Sydney at Cockatoo Island. Courtesy the artists. Created for the 19th Biennale of Sydney. Photograph: James Horan/Destination NSW