Sydney, you're officially spoiled. Following on from this month's jam-packed Vivid LIVE and Sydney Film Festivals, there's another cultural bonanza set to cram your daily planner: the 18th Biennale of Sydney
. Held across four locations between Wednesday 27 June - Sunday 16 September, the Biennale's schedule admittedly lays it on pretty thick for your average punter. Here's a shortlist of the best events, which are all amazingly free to the public.
The Mending Project
Torn your favourite t-shirt? Maybe you just feel like a yarn? Lee Mingwei, at your service. As part of a participatory project, this USA-based artist is settling in at the recently renovated MCA over July. Armed with a needle a thread and little conversation, The Mending Project
aims to celebrate human interaction and the beauty of salvaging items. All you need do is rock up to his free mending table with a textile item you'd love fixed.
Kate Bush would be proud: Cloudbusting is big this year, with two artists separately experimenting with sensory perception on Cockatoo Island. In one corner there's Anna Veronica Janssens
, who's using light and sound for a foggy, misty, rainbow spectacular (also appearing at Carriageworks). Meanwhile, Fujiko Nakaya
will be crafting a fun, interactive playground of "fog sculptures".
Polystyrene Island Tours
Ever been lost on an Island? No need to start now. This year the Biennale is doing free daily, guided tours of its Cockatoo Island installations, such as the awesome Gravitas Lite
: a giant polystyrene sculpture by Peter Robsinson
. There's also weekly ‘mystery tours’ of the island hosted by celebrity guides. We can only assume these will be like artistically credible mystery flights... except you won't end up in Dubbo at 3am with your snow gear.
Hang For Thought
Also on Cockatoo Island is a bunch of hung installations set to challenge your skull in different ways. Erin Manning's project
, Folds To Infinity, explores movement with fabric moulds, whereas Tiffany Singh's work
, Knock on the Sky Listen to the Sound
, uses hung repetition to evoke religious ritual (not in a creepy exorcism sort of way). And then there's something for all you Proust reading, party ravers out there: a light performance by Ewa Partum
This year Carriageworks is participating in the Biennale for the first time, with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's music/art performance
one of the site's highlights. Her focus for En Atendant is Ars Subtilior
: "polyphonic music" which you'll understand a hell of a lot more post-event. Also lost in thought is USA-originated installation, Postcommodity
, at the Art Gallery of NSW. It's based on honouring the Indigenous people's knowledge of sustainability, the land, and all things awesome.
After Dark Appreciation
Fact: art is infinitely better after a few vinos. To help your ‘appreciation’ of its many fine participating artists, the Biennale will be holding free social events every Friday night in August
, between 6:30pm and 9:30pm at it's Walsh Bay venue. FBi Radio spins the tunes, Asahi supplies the beers, and dLux Media Arts augments the reality with art installations. Make sure to also check out Honore d'O's installation, Air and Inner
, at the venue whilst you're partying.
Ewa Partum, Metapoetry
, 1972, Photograph, 50 x 70 cm. Courtesy the artist.