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Venice Biennale: The ‘It’ Bag

3 Jun

June 2, 2011, CAROL VOGEL, NYT.

It’s something of a tradition here that when the National pavilions dole out information on their artists, the papers and catalogs generally come with a handy tote bag.  Both a practical object and a free ad (they usually have an image of some sort and the name of the country on them) some are always more in demand than others.

Venice Biennale- This year one particular stand-out can be found at the Australian pavilion: it’s gold lamé and has the name of the artist — Hany Armanious — emblazoned in black letters and the rest of the information in bright red.  Officials there said within three hours on Wednesday they had dispensed with more than 2,000 of them and as they’re getting scarcer this season’s “it” bag is becoming a collector’s item. One man even asked for two of them so he could turn them into a pair of shorts.

Mr. Armanious was on hand to talk about his exhibition, appropriately named “The Golden Thread,’’ which includes a group of sculptures in the form of familiar images and found objects.

The artist acknowledged that he had a hand in the design of the tote bag. “It’s obviously playing with the title of the show, a subtle signifier,’’ he said, then paused and added, “I wish I had had the foresight to include a matching hat.’’



Biennale Arts Exhibition opens in Sydney and it’s the best ever!

22 May

StreetCorner Staff 13/05/2010

If you have never been to a Biennale or have never heard of it before, this year is the time to take a look and to marvel at a truly globally recognised festival.

So what is the Biennale? Well its Australia’s largest contemporary visual arts event started in 1973. The exhibition is held only every two years in leading art venues and public sites, and is renowned for showcasing the freshest and most innovative contemporary art from Australia and around the world.

It’s always contentious and always evokes plenty of views, which are what Arts about. Love it, hate it, don’t get it… who cares just get along and make your own mind up.

Last night was the opening night and a 1000 people were invited to Cockatoo Island by ferry [which was a major challenge] to a gala party.

When you walk onto the Island its amazing to be on a disused industrial space for starters and then you walk into the main hanger and above you is 9 cars in motion and lit up like fireworks.

It was memorising and beautiful, and like most people I was spell bound gazing up all night.

The Biennale theme this year is THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, the exhibition presents more than 440 works by 166 artists and collaborators from 36 countries, making it the largest exhibition ever staged by the Biennale of Sydney in its 37-year history.

Located in the middle of Sydney Harbour, Cockatoo Island has by turns been a convict prison and ship dockyard. It is a major venue for the 17th Biennale of Sydney, featuring 120 artworks by 55 artists – many creating new works with the unique space in mind.

The Museum of Contemporary Art continues its relationship with the Biennale of Sydney as a major venue partner and in 2010 has given over its galleries to the exhibition. There are 286 works by 93 artists presented over four floors at the MCA.

There is also works at the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Art Gallery of NSW, Artspace, Pier 2-3 and The Sydney Opera House.

So get along ITS FREE and it’s on for 3 months.



Sydney Design 08

28 Jun

Australia’s longest-running design festival Sydney Design 08 (SD08) returns from 8 to 24 August.

Find out what design means to you through a vibrant 17-day program of exhibitions and events at the Powerhouse Museum and satellite venues all over Sydney.

Now in its 12th year, Sydney Design celebrates excellence in home-grown and international design backed by an extensive program including international speakers, exhibitions, tours, markets, films and other special events.

The annual festival aims to engage and inspire audiences, while exploring the varied forms of design from architecture to digital design and interior to industrial design.

Highlights in this year’s program include a series of special night openings at the Powerhouse to ignite the spirit of modernism and complement the exhibition Modern times: the untold story of modernism in Australia.

Modern times is the first ever exhibition to explore the movement that transformed Australian culture during the early 20th century.

Revealing many untold stories across five tumultuous decades from 1917 – 1967, the exhibition will explore Modernism’s influence on Australian architecture, design, visual arts and popular culture through objects, artworks, films and interactives.

Modernism & Australia: documents on art, design and architecture 1917-1967

28 Jun

Janine Burke February 23, 2007

A new anthology charts the 20th century’s revolution in artistic belief.

Caricature or work of art? ... William Dobell's 1943 Archibald Prize winning portrait of Joshua Smith.

Caricature or work of art? … William Dobell’s 1943 Archibald Prize winning portrait of Joshua Smith. Continue reading