The 9th Biennale introduces the work of over 100 artists from 37 different countries. It is Australia's largest and most prestigious contemporary arts event.
Most of the artists in this Biennale are involved in an international arena but the exhibition also includes artists from the edge or beyond, whose work unsettles our expectations and raises doubts about he credibility of a convergent mainstream agenda.
The exhibition aims to suggest points of intersection or patches of common ground. The artists’ work reflects their experience of life through the employment of objects and materials which relate to everyday use. These artists acknowledge the power of objects to trigger memories and associations in the imagination of the viewer. They seek ways of organizing these experiences to harness the given attributes of sites and contexts.
The general orientation of the exhibition is towards the question “What can art do?” rather than “What is art?” It will focus on the investigation of conceptual and cultural boundaries and on their transgression. Such boundaries often serve to identify apparently opposing forces that are in reality structurally inseparable, for r example nature/culture, language/experience, analysis/intuition, chaos/order, belief/doubt.
Among the most troublesome and therefore most productive boundaries we can explore in this exhibition are those of language as it reacts with experience and the powerful but often subjective function of objects as signifiers.
Quinn's work 'I Need An Axe To Break The Ice' made for the Biennale. presents an inflated latex head-cast from the artist, claustrophobically contained within the confines of a glass laboratory vessel. The upturned vessel is supported on a stainless steel tripod, the height of which corresponds to Quinn's own. By turning our attention onto the skin or the human interface with the world, Quinn once again uses his body to chilling effect.
- Anthony Bond, Artistic Director of the 9th Biennale of Sydney
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