The 18th Biennale of Sydney is an exhibition of contemporary art that will be shown in 5 places: Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, iconic Pier 2/3, World Heritage-listed Cockatoo Island and Carriageworks.
The overall theme of the 18th Biennale of Sydney is ‘all our relations’. The MCA website informs us that “Where once there was an emphasis on alienation and separation, there is now a renewed attention to how things connect, how we relate to each other and to the world we inhabit.”
The Biennale runs from 27 June to 16 September 2012. This article is specifically about the exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA).
The sub-theme of the MCA exhibition is ‘Possible Composition’. Some photos of the exhibition can be seen here.
One of the more interesting exhibits is The Mending Project by Lee Mingwei. People can bring an item to be mended. The mended item is then left to form part of the exhibit and can be collected at the end of the Biennale period. Digital Journal spoke to Ebony, one of Lee Mingwei’s assistants who was manning the exhibit.
Interview with Ebony of ‘The Mending Project’
DJ: How long is this project going on for?
Ebony: This project is going on until, basically the end of the Biennale which is the beginning of September.
People are invited to bring in works, probably up until the second of September, because… so the third of September through to the ninth of September is when people are invited to come and start to take their items back again.
DJ: Do you know what inspired this sort of initiative, or what gave the idea to do this?
Ebony: I think that it all sort of began with this idea of… art is often seen as being quite isolated and self-absorbed and very absorbed in just their own…sort of practicing their own work and not being particularly involved in the community.
So basically Mingwei is quite different in that respect and he is very interested in being involved in communities. And so it very much stems from previous works, where he…there was one work where he started, he initiated an artists residency and part of that residency was that it was very important for the artists that were staying at this place, I think it might have been a small town in, I think it was Japan…
DJ: OK, so is he from Japan?
Ebony: He’s from Taiwan.
…and the idea of it was that the projects that the artists were to take on during that residency were to be of benefit to the community that they were in and then the art was very much secondary to that. So you help the community and you do all these things and be involved in the community and then, if you have enough time, then you make your own personal art work, in that time.
DJ: It’s a very good idea. It has definitely benefited me.
DJ: If I had had to take it somewhere else it would have cost me a few dollars.
Ebony: So it’s about giving a gift and it’s about the exchange of conversation and relating to one another on a positive, sort of human, kind of level.
DJ: It looks very good.
Ebony: Thank you.
And so that sort of stems from that value of human interaction.
DJ: How many people do you get each day, roughly?
Ebony: For myself, this is my third for today. But it’s a half a day shift. So it has not been super busy. I mean the space has been quite busy with people coming in and being very interested in the work and talking about the work. But people who are knowledgeable of the work and coming in with objects ready to be mended is a little bit less at this stage. I think that that will probably build up as the exhibition continues and through word of mouth and advertising, that will increase as the exhibition continues.
Art enthusiasts may also be interest in a new Brett Whiteley exhibition: The London Years, 1960-67, which started on Friday 13 July. Digital Journal were at the media preview and an article can be seen here.