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Sep 17 2019

Theme and artists revealed for 22nd Biennale of Sydney

by Michael Young

*Originally posted April 9, 2019.

Some of the contributors to the 2020 Biennale of Sydney (BoS), from left to right: ULI ESHRĀGHI, JO-ANNA BIRNIE DANZKER (director and chief executive of BoS), KYLIE KWONG, BARBARA MCGRADY, GINA ATHENA ULYSSE, SJ NORMAN, LHOLA AMIRA, TONY ALBERT, NICHOLAS GALANIN, LISA REIHANA, BROOK ANDREW (artistic director of BoS 2020), KATERINA MATIASEK, ARTHUR JAFA and LATAI TAUMOEPEAU. Photo by Michael Young for ArtAsiaPacific.

On April 9, Brook Andrew, multidisciplinary artist and artistic director for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (BoS), revealed the theme and a preliminary list of the artists who will be featured in the upcoming edition of the event. As the first Australian of Indigenous heritage to take the helm of the 46-year-old biennial, Andrew will shine a light on First Nations peoples and ancient cultures from around the globe. Titled “Nirin”—a Wiradjuri word used by Andrew’s mother and her clan, meaning “edge”—the exhibition will challenge Western-centric narratives, and will be “an inspirational journey driven by stories and grass-root practices, realised through twisting perceptions, moments of transition and a sense of being in the world that is interconnected,” in Andrew’s words. 

While “Nirin” is informed by seven themes—including Dhaagun (“earth”), Bagaray-Bang (“healing”), Yirawy-Dhuray (“yam-connection,” or food), Gurray (“transformation”), Muriguwal Giiland (“different stories”), Ngawaal-Guyungan (“powerful ideas”), and Bila (“river”)—according to Andrew, BoS 2020 will be artist-led, with participants exploring their own stories and how they connect to the rest of the world. 

The 22nd BoS is scheduled to run from March 14 to June 8, 2020, across spaces including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Cockatoo Island, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and the National Art School in Sydney.

The full list was revealed on September 12. The artists are as follows:

Adrift Lab (Canada / Australia / United Kingdom)

Tony Albert (Australia)

Charlotte Allingham (Australia) 

Maria Thereza Alves (Brazil / Germany / Italy)

Lhola Amira (South Africa) 

Joël Andrianomearisoa (Madagascar / France)

ArTree Nepal (Nepal)

Tarek Atoui (Lebanon / France)

Sammy Baloji (Democratic Republic of Congo / Belgium)

Denilson Baniwa (Brazil)

Bankstown Poetry Slam (Australia)

BE. (Australia)

Namila Benson (Papua New Guinea)

Sissel M Bergh (Norway)

Huma Bhabha (Pakistan / USA)

Blacktown Native Institution (Dharug Nation, Australia) 

Karim Bleus (Haiti)

Anna Boghiguian (Egypt / Canada)

Mohamed Bourouissa (Algeria / France)

Breaking Bread (South Africa) 

Eric Bridgeman and Haus Yuriyal (Papua New Guinea / Australia)

Tania Bruguera (Cuba)

Vajiko Chachkhiani (Georgia / Germany)

Club Ate: Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra (Australia)

Colectivo Ayllu (Argentina / Chile / Ecuador / Spain / Venezuela)

Victoria Santa Cruz (Peru)

Randy Lee Cutler (Canada)

Jose Dávila (Mexico)

Demian DinéYazhi´ and R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment (USA)

Karla Dickens (Australia)

Léuli Eshrãghi (Australia)

André Eugène (Haiti)

FAFSWAG (New Zealand)

Jes Fan (Canada / USA / China)

First Dog on the Moon (Australia)

Brian Fuata (Australia)

FUNPARK Coalition (Australia)

Nicholas Galanin (USA)

Stuart Geddes and Trent Walter (Australia)

Fátima Rodrigo Gonzales (Peru)

Josep Grau-Garriga (Spain / France)

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian (Iran / United Arab Emirates)

Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Jordan / Lebanon)

Aziz Hazara (Afghanistan)

Lily Hibberd (Australia / France)

Lucas Ihlein and Kim Williams (Australia)

Iltja Ntjarra / Namatjira School of Art (Australia)

Arthur Jafa (USA)

Hannah Catherine Jones (United Kingdom)

Aslaug Magdalena Juliussen (Norway) 

Emily Karaka (New Zealand)

Bronwyn Katz (South Africa)

Kylie Kwong (Australia)

Tarek Lakhrissi (France)

Barbara McGrady (Australia)

Ibrahim Mahama (Ghana)

Stone Kulimoe’anga Maka (Tonga / New Zealand)

Noŋgirrŋa Marawili (Darrpirra / Yirrkala, Australia)

Teresa Margolles (Mexico / Spain)

Misheck Masamvu (Zimbabwe)

Katarina Matiasek (Austria)

Mayunkiki (Japan)

John Miller and Elisapeta Heta (New Zealand)

Jota Mombaça (Brazil)

Mostaff Muchawaya (Zimbabwe)

Prof Sir Zanele Muholi (South Africa)

The Mulka Project (Yirrkala, Australia)

MzRiz (Australia)

Elicura Chihuailaf Nahuelpán (Chile)

Paulo Nazareth (Brazil)

S.J Norman (Australia / Germany)

Musa N Nxumalo (South Africa)

Manuel Ocampo (Philippines)

Erkan Özgen (Turkey)

Parramatta Female Factory (Australia)

Taqralik Partridge (Norway / Canada)

Rosana Paulino (Brazil)

Laure Prouvost (France / Belgium / United Kingdom)

Public Redress System (Australia)

Reading Oceania (Australia)

Lisa Reihana (New Zealand)

Andrew Rewald (Australia / Germany)

Shaheed / Witness / Kashmir (India / Kashmir)

STARTTS (NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors) (Australia)

Adrian Stimson (Canada / Siksika Nation)

Anders Sunna (Sweden)

Suohpanterror (Sápmi / Finland / Sweden / Norway)

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Kainai First Nation, Canada / Sápmi, Norway)

Latai Taumoepeau (Australia)

Tennant Creek Brio (Australia)

Warwick Thornton (Australia)

Kalisolaite ‘Uhila (Tonga / New Zealand)

Gina Athena Ulysse (Haiti / USA)

Ahmed Umar (Sudan / Norway)

Unbound Collective (Australia)

Kunmanara Williams (Pitjantjatjara, Australia)

Luke Willis Thompson (New Zealand / Fiji / United Kingdom)

Pedro Wonaeamirri (Melville Island / Andranangruwu, Paluwiyanga, Australia)

Michael Young is a contributing editor of ArtAsiaPacific.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, visit our Digital Library.

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