• Issue
  • Apr 30, 2024

Sydney: 24th Biennale of Sydney, “Ten Thousand Suns”

WILLIAM STRUTT, Black Thursday, February 6th, 1851, 1864, oil on canvas, 106 × 343 cm. Photo by Hamish McIntosh. Courtesy Pictures Collection, State Library Victoria, Melbourne.

24th Biennale of Sydney: “Ten Thousand Suns”
Multiple Locations

Sydney/Eora

Consider a bamboo blind and the way it obstructs and concedes light across each corded slat; recall the coolness of a material that does not carry heat quite like concrete or brick. Placed in a climate-controlled museum, the defunct blind-turned-exhibition-banner—painted over with this year’s title, “Ten Thousand Suns”—was perhaps emblematic of the broader problems of the contemporary biennial (with its entourage of patrons and board members), which inevitably flattens in its search for visual idioms of diversity. But just as the decision to substitute exhibition directories with newsprint referenced historied technologies of communication, the blinds—and their apparently rudimentary forms—were reminders of a continuity between past and present.