27 June–16 September 2012

Various venues around Sydney, Australia


Artistic Directors Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster have unveiled the work of more than 100 artists from over 44 countries, presented at inner-city and harbourside locations across Sydney for the 18th Biennale of Sydney: all our relations.

Presented free to the public from 27 June until 16 September 2012, the Biennale of Sydney is Australia’s largest and most respected contemporary visual arts event, attracting more than half a million visitors in 2010.



Beginning with the two curators in dialogue, the curatorial premise all our relations provides a collaborative framework that allows conversations to extend to both artists and audiences. The collaboration between Artistic Directors Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster is the first time in the Biennale’s 39-year history that an exhibition has been developed by a curatorial duo.

Exploring new ideas from unexpected voices around the world, the 18th Biennale of Sydney showcases more than 220 works by over 100 artists hailing from Australia, New Zealand, the Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East. Nearly half the artists have created works specifically for this exhibition, including many substantial collaborative installations.

Major venues for the 18th Biennale of Sydney are the Art Gallery of New South Wales; the newly redeveloped Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; World Heritage-listed former shipyard and prison, Cockatoo Island; and Pier 2/3 in Walsh Bay. For the first time, Redfern-based arts institution Carriageworks is a presenting partner.

Commenting on the curatorial concept of the 18th Biennale of Sydney, Co-Artistic Director Catherine de Zegher said: ‘all our relations concerns a global movement of art and thought that has been under the radar and now emerges as radical and dynamic, bringing forward significant change. From the collaborations and juxtapositions emerge powerful and wholly new ideas, a truly global proposal of what art is and what it does in society. The 18th Biennale of Sydney connects absolutely local issues, the most intimate meanings of place and time, with great currents of art and thought that are linking lives as though in conversation. This is the groundbreaking premise of all our relations.’

Co-Artistic Director Gerald McMaster added: ‘We’ve selected artists who often cross disciplinary boundaries, artists who enjoy collaborating and some who work with unusual media. Then there are those who look into the historical dimensions of their cultural heritage for new sources of inspiration, some who connect the spiritual with the aesthetic and others whose love of the natural world creates surprising countenance.’

Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘The substantial number of new works being created especially for this Biennale promises a very special experience. We look forward to growing our audiences and offering them some of the most exciting contemporary art in the world over the next three months.’

The 18th Biennale of Sydney will present an expanded education and public program throughout the course of the exhibition, including specially designed Art Lounges and Learning Zones on Cockatoo Island and Pier 2/3, as well as a range of artist talks, guided tours, special programs for kids and families, and after-dark events. Teachers and schools will be catered for through dedicated publications and guided tours, comprehensive online resources, as well as special educator programs.

The 18th Biennale of Sydney will be presented from 27 June–16 September 2012. For further information, please visit bos18.com.

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