17th Biennale of Sydney
  • Daniel Crooks, Static No.12 (seek stillness in movement), 2009–10 Detail of HD video (RED transferred to Blu-ray), dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery. Copyright © Daniel Crooks 2009
  • Kutlug Ataman, Mesopotamian Dramaturgies / Journey to the Moon, 2009 (detail), still photography, 31 x 41 cm. Courtesy of Francesca Minini, Milan and the artist
  • Lara Baladi, Perfumes & Bazaar, The Garden of Allah, 2006 (detail), digital collage, 560 x 248 cm, technical production and printing, Factum Arte, Madrid. Courtesy the artist. Copyright Lara Baladi
  • Kataryzana Kozyra, Summertale, 2008 (detail), DVD production still, 20 mins, prod. Zacheta National Gallery of Art Copyright artist, courtesy ZAK I BRANICKA Gallery. Photograph: M. Olivia Soto
  • Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Manet’s Dejeuner sur I’herbe 1862 1863 and the Thai villagers group II, 2008-09 (detail), from ‘The Two Planets Series’, photograph and video, 110 x 100 cm; 16 mins. Courtesy the artist and 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok
  • Cai Guo-Qiang, Inopportune: Stage One, 2004 (detail), nine cars and sequenced multichannel light tubes, dimensions variable. Collection of Seattle Art Museum, Gift of Robert M. Arnold, in honour of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2006, installation view at MASS MoCA, North Adams, 2004. Courtesy Cai Studio. Photograph: Hiro Ihara
  • Kent Monkman, The Death of Adonis, 2009 (detail), acrylic on canvas, 182.9 x 304.8 cm. Courtesy the artist and TrépanierBaer Gallery, Calgary
  • Christopher Pease, Law of Reflection, 2008–09 (detail), oil on canvas, 123 x 214 cm. Private collection. Courtesy the artist and Goddard de Fiddes, Contemporary Art, Perth. Photograph: Tony Nathan
  • AES+F, The Feast of Trimalchio, 2009 (detail of video still), nine-channel video installation, 19 mins. Courtesy the artists; Triumph Gallery, Moscow; and Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow
  • Tsang Kin-Wah, The First Seal – It Would Be Better If You Have Never Been Born…, 2009, digital video projection and sound installation, 6:41 mins, 513 x 513 cm. Courtesy the artist
  • Wang Qingsong, Competition, 2004 (detail), c-print, 170 x 300 cm. Courtesy the artist
  • Mark Wallinger, Hymn, 1997 (detail of video still), video, sound, 4:52 mins, edition of 10 and 1 artist proof. Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London

About Us

The Biennale of Sydney is Australia's largest and most exciting contemporary visual arts event. The fourth oldest biennale in the world, the Biennale of Sydney continues to be recognised for showcasing the freshest and most provocative contemporary art from Australia and around the world.

The biennial exhibition is held in Sydney's leading art venues and public sites, and is renowned for showcasing the freshest and most innovative contemporary art from Australia and around the world.

During the exhibition, a program of public tours, international guest lectures, artist talks, film screenings and special events are held across the city – and most events are free.

In the 35 years from 1973 to 2008, the Biennale of Sydney has presented 16 critically acclaimed, popular and large-scale exhibitions – bringing the work of 1355 artists from 82 countries to the city of Sydney. From small beginnings, the Biennale quadrupled in size in less than a decade and progressively reached an important place in Australia’s art calendar. In 2008, attendance soared to over 436,150 visitors.

The Biennale of Sydney's evolution has been pivotal in promoting cultural exchange with Australia, championing free expression, unveiling new ideas and challenging the status quo – a history of 'firsts' that has attracted a healthy dose of controversy and public debate over the years.

During its first decade of exhibitions (1973–82) the Biennale of Sydney was among the first to celebrate Australia's cultural and ethnic diversity; the first to show indigenous art in an international contemporary art context; the first to focus on the contemporary art of Asia and our own region. It was among the first to present to wide audiences the art of the social change movements which transformed Australian society in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Biennale of Sydney has the reputation of producing exhibitions that give our community new ways of looking at the world and new ways of seeing and understanding art. Each event enlivens our city’s public spaces with contemporary art and stimulates people to engage with Sydney’s spectacular museums and cultural centres. The events have proved to be a natural fit with Sydney, reflecting the blend of experiment and enjoyment of innovation that has long been a hallmark of Australia's largest city.

Instrumental in bringing many of the world’s leading and most established artists to Sydney, the Biennale of Sydney has quickly achieved international recognition and today it ranks as one of the leading international festivals of contemporary visual art and multimedia.

Mission Statement

The Biennale of Sydney engages Australian and international audiences with bold and innovative contemporary art from around the world, challenges the status quo, promotes cultural exchange and inspires audiences to experience art, themselves and their world in new and creative ways.

The Biennale of Sydney is committed to international cultural exchange; increasing dialogue and mutual understanding; developing audiences for contemporary art; and increasing understanding and appreciation of the important role art plays in society.

Our charter is to provide fresh curatorial perspective and independent artistic vision, and to offer encounters with art and artists, as well as the programs and publications that underpin the exhibition. We also offer artists the opportunity to make new work in Sydney and to reach a broader audience.

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