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Articles on Sydney Biennale

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Still from Human Flow, directed by Ai Weiwei. IMDB/Amazon Studios

Friday essay: can art really make a difference?

Artists have long tackled global issues, from war to human rights. While Picasso’s celebrated Guernica may not have stopped the Spanish Civil War (or any war), art still holds value, as witness and as truth teller.
Sydney Biennale has recovered from the missteps of 2014. Lee Mingwei, Guernica in Sand. Image courtesy of JUT Museum and Sydney Biennale.

A surprising spectacle rescues the Sydney Biennale from irrelevance

Two years ago, the Sydney Biennale was at a historic low point. But a new, ambitious show puts the event firmly back on the artistic agenda.
A dance performance at Beijing’s Peng Hao theatre. How does context help us make meaning of works like this? Gustavo Thomas

Circles of context: giving a work of art its meaning

On the June weekend the Sydney Biennale closed, I arrived in Denmark to speak at a conference where the Greek theatre artist Alexandros Mistriotis proposed that “art liberates us from meaning”. A week…
Yingmei Duan is performing Happy Yingmei at this year’s Sydney Biennale. It’s a sign feminist performance art is thriving. AGNSW

Yingmei Duan and the feminists giving contemporary art a makeover

Until the end of the 2014 Biennale of Sydney in June, Chinese performance artist Yingmei Duan will live in a small forest built inside the Art Gallery of NSW. Visitors – as they have since the start of…
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, one of many collaborators in Deborah Kelly’s most recent creation. N.E. Skinner

Glory be! Inside Deborah Kelly’s No Human Being Is Illegal

You may have heard of Deborah Kelly, the well-known Sydney-based artist with a work in the 2014 Biennale of Sydney entitled No Human Being Is Illegal (In All Our Glory). The work features a suite of life-size…
Should artists refuse to work with the Sydney Biennale – whose major sponsor has contracts to operate offshore detention centres? AAP Image/Caris Bizzaca

Should artists boycott the Sydney Biennale over Transfield links?

Sydney will host its 19th biennale from March 21. It’s one of the most significant international art events on the local calendar. But questions have arisen over its connection to Australia’s policy of…

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