The Biennale of Sydney announces further artists and artworks for its 24th edition titled Ten Thousand Suns
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The Biennale of Sydney announces further artists and artworks for its 24th edition titled Ten Thousand Suns
Anne Samat, Never Walk In Anyone's Shadow, 2023, Rattan sticks, kitchen and garden utensils, beads, ceramic, metal and plastic ornaments, 365.75 x 731.5 x 25.5 cm. Photography: Brian Holcombe. Courtesy of the artist and Marc Straus, New York.



SYDNEY.- The Biennale of Sydney announces further artists and artworks for its 24th edition titled Ten Thousand Suns, presented free to the public from 9 March to 10 June 2024.

A major international art festival and the largest contemporary art event of its kind in Australia, the 24th Biennale of Sydney will be presented at Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney Opera House, UNSW Galleries and at the iconic and recently restored White Bay Power Station.

With the artistic direction led by Cosmin Costinaș and Inti Guerrero, the 24th Biennale of Sydney proposes celebration as both a method and a source of joy, inspired by legacies of collective resistance and coming together to thrive in the face of injustice. With an exhibition of contemporary art at its core, the event draws from multiple histories, voices and perspectives, to explore connected thematic threads, from the celebration of the resurgence of First Nations technologies and knowledges, to Queer resilience, and carnival traditions across the world. The program also explores the atomic era, a concentrated time of climate alteration through human exploitation, within the context of today's moment of climate emergency and a refusal to concede to an apocalyptic vision of the future.

Marking the Biennale of Sydney's 50th anniversary year, the 2024 edition challenges Western fatalistic constructions of the apocalypse and embraces a hopeful outlook around a possible future lived in joy, produced in common and shared widely.

The 2024 edition will feature 96 artists and collectives from 50 countries and territories including Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Niue, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ukraine. Selected artists have practices firmly rooted in diverse communities and artistic vocabularies.

Audiences will experience dynamic artworks, large-scale installations and site-specific projects by international artists such as Frank Bowling, Andrew Thomas Huang, Adebunmi Gbadebo, Pacific Sisters, Trevor Yeung, Sana Shahmuradova Tanska, Maru Yacco and Anne Samat, alongside Australian artists including Gordon Hookey, Tracey Moffatt & Gary Hillberg, Serwah Attafuah, William Yang, VNS Matrix, Kirtika Kain, Joel Sherwood Spring and Juan Davila.

As a Visionary Partner, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain has worked with the Biennale of Sydney to commission 14 First Nations artists, including (but not exclusively) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to create new work for the edition. These artists include Mangala Bai Maravi, Doreen Chapman, Megan Cope, Cristina Flores Pescorán, Freddy Mamani, Gail Mabo, Dylan Mooney, Orquídeas Barrileteras, John Pule, Eric-Paul Riege, Darrell Sibosado, Kaylene Whiskey, Yangamini, and Nikau Hindin in collaboration with Ebonie Fifita-Laufilitoga-Maka, Hina Puamohala Kneubuhl, Hinatea Colombani, Kesaia Biuvanua and Rongomai Grbric-Hoskins. They have worked closely with the inaugural Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain First Nations Curatorial Fellow Tony Albert to realise their artworks. This is part of the ongoing partnership between the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and the Biennale of Sydney, which also includes a creative collaboration with the Sydney Opera House for the recently launched Badu Gili: Celestial.

Artistic Directors Cosmin Costinaș and Inti Guerrero said: “Ten Thousand Suns departs from an acknowledgement of a multiplicity of perspectives, cosmologies, and ways of life that have always woven together the world under the sun. A multiplicity of suns conveys ambiguous images. It evokes a scorching world, both in several cosmological visions and very much in our moment of climate emergency. But it also conveys the joy of cultural multiplicities affirmed, of First Nations understandings of the cosmos brought to the fore, and of carnivals as forms of resistance in contexts that have surpassed colonial oppression.

“The 24th Biennale of Sydney works with these different layers of meaning, acknowledging the deep ecological crises derived from colonial and capitalist exploitation while refusing to concede to an apocalyptic vision of the future. The 24th Biennale of Sydney proposes instead solar and radiant forms of resistance that affirm collective possibilities around a future that is not only possible, but necessary to be lived in joy and plenitude,” said Costinaș and Guerrero.

FURTHER ARTISTS FOR TEN THOUSAND SUNS ANNOUNCED TODAY:
Carrolup Child Artists: Arthur Bropho, Alma Cuttabut, Parnell Dempster, Phillip Jackson, Gregory Kelly, Edie Wallam, and five once known child artists, Iratxe Jaio & Klaas van Gorkum, Magdalena Meak, Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano, Pauline Yearbury, r e a, Robert Gabris, Rotimi Fani-Kayode.

ARTWORKS FOR TEN THOUSAND SUNS ANNOUNCED TODAY

·A major new commission by Yankunytjatjara artist Kaylene Whiskey, known for her uniquely joyful body of work, inspired by pop culture alongside the ‘dot’ iconography of the Central Desert. Titled Kaylene TV, this is the first of Whiskey’s works produced on such an immense scale, inviting audiences into a giant TV with human-size cut-outs of icons such as singers Cher and Dolly Parton, as well as Whiskey’s own hybrid Black superheroes. At a time when all screens seem to be overflowing with stories of crisis, corruption and chaos, Whiskey’s insight into her own sparkling world, lived proudly on Country, makes space for a playfulness and spirit that disavows narratives of inevitable demise. (White Bay Power Station)

·The foyer wall of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia will be transformed with a new commission created by Iraqi-Swedish-American artist of Kurdish descent Hayv Kahraman. Drawing parallels between water, migration, and the processes of Ebru marbling, the artist’s new work explores the violence and vulnerability experienced by undocumented migrants travelling to Australia via sea. (Museum of Contemporary Art Australia)

·On the exterior of The Gunnery building, r e a’s large banners depict the words for sun in the Gamilaraay, Wailwan and Biripi languages of the artist’s parents and grandparents. The work continues inside Artspace in the Ideas Platform, here interjected by SILENCE = DEATH and LAND = RIGHTS layering dual messages for audiences to decipher. r e a has positioned blak, queer power as unavoidable and immutable as the rise and fall of the sun, the light at the end of tunnel. (Artspace)

·A new drawings series by Roma artist Robert Gabris will create a ‘Garden of Catastrophe’ in an expression of empowerment and agency. The works react against a European anthropological gaze that formed part of the objectification and discrimination faced by Roma people throughout Europe to this day. In intricate graphite detail, the drawings depict a fragmented queer Roma body flourishing and thriving as plants reaching towards the sun. The insects that populate the garden symbolize ancestral wisdom, encoded in their behaviours and cycles of life. (Art Gallery of New South Wales)

·American Chinese artist and Grammy nominated music video director, Andrew Thomas Huang, known for collaborating with artists including FKA Twigs, Bjork and Thom Yorke, has created his first ever sculptural work for the Biennale of Sydney. A great tiger will be suspended presented in the Turbine Hall, wearing a mask referencing Xiwangmu (西王母), Queen Mother of the West in Chinese mythology. Crowned with her messenger birds, qingniao (青鳥), the work complicates not only the boundaries between male and female, but between the human and the non-human, the real and the imagined. (White Bay Power Station)

·Peruvian artist Cristina Flores Pescorán has created a new large-scale textile sculpture inspired by her own healing journey from a skin cancer condition, which exposed her to invasive examinations, biopsies, surgical interventions, and medical observation for almost two decades. Dedicating a lifetime to healing her illness and investigating alternatives to Western medical interventions, the artist imagines a cure not as treatment but as a dialogue between body and ancestry, rooted in the restorative processes of nature. Made with Peruvian cotton thread dyed with purple corn (maíz morado), a Peruvian food that accompanied the artist during her treatments, Abrazar el sol (Embrace the sun) is a reconciliation between woman and sun. (White Bay Power Station)

·Orquídeas Barrileteras (Orchid Kite), the first all-female group of kite makers from Guatemala's Barrilete Festival, consists of 22 women spanning three generations. Stretching 5m wide, their lovingly and intricately designed kites are handmade using cloth, paper, bamboo, tissue, string, and natural materials. Sharing familial stories, cultural themes and many emotions through pattern and bright colours, their kites are flown in a celebration of life and of those who lived. For the Biennale of Sydney, the collective has created a large-scale textile kite with two women from their community who are deaf in the centre. The work pays homage to these women showing appreciation for their unique and valuable input to their visual arts practice as well as the broader community, surrounded by flowers and animals native to Guatemala. (White Bay Power Station)

·Citra Sasmita began researching the patriarchal roots of modern Bali by looking to the literary and artistic canon of Indonesia, which broadly narrates male heroism and depicts women as romantic decorations. Through her Timur Merah Project, Sasmita creates counter-narratives that depict women as powerful and resistant actors who push back against a male gaze informed by colonial ideology. Sasmita uses traditional Kamasan painting to reclaim the female figure as an active de-colonial agent challenging the exotic aesthetic heritage of Baliseering. (Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney)

·A series of paintings and graphics created by Ukrainian artist Sana Shahmuradova Tanska, based in Kyiv and created in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, which sent Shahmuradova Tanska to Cold War shelters plastered with old atomic war posters. Rendered in oil paint and watercolour, Shahmuradova Tanska draws upon Ukrainian history and folklore for inspiration, blurring the line between form and mirage through dreamy figures that explore a molten landscape of collective memory, grief and violence. (Artspace)

·Trevor Yeung, who has been selected to represent Hong Kong at the upcoming Venice Biennale, uses his sculptures as cyphers for his own emotional reality. A metaphor for interpersonal connections, Yeung’s mushroom lights are a study in the constraints, care and conditions necessitated to support ecosystems and, symbolically, relationships. Each ‘chandelier’ exists on a closed-circuit system which, despite appearing to tumble organically, is entirely fabricated and closed off. Reminiscent of a child’s night light, a symbol of both security and naivety, these installations reflect Yeung’s sense of being a social interloper. (Artspace and White Bay Power Station)

·Tāgata Moana art collective Pacific Sisters, a collective of Pacific and Māori fashion designers, artists, performers, and musicians present Mururoa, addressing the effects of nuclear testing in the wider Pacific and its long-term damaging environmental and physical impacts on Moana peoples and Supa Suga, described as ‘part Wonder Woman’ and part Superman, and ‘all girl power’. The collective emerged from the fringes of mainstream arts and culture in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1991 and are celebrated for their multi-disciplinary practice that blends Moana heritage art and contemporary forms to create fashion activism. Through ceremony, art, adornment and performance, they embrace and assert their urban Māori, Pacific, and Queer identities, unique to Aotearoa New Zealand. The collective includes Rosanna Raymond, Feeonaa Clifton, Ani O’Neill, Suzanne Tamaki, Henry Ah-Foo Taripo, Lisa Reihana and more. (Art Gallery of New South Wales)

·Big Chief Demond Melancon is part of a more than 200-year-old culture known as the Black Masking Culture of New Orleans, which endures as a thriving display of dance, spirituality, craftsmanship and pride. On Mardi Gras morning, Black Maskers emerge from their homes to the beating of drums and tambourines to parade their way through the streets to confront each other in ceremonial battles to see who is the prettiest, wearing intricately beaded suits. Part of a suit worn by the artist for the Mardi Gras parade, Big Chief Demond Melancon’s Africa depicts Zulu warriors drawing connections between African and First Nations traditions. (Art Gallery of New South Wales)

·Acclaimed artist Frank Bowling’s Australia to Africa, part of his seminal ‘Map Painting’ series, merges postcolonial geopolitics with abstraction. Bowling is known for layering canvases with stained or washed colours so they appear flooded with light, creating luminous, near-illusory cartographies. In the monumental Australia to Africa, the outline of Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the even fainter impression of America, swim in an ocean of gold. By refusing to divorce abstraction from content, Bowling’s work intersects with his own Afro-Caribbean roots, unfurling with the hallucinatory intensity of a dream. (Art Gallery of New South Wales)

·Sydney-based multidisciplinary artist and musician Serwah Attafuah, who has previously collaborated with artists including Charli XCX and Paris Hilton, is known for her practice exploring surreal cyber dreamscapes and heavenly wastelands. For the 24th Biennale of Sydney, Attafuah’s digital creation unfolds in a near-future Ghana, drawing viewers into an Afrofuturistic vista contrasting colonial remnants with utopian hope, with a narrative that is propelled by burning slave castles, sinking colonial ships, and formidable female warriors. Her avant-garde blend of cultural reflections with futuristic aesthetics is a compelling discourse between past legacies and speculative horizons. (Museum of Contemporary Art Australia)

·Quandamooka (Minjerribah, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland) artist Megan Cope confronts social, geographical, and metaphorical boundaries through military-style maps that contest the myth of terra nullius. Cope replaces colonial titles with those of her Jandai language. Made from hand-drawn and photo-lithographic processes, each map, glowing with crystalline blue tides, returns cultural names and landmarks to their rightful place in an act of decolonial cartography. (UNSW Galleries)

·Transcending tradition, Malaysian artist Anne Samat works with established fibre and weaving techniques from across Southeast Asia, to build elaborate woven totems as monuments to family lineages, mythologies and as mouthpieces for her message of love. Her sculptures are modelled from the artist’s real-life relationships with friends or family and form sites of personal devotion and care. For the 24th Biennale of Sydney Samat has created a new commission, Cannot Be Broken and Won’t Live Unspoken #2, that combines traditional crafts with humble and everyday objects. (Museum of Contemporary Art Australia)

Barbara Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney said: "With just four weeks to go until we throw open the doors to the 24th Biennale of Sydney, the excitement is palpable. It is an absolute thrill and honour to be announcing the full list of artists participating in Ten Thousand Suns, and where you can catch this incredible contemporary art during the three months of the festival. Entry to the exhibition is free, opening the doors wide to all, and inviting you to immerse yourself in the boundless creativity that transcends borders. This Biennale promises not only the most dynamic contemporary art from around the globe, but also a rich tapestry of music, food, talks, tours, and performances. As we count down to the opening night event, 'Lights On,' a momentous occasion that unveils White Bay Power Station after more than a century, I invite you to be part of this unmissable experience. The Biennale of Sydney awaits, ready to ignite your senses and kindle the spirit of artistic exploration."

John Graham, Minister for the Arts said: “Combining the old and new in its 50th year, the Biennale of Sydney is staging contemporary art in one of our most historic buildings – the White Bay Power Station. The 24th Biennale of Sydney will be a three-month force of nature in this city, a free celebration of art, music and creativity, showcasing 96 Australian and international artists across six venues. With the recent release of the NSW Government’s Creative Communities policy, I want to see events like the Biennale flourish and continue to enhance the lives of the people of NSW.”

Campbell Hanan, Mirvac Group CEO & Managing Director, the Principal Partner of the Biennale of Sydney said: "Both the Biennale of Sydney and Mirvac are renowned for their innovative approaches to reimagining public and urban spaces. Together, we are committed to delivering groundbreaking arts and cultural experiences and urban activations that will enrich and inspire our community, within this ever-evolving cityscape. As we prepare for the 24th edition of the Biennale of Sydney, Ten Thousand Suns, opening on March 9, 2024, we look forward to shining a bright light on the future through this collaboration."










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