The Biennale of Sydney today unveiled the program highlights for the 17th annual event, which will be open to the public from May 12 until August 1, 2010. Based on the curatorial theme THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, recent and new works by Australian artists will be showcased alongside international artists at Sydney’s leading cultural institutions, contemporary art spaces and heritage sites. Artistic Director David Elliott is an international curator, writer, broadcaster and museum director, who will explore connections between the visual arts and other art forms in ‘THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE’. Artists’ works will be presented alongside the work of contemporary writers, filmmakers, commentators and musicians. "The aim of this Biennale is to bring together work from diverse cultures, at the same time, on the equal playing field of contemporary art, where no culture can assume superiority over any other," Elliott said. He has constructed 'The Beauty of Distance' with Sydney’s position as an iconic modern world city in mind and believes biennales should enter into conversation with the places where they are shown. Cockatoo Island will feature many new site-specific works created directly in response to the location. The venue will feature works by approximately 50 artists, including Cai Guo-Qiang, the Tiger Lillies, AES+F, Isaac Julien and Brook Andrew. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) will devote its entire gallery space to the Biennale for the first time. One of the MCA’s largest galleries will be filled with 110 larrakitj (memorial poles) created by 41 Yolngu artists from North East Arnhem Land. Other artists exhibiting at the MCA include John Bock, Louise Bourgeois, Brett Graham and Angela Ellsworth. Artspace will become the home of SuperDeluxe, one of Tokyo’s leading alternative spaces for experimental music, culture and ideas. SuperDeluxe@Artspace is at once a performance venue, art gallery, bar and club, featuring a sensational line-up of Japanese performers, improvised collaborations with local artists and PechaKucha nights. The Sydney Opera House will host an ephemeral work by Jennifer Wen Ma and performances by Finland’s Mieskuoro Huutajat (Shouting Men’s Choir). Pier 2/3 will premiere a new installation by Paul McCarthy, while Fiona Hall will create a new work for the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Art Gallery of New South Wales, due to gallery renovations, participates as a supporting venue in 2010 exhibiting Biennale works in the Grand Court. Artists will include Hisashi Tenmyouya and Wang Qingsong. The 17th Biennale of Sydney will be dedicated to the life and continuing influence of Nick Waterlow OAM and the Biennale’s keynote address from hereon will be named in Nick Waterlow’s memory.
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