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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Sydney

Australia

Current Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Alexander McKenzie, Niwa at Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
14 November–8 December 2019 Alexander McKenzie Niwa Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
Contemporary art exhibition, Paul Williams, Light Industrial at Gallery 9, Sydney
13 November–7 December 2019 Paul Williams Light Industrial Gallery 9, Sydney
Contemporary art exhibition, Patricia Perez Eustaquio, Everywhere West, Everything East at Yavuz Gallery, Sydney
7 November–19 December 2019 Patricia Perez Eustaquio Everywhere West, Everything East Yavuz Gallery, Sydney
Contemporary art exhibition, Jim Lambie, Wild is the Wind at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
31 October–23 November 2019 Jim Lambie Wild is the Wind Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Galleries In Sydney

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Institutions

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Xiao Lu Ocula Conversation
In partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Xiao Lu

In the hot heat of the moment, history is sometimes only recorded in snippets. In the flurry to understand, information is conflated, building a historical account that never quite captures the reality of the moment. In 1989, Chinese artist Xiao Lu fired a handgun into her installation Dialogue displayed in the China/Avant-Garde exhibition, the...

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Sydney Contemporary: Bridging the Gap Ocula Report Sydney Contemporary: Bridging the Gap 20 Sep 2018 : Anna Dickie for Ocula

As far as art fair venues go, Sydney Contemporary (13–16 September 2018) has nailed it with Carriageworks, where the fair was once again staged. Formerly a rail yard and now a cultural centre, the space has retained its distinctive 19th-century industrial details, and it offered a striking light-filled backdrop to the fair's crisp white booths, the...

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Sydney Contemporary 2018 Ocula Photolog Sydney Contemporary 2018 14 September 2018

'With a thriving contemporary art scene, Sydney is a dynamic cultural destination with an international reputation for presenting the very best in visual art through its leading commercial galleries, public institutions, private museums, festivals and Biennale. Defined by the vibrancy of its host city, Sydney Contemporary provides collectors,...

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Sydney Exhibitions to See: The Lowdown Ocula Report Sydney Exhibitions to See: The Lowdown 7 Sep 2018 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

Sydney Contemporary returns to Carriageworks for its fourth edition between 13 and 16 September 2018 with 87 local and international galleries and a full programme of performances, talks, large-scale curated installations and tours. Beyond the fair, Sydney is abundant with standout shows that challenge perceptions around identity, the body, and...

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NS Harsha and Tiffany Chung Ocula Conversation NS Harsha and Tiffany Chung Artists

On the occasion of the 21st Biennale of Sydney, SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement (16 March–11 June 2018), the Victorian College of the Arts and University of Melbourne partnered with the Biennale to facilitate the visit of artists Tiffany Chung, NS Harsha and curator David Elliott to Melbourne. The following discussion is an edited...

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Biennale of Sydney: Equilibrium & Engagement Ocula Report Biennale of Sydney: Equilibrium & Engagement 25 May 2018 : Tess Maunder for Ocula

SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement marks the twenty-first edition of the Biennale of Sydney (16 March–11 June 2018). Curated by Mami Kataoka, it brings together over 70 artists and artist collectives from 35 different countries exhibiting at 7 venues, including the Sydney Opera House, and marks the first time an Asian-born curator has been...

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Chris Bond: Glimmer Related Press Chris Bond: Glimmer Art Guide Australia : 3 July 2019

While embracing hyper-political subject matter has become an of-the-moment approach for many artists globally, it's one which has prompted others to cut on the bias, across the grain, and counteract it too. On first glance, it could be said that one such artist is Melbourne-based painter, Chris Bond.

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All I wanted was a happy family: artist joins new cultural revolution Related Press All I wanted was a happy family: artist joins new cultural revolution The Sydney Morning Herald : 28 June 2019

In the 12 months to January this year, Artspace in Sydney created an online platform for artists across Asia to respond to various political, environmental and social issues via weekly acts of artistic 'disobedience''. The resulting publication, 52 Artists 52 Actions: Small Acts of Disobedience, is published on July 1. In this edited extract and...

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Mike Parr: Give your fee to the refugees Related Video & Audio Mike Parr: Give your fee to the refugees Artspace Sydney : 1 June 2019

Artspace, Sydney is currently presenting the exhibition 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS (18 May–4 August 2019), which surveys Artspace's ambitious, year-long online project running from January 2018–January 2019 highlighting artistic practice across Asia. The project commissioned 52 artists and collectives to stage actions in unique locations throughout the...

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The first 33 artists in 2020 Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN Related Press The first 33 artists in 2020 Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN Art Guide Australia : 10 April 2019

Brook Andrew's grandmother was forbidden to speak her Wiradjuri tongue. 'People need to understand there were generations of genocide in this country,' the artist and first Indigenous Australian artistic director of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (which will take place across six Sydney sites in 2020) tells Art Guide Australia. 'And it takes time,...

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Artists can’t help swearing in Just Not Australian Related Press Artists can’t help swearing in Just Not Australian Art Guide Australia : 20 February 2019

Nothing is what it used to be in the group show Just Not Australian. This is probably just as well, since the cultural artefacts that form much of the show's raw material are not always pretty. In works made over the last two decades, the 19 artists have used existing images, materials and meanings to reconstruct and critique Australian nationhood...

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Xiao Lu retrospective goes beyond the myth Related Press Xiao Lu retrospective goes beyond the myth art guide Australia : 30 January 2019

Thirty years ago in Beijing, on the eve of Chinese New Year, contemporary Chinese artist Xiao Lu made her artistic debut by firing a shotgun at her installation Dialogue. Ever since, these famous shots have reverberated on multiple political levels, often noted as an important feminist moment in contemporary Chinese art, and as the first shots of...

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Justene Williams: Project Dead Empathy Related Press Justene Williams: Project Dead Empathy art guide Australia : 15 November 2018

Justene Williams was on the road to Sydney when we first spoke ahead of her solo exhibition, Project Dead Empathy, at Sarah Cottier Gallery. The back of the car was full with the stuff that comprises her anarchic installations, and I imagined over-long mannequin arms stretching around headrests as we spoke.

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Archibald winner Ben Quilty critiques Santa and straight white men at Sydney Contemporary art fair Related Press Archibald winner Ben Quilty critiques Santa and straight white men at Sydney Contemporary art fair ABC News : 15 September 2018

An art fair is not the natural habitat of political statements; a temporary assembly of galleries hawking their wares primarily to cashed-up collectors, it's a parade of beauty and taste (good, bad, indifferent) that will, generally speaking, fit in the lounge room and impress the guests.

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Recent Events

About Sydney

Sydney is host to a wide-range of vibrant and diverse museums and galleries, alongside non-profit organisations and artist-run-initiatives. The Art Gallery of New South Wales boasts one of the largest collections in Australia and, since its establishment in 1871, has been fundamental to Sydney's cultural landscape. With the development of its 'Sydney Modern Project', the Art Gallery of New South Wales will double its exhibition and education spaces by 2021 with a new building design by internationally acclaimed architects SANAA.

Claiming space along Sydney's iconic harbour, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is dedicated to living Australian artists. It also hosts exhibitions by national and international contemporary artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Pipilotti Rist, Anish Kapoor, and Fiona Hall. Carriageworks, another key institution, is a multi-arts centre held inside the historic Eveleigh Rail Complex Yards. This enormous and unique industrial site lends itself to large-scale immersive programmes and international commissions.

Artspace is one of Australia's foremost non-profit contemporary art space and supports the production and presentation of new work, hosting an ambitious national and international program of exhibitions, residencies, and public programs that position art and ideas within a critical context. 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, another leading institution, is dedicated to facilitating dialogue between Australia and Asia through exhibitions, research, and collaboration. Working with artists from across the Asia-Pacific region, it plays a critical role in advocating for an expanded view of global contemporary art.

Alongside public institutions are different models of private initiatives. Kaldor Public Art Projects, for example, has been commissioning artists for over 50 years—among them Christo and Jean-Claude, Anri Sala, and Marina Abramović —to create public interventions across Sydney. A more recent example is White Rabbit Gallery, which opened in Chippendale in 2009, to showcase extraordinary works of over 500 contemporary Chinese and Taiwanese artists from philanthropist Judith Nielson's collection.

The Biennale of Sydney is arguably the pinnacle of Sydney's cultural calendar. Held biannually since 1973, the Biennale is one of the world's longest running biennales and occupies multiple venues including Cockatoo Island, listed under the UNESCO World-Heritage.

While Melbourne is known for its laneways filled with street art and graffiti, Sydney has a growing reputation for its public art spaces. For the 2004 Biennale of Sydney, Berlin-based American artist Jimmie Durham crushed a Ford Fiesta with a two-tonne quartz boulder (On Reason and Emotion [2004]). Originally displayed in the Sydney Opera House forecourt, the work is now permanently installed in the middle of a roundabout in Walsh Bay.

The City of Sydney also commissions a wide range of public art that encompasses fountains, monuments, sculptures, installations, street art and murals. Notable projects to date include Jenny Holzer's I STAY (Ngaya ngalawa) (2014), a 24-hour installation of text in English and First Nations languages; Chris Fox's impressive Interloop (2017) that reuses the old wooden escalators into a mind-bending installation at Wynyard station; and Tracey Emin's The Distance of your Heart (2018), made up of 67 tiny bronze birds perched on building window sills.

The city is also home to a variety of experimental and artist-run-initiatives that support emerging practitioners. Firstdraft, an artist-led organisation and the oldest of its kind in Sydney, has been the foundation of hundreds of artist's careers. More underground is Frontyard in Marrickville, a flexible community-run space that occupies the former Australia Council Research Library. Cement Fondu, one of Sydney's newest contemporary spaces, is situated in the old Stills Gallery space in Paddington. It runs an interesting program that brings together rising local artists with renowned international artists to build new relationships.

If looking to escape the city centre, there are many important galleries that can visited across Greater Sydney such as Campbelltown Art Centre, Blacktown Arts Centre and Casula Powerhouse.

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