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Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History Latest Ocula Conversation
In Partnership with Artspace Sydney
Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History By Ruth McDougall, Sydney

Artist Taloi Havini and Ruth McDougall, curator of Pacific art at Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, discuss Havini's first Australian solo exhibition, Reclamation .

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Sydney Biennale Connects Here with Everywhere Latest Ocula Report Sydney Biennale Connects Here with Everywhere By Soo-Min Shim, Sydney

'This year's Biennale of Sydney seems like a corrective,' writes Soo-Min Shim, 'prioritising autonomy in an international exhibition format that has all too often omitted or sidelined First Nations artists.'

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Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 Ocula Insight Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 By Stephanie Bailey, London

In the United States, parallels have been drawn between the HIV/AIDS crisis and what is unfolding with Covid-19. These connections feed into P·P·O·W's online exhibition, Hell is a Place on Earth. Heaven is a Place in Your Head .

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Newly announced highlights of the event include Arthur Jafa's The White Album, which won the Golden Lion at last year's Venice Biennale.

Lisa Reihana, _In Pursuit of Venus [infected] _(2015-17). Ultra HD video, colour, 7.1 sound, 64 mins, Courtesy the artist and New Zealand at Venice.

The 22nd Biennale of Sydney has announced highlights of its programme, which runs 14 March to 8 June. Occurring 250 years after British explorer Captain Cook landed in Australia, many of the artists selected for the biennale deal with themes of race and colonialism.

Curated by Indigenous Australian artist Brook Andrew, the biennale is entitled NIRIN, which means 'edge' in the language of the Wiradjuri, the Indigenous people of western New South Wales.

Andrew said the biennale programme 'demonstrates how artists have the power to inspire and lead through difficult global times such as environmental catastrophe, urgent states of conflict and reframing histories.'

One of the most celebrated works being shown is Arthur Jafa's The White Album (2018), which won the Golden Lion at last year's Venice Biennale. The video cuts together close-up portraits of white people with found footage of race-based violence, fumbling efforts to excuse racism, and attempts to acknowledge and address it. The work will be shown in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time at the biennale.

Many of the other participating artists are either people in majority white countries or people who live in countries underserved by the contemporary art world.

Barbara Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney said, 'the biennale invites diverse and often marginalised voices of the world to converge, creating a safe place where people can think and talk about issues that resonate on a local and international level.'

Among other highlights are: Peruvian artist Fátima Rodrigo Gonzales' recreation of an TV set from 1960s Latin TV show Sabado Gigante (Gigantic Saturday); Tlingit/Unangax̂ artist Nicholas Galanin's excavation of the shadow cast by the Captain Cook statue in Sydney's Hyde Park; and New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana's Nomads of the Sea, an immersive film installation exploring Māori and Pacific peoples' culture.

The biennale will take place at six sites where entry is free: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Cockatoo Island, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and the National Art School.

An interconnected programme called NIRIN WIR (meaning 'edge of the sky'), includes ticketed events and extends to the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Observatory, Parramatta Female Factory and Sydney University. —[O]

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