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The 19th Biennale of Sydney is spread across 5 venues

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The rise of video as a contemporary art form has profoundly affected the way we view art exhibitions. This is especially true in the case of a biennale where time is short, and desire for experience is long. With only a few hours at each site – and at least 14 hours of video – how to allocate one’s limited time?

I have the attention span of a gnat, so video always presents a challenge. Lucky for me, I attended the biennale in a group led by the sagacious Linda Tyler, Director of Gus Fisher Gallery, and she gave us thorough daily briefings, hot tips on what to see and even some homework to make sure we had been paying attention, and the direction really paid off. Hats off to her for orchestrating a grand experience.

Over 3 days, I personally managed to view approximately 4 of an estimated possible 14 hours of video (not including the films in the ‘long programme’). A week later, there are four that I continue to replay in my mind so I will share those below.

Sadly all that viewing left little time to indulge in Sydney’s dealer gallery exhibitions. I did manage a flying visit to the ‘Paddington precinct’ to catch a glimpse of Tomislav Nikolic’s work at Andrew Jensen’s elegant new space, adjacent to Sarah Cottier; across the street is Martin Browne showing some gorgeous canvases by Mavis Ngallametta. Many of galleries were busy packing crates for Art Basel Hong Kong (13-15 May) where they will be joined by 3 New Zealand galleries this year: Michael Lett, Starkwhite and Hopkinson Mossman.

Looking forward to 2016 Sydney!

Jennifer Buckley

Top image: Beinnale Ferry to Cockatoo Island, AKAF.

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