Biennale of Sydney – interview with Gerald McMaster

Elana Castle interviews Gerald McMaster, an artistic co-director of the 18th Biennale of Sydney

09 Jul 2012

Where can we see the Biennale of Sydney and how is it structured?

The Biennale is laid out over four main venues – Pier 2/3, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cockatoo Island and the Art Gallery of New South Wales – and is a collaboration between artists and audiences from around the world.  Each venue has a particular theme that contributes to a larger idea.

What is your vision for this years theme –  “All our Relations”?

We are coming out of a century based on the modern but modernity has also caused separation, fragmentation, isolation and alienation.  The Biennale artworks suggests ways in which we can pick up these fragments and make them unified through new connections and narratives.  

Which particular works do you recommend for Habitus Living readers?

The following three artworks, which are all on show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Beijing-based artist, Gao Rong’s life size, embroidered reconstruction of a room from her childhood.  Rong’s installation is a commentary on living conditions in China as well as a redefined notion of embroidery as a valuable skill that should be celebrated.

New York-based artist Alan Michelson’s eight miniature cabins which talk about frontier living, loneliness and the mentality of the individual vs the community. 

The fragmented maps by Bangkok artist Nipan Oranniwesna.   The artist meticulously cut-out maps of more than ten different cities, using baby powder to fill in the stencil-like combined cityscape that resulted.  The map is a comment on urban sprawl and the interconnectedness of our society.

The installations at Cockatoo Island.   

Photography: Ben Symons, Sebastien Kriete 

Biennale of Sydney