18th Biennale of Sydney


all our relations

all our relations has been announced by Artistic Directors, Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster, as the exhibition concept for the 18th Biennale of Sydney, 27 June-16 September 2012.

all our relations intends to focus on inclusionary art practices of generative thinking, such as collaboration, conversation and compassion. Working from a collaborative framework, all our relations will be a departure from previous Biennale of Sydney exhibitions-the theme will increasingly become apparent through the process rather than being imposed on artists and audiences at the beginning.

De Zegher and McMaster said: ‘Drawing on the possibility of the present, the Biennale will emerge from the engagement of all participants by using a model that begins with two curators in dialogue. A changing reality is apparent in a renewed attention to how things connect, how we relate to each other and to the world we inhabit. Rather than one work appearing to link to one or two other works, projects will correspond as if evolving from each other and progressing through the sequence of venues and buildings. Artists will work in a context that allows for mutual recognition and audiences from differing backgrounds will be part of this continual development. The collaboration will take place on many different levels: in co-existence, conversation and juxtaposition but also in purposeful connectivity. Artists, who can often feel isolated in their practice, will come together with neighbouring artists. This interconnection and interdependency will occur in the knowledge that audiences, too, will take elements from the exhibition and connect them with their own experiences.’

Since 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has explored varying terrains and broken new ground in each edition. The 18th Biennale of Sydney, under the creative direction of Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster, seeks to continue this history of pioneering. Major venues for the 18th Biennale of Sydney include the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Pier 2/3 and Cockatoo Island, with other venues to be announced.

Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney commented: ‘Sydney hosts one of the most celebrated and respected biennale exhibitions in the world. For the first time, the Biennale has appointed a curatorial duo and their innovative approach offers a new direction for the 18th Biennale of Sydney. We eagerly anticipate the exhibition and range of public programs that will be offered in Sydney next year.’


Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster have recently collaborated at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, where they participated in the re-installation of the Gallery’s collection in the renovated museum building by Frank Gehry. De Zegher and McMaster led the reinstallation of the European and Canadian galleries respectively. They have also worked together on the exhibition Draw & Tell: Lines of Transformation by Norval Morrisseau/Copper Thunderbird (2001) at The Drawing Center in New York.


The Biennale of Sydney continues to play a central role in developing visual arts culture in Australia and connecting artists from around the world. Every two years, the Biennale of Sydney is presented free to the public over a 12-week period. As the most exciting contemporary visual arts event in the Asia-Pacific region, the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) will celebrate the organisation’s 39th anniversary.

Alongside the Venice and São Paolo biennales and documenta, it is one of the longest running exhibitions of its kind and was the first biennale to be established in the Asia-Pacific region. Since its inception in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has provided an international platform for innovative and challenging contemporary art, showcasing the work of more than 1500 artists from over 83 countries.

The Biennale of Sydney gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the many organisations and individuals that make the exhibition and its programs possible.

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