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The National: Sydney’s major new biennial reveals 2017 line-up

The Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Carriageworks have this morning announced 49 artists who will be presenting work for the inaugural The National: New Australian Art. 

The single curated program will be held across the three venues from March 30, 2017. It will be the city’s largest exhibition focused on contemporary Australian art.

Although The National is curated by a single team and makes up a single exhibition, each of the three institutions will exhibit works connected to a specific theme.

The AGNSW will present the work of “contemporary artists who are engaging with marginal narratives and contested histories, including how these are shaped by uneven power relations and conflicting value systems.”

The work at Carriageworks will address “the current fluidity of identity – individual and collective, real and imagined.” They will “address the fractures and contingencies of Australian identity, with a strong cross-generational and cross-discriplinary focus.”

The MCA will present “artists working with key concerns through time, pulling history through and beyond the present; in particular artists working with repeated gestures and processes, or returning to actions, images or motifs consistently through time in their practice.”

Justene Williams, Two Fold, 2016, documentation of performance, photograph: Andy Nowell
Justene Williams, Two Fold, 2016, documentation of performance, photograph: Andy Nowell
Claudia Nicholson, Lost Without You, 2016, (Alfombra de aserrín), sawdust and glitter, photograph: Lucy Parakhina
Claudia Nicholson, Lost Without You, 2016, (Alfombra de aserrín), sawdust and glitter, photograph: Lucy Parakhina
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Snake tower,2016, earthenware, glaze, gold lustre, platinum lustre; MDF, cardboard, acrylic paint, enamel. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Snake tower,2016, earthenware, glaze, gold lustre, platinum lustre; MDF, cardboard, acrylic paint, enamel. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Artist List

Khadim Ali
Zanny Begg
Richard Bell
Gordon Bennett
Chris Bond & Wes Thorne
Matthew Bradley
Gary Carsley
Erin Coates
Megan Cope
Karla Dickens
Atlanta Eke
Emily Floyd
Heath Franco
Marco Fusinato
Gunybi Ganambarr
Alex Gawronski
Ghenoa Gela
Agatha Gothe-Snape
Julie Gough
Alan Griffiths
Dale Harding
Taloi Havini
Gordon Hookey
Ronnie van Hout
Helen Johnson
Jess Johnson
Richard Lewer
Peter Maloney
Nicholas Mangan
Karen Mills
Archie Moore
Claudia Nicholson
Tom Nicholson
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
NellRose Nolan
Raquel Ormella
Alex Martinis Roe
Stieg Persson
Elizabeth Pulie
Khaled Sabsabi
Yhonnie Scarce
Keg de Souza
Simon Ward
Justene Williams
Jemima Wyman
Tiger Yaltangki

The National 2017: New Australian Art opens on 30 March 2017 at AGNSW, Carriageworks and 31 March 2017 at the MCA. Entry to the exhibition is free across all three institutions.

Featured image: Atlanta Eke, Body of Work, 2014 Keir Choreographic Award, Photograph: Gregory Lorenzutti

One response to “The National: Sydney’s major new biennial reveals 2017 line-up

  1. Seasons Greetings to All from the Donald Trump of Australian Art, live from Berlin. On reading that this art event is a “NEW” Biennial I was immediatly reminded to reread On The New by Boris Groys. In that amazing essay and book Groys observes that (I’m paraphrasing): In order to look really new and alive the artwork must first look like every other product of mass culture”. However by now we can also say that to look truly NEW every art work must first look like every other past artwork, especially art from the very recent past, literally yesteday. Because if something was “truly new” theoretically we wouldn’t be able to recognise it. This is why artists are so bound to “personal style”. Their audience demands it.

    Just look at Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran whose work looks exactly like Sterling Ruby but with an exotic Identity added. No wonder the NGA lapped him up!And as for the ever present Justene Williams what can on say about another re re re re run of something vaguely oriental with fans? Come back Malcolm McClaren all is forgiven! Why does “fashion” in art always look so unfashionable….

    Let’s face ut this “new” Biennial is just Perspecta back again. Old model, same old art, same old curators (who really are just Government Art content fillers). I had a chuckle when I saw some 80s “where are they nows” and some oldies who FINALLY made it into such a show after decades of incestant brown nosing and bad art!

    I do hope the art is far better than the truly amateur images Daily Review has used here. And if I here any more about “gender fluidity” i’m gonna yip! Talk about same old, same old SAMO.

    I dunno it says a lot that ProppaNow are the default, go-to for lazy curators wanting some “political”. Now they don’t call it that of course, instead we have banalities such as: “contemporary artists who are engaging with marginal narratives and contested histories, including how these are shaped by uneven power relations and conflicting value systems. Pace Adorno, the ONLY uneven power relations art should be addressing is the power relations inherent in the art system. ANYTHING else is “concerned decor” and Propaganda for the Status Quo. If ProppaNow are so good why after their 10 years existance has Indigenous matters gone BACKWARDS. An unfair qusetion is one way but one must theoretically ask.

    As the the MCA and its “Time” stchick. Let’s truly talk abou Time. Let’s get truly into it. Boris Groys talks in one essay (sorry without my books) about one Russian avant garde group who absolutely rejected what they called “the Bougeois Revolution” and demanded to be able to change their entire beings and leave the planet (or some such fantastic stuff). I meantion this because the MCA has no sense of time at all. The exhibitions by the MCA are totally mired in the Contemporary which constantly rehashes the Past. Comtemporay Art is unable to deal with the Future hence all this Art that looks like all past art. I wager that this “new” Biennial will look like every other Biennial. Contemporay Art demands such. Read Suhail Malik.
    If we REALLY want to break through tme we could go back to Duchamp and the early avamt garde who were as obsessed with Occult, as were many in the late 19th and early 20th Century. This is now a supressed history. Duchamp’ Bicycle Wheel is not just a readymade, Duchamp said it was an “object of contemplation” as he. Would watch the wheel spin. Now we all know that such an effect is hypnotic after a while BUT also a spinning 3D form can become a “portal”, a “Door to Perception” and also a way to summon spirits. All religion utilises such “shaman trickery”.

    But what obsessed Duchamp and many others was the consept of the 4th Dimension. I think Duchamp the spinning wheel may have a link to reaching that goal. BUT we can posit other ways to reach another dimension. We can imagine all of this Mainstream, Government Art as an unreality, an invetion by a small group of the same people with the same props (that’s what art is, just as ProppaNow is Propaganda, its in name sillies). So let totally and utterly REJECT the conventional. Demand your own reality. Demand anither dimension to Art. Demand an infinite number of dimensions for Art that are not safely corraled into the depressing “loop” of Government funded Australian Contemporary Art.

    Imagine if the Biennial was “curated” by a Google Image search. Imagine if al the art was that “sub art” on eBay that that Contemporary Art endlessly “quotes” BUT would never show as art because then thePublic would see that bad sub-art has more to do with “good” art than anyone will ever admit. THIS is the great fear enbedded withing Contemporary Art: that the Public are right and it is all the Emporer’s New Clothes. Image actually using this popular belief and work WITH the Public ad not preach down to them.

    The Mis-Treatment of the 99% of artists is an example a possible portal to the 4th Dimension. All artists MUST demand the right to such HERESIES!!!!

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