Under the artistic direction of Juliana Engberg, the 2014 Biennale celebrates the imagination as a spirited exploration of the world, seeking splendour and rapture in works that remain true to a greater, even sublime, visuality.
At the MCA artworks by over 20 artists will be presented across two floors, drawing on the elements of air and water, as well as the realms of the imaginative and the surreal.
The Museum’s Level 1 galleries will feature new work by Glasgow-based artist Jim Lambie and a site-specific video installation by renowned Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, commissioned especially for the MCA’s expansive Northern gallery. In Rist’s Mercy Garden Retour Skin (working title) (2014), viewers will be able to immerse themselves in a sensual pleasure world created from vivid colour and light.
Elsewhere at the MCA, the Biennale will also feature the work of acclaimed Scottish artist Douglas Gordon, the first video artist to win the Turner Prize, and influential American artist Roni Horn. Gordon will present a large-scale, mixed media installation featuring the haunting voice of singer Rufus Wainwright. The dramatic installation, Phantom (2011), takes the audience on a rapturous journey. Darkness and light, tragedy, and salvation through redemptive love are the ideas and emotions encountered here.
On Level 3, Horn will present Ten Liquid Incidents (2010–12), an installation of ten solid-cast glass sculptures which engages with ideas of materiality, mutability and perception. The meditative work draws on the artist’s ongoing investigation of the weather and landscape, in particular her personal relationship to Iceland.
Bringing together a vibrant list of more than 90 artists from 31 countries the 19th Biennale of Sydney will be presented across five venues: MCA, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Carriageworks and Cockatoo Island.