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15th Biennale of Sydney: Zones of Contact

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


08 Jun 2006 to 27 Aug 2006

MCA artists

Navjot Altaf, Zarina Bhimji, Calin Dan, Meschac Gaba, Brett Graham & Rachael Rakena, Dmitry Gutov, Mona Hatoum, Sejla Kameric, Amar Kanwar, Hassan Khan, Ruark Lewis, Julie Mehretu & Stephen Vitiello, Hayati Mokhtar & Dain-Iskandar Said, Rose Nolan, Milenko Prvacki, Tawatchai Puntusawasdi, Raqs Media Collective, Jayce Salloum, Imants Tillers, Lidwien van de Ven, Akram Zaatari

Curator: Charles Merewether

about the exhibition

Established in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has grown into one of the country’s most significant regular contemporary art events, providing an international context for Australian artists and establishing a platform for dialogue and exchange through a broad-based program of exhibitions, performances and public forums. The 15th Biennale of Sydney represented a continuing dialogue between people and cultures. Curated by art historian Dr Charles Merewether, it drew on artists from radically different parts of the world working in a wide range of media, and involved a number of sites and venues in Sydney and across Australia.

The concept Zones of Contact formed the framework and organising principle of the 15th Biennale of Sydney, which included a range of artists from around the world practicing in all forms of the visual arts. Zones of Contact was about the spaces in which people live in and move between, the spatial dimensions of cities, settlements, territories, the land and home. The work referred to the temporal dimensions of those spaces, the body, everyday life, places in which people encounter one another and other cultures and sense of self and their histories.

Artists worked through visual and sensory forms of reflection – including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, fabric and stitching, photography, video, film, performance, voice and sound – exploring local and trans-cultural encounters with the world. They addressed the legacy and memories of living within these Zones of Contact which sought to define a space in which the viewer may perceive the contours of an aesthetic utopia.