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16th Biennale of Sydney: Revolutions - Forms That Turn

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


18 Jun 2008 to 07 Sep 2008

MCA Artists

Ibon Aranberri, Mary Kelly/Kelly Barrie, Christoph Büchel, Chris Burden, Alexander Calder, John Cage, Agustin Victor Casasola, Maurizio Cattelan, Attila Csorgo, Guy Debord, Simon Denny, Sam Durant, Olafur Eliasson, Luciano Fabro, Geoffrey Farmer, León Ferrari, Yevgeniy Fiks, Destiny Deacon/Virginia Fraser, Dora Garcia, Simryn Gill, Rodney Graham, Natascha-Sadr Haghighian, Anawana Haloba, Tracey Moffatt/Gary Hillberg, Isidore Isou, Joan Jonas, Rosemary Laing, Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida, Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, Ana Prvacki, László Maholy-Nagy, David Medalla, Mario Merz, Tina Modotti, Reinhard Mucha, Giuseppe Penone, Georgy Petrusov, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Man Ray, Alexander Rodchenko, Julie Rrap, Sharmila Samant, Hans Schabus, Tony Schwensen, Vivan Sundaram, Miroslav Tichý, Tamy Ben Tor, Lawrence Weiner, Wolman

Curator: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

about the exhibition

The 16th Biennale of Sydney: Revolutions – Forms That Turn explored the impulse to revolt, change and see the world differently. Through installations, films, texts, an evolving online venue, conversations, performances and other events, Revolutions – Forms That Turn sought to acknowledge the human desire for change and explore how the actions of artists and individuals disrupt and transform.

The exhibition included both historical and commissioned works and presented influential and prolific artists of the past alongside contemporary Australian and International artists. Many works in the exhibition were participatory and encouraged viewers to step inside art and discover new ways of looking and thinking about life today. Movement was also a strong feature in the exhibition – works turned, spun, moved in reverse, made noise and blew up.

The artworks exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art ranged from key early moving sculptures, such as those made by Alexander Rodchenko in the early twentieth century, Alexander Calder’s mobiles from 1945 and León Ferrari’s work Western Christian Civilization, which reflected on the relationship between art and power and was censored when it first appeared in Buenos Aires in 1965. More recent examples of mobiles presented included works by contemporary artists Olafur Eliasson and Maurizio Cattelan.

Other artworks included projects that explored the mirror image, such as Giuseppe Penone’s Rovesciare i propri occhi (To Reverse One’s Eyes), Michelangelo Pistoletto’s La capriola (The Somersault), Miroslav Tichý’s photographs as a reflection of the world around him and Dora Garcia’s Fahrenheit 451 (1967) – a novel printed in reverse.