20th Biennale of Sydney Program: In-between project
Richard Bell often describes himself as ‘an activist masquerading as an artist’. During the 20th Biennale of Sydney, he restages the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy in front of the MCA, providing a space for debate, public conversation and screenings.
Richard Bell’s Embassy opening hours
Thur 12 May, 5.30 – 9pm
Fri 13 May, 10am – 5pm
Sat 14 & Sun 15 May, 10am – 5pm
Please note times may vary
Invited Program Curators (12 – 15 May)
Lorna Munro & Merindah Donnelly
Thur 12 May, 5.30 – 8pm
5.30 – 6.30pm, Next Generation Speaks: Lorna Munro speaks with children (8-16yrs old) from Redfern and Waterloo about their experience with the Redfern Tent Embassy
7 – 8pm, Poetry readings: Introduced by Lorna Munro
Fri 13 May, 11.30am – 5pm
11.30am – 2pm, Weaving with Tjanara Talbot
12 – 1pm, Social Media discussion: The Evolution of activism with Luke Pearson (IndigenousX)
1 – 2pm, In conversation with Richard Bell & students from NAISDA
1 – 3pm, Protest placard making with Trinity, Lorna Munro & Merindah Donnelly
2 – 2.30pm, Key note speech with Nakkiah Lui
2 – 3pm, Pre tour speeches with Ken Kanning, Angeline Penrith & Jenny Munro
3 – 5pm Black experience tour: walk from MCA to Parliament House, leaving the MCA Forecourt at 3pm. (Please note this tour will be photographed)
Sat 14 May, 11.30am – 4pm
11.30am – 3pm, Weaving with Tjanara Talbot
1 – 2pm, Film program and discussion: Cope Street Collective
2 – 3pm, Aceh & Refugee Dance workshop with Suauara Indonesian Dance Group
3 – 4pm, Music & Performance with Eric Avery & friends
Sun 15 May, 11.30am – 4pm
11.30am – Midday, Performance by Vis Sims
12 – 1pm, Film program and discussion: Cope Street Collective
12 – 2pm, Women of the Tent Embassay discussion with Angeline Penrith, Bronwyn Penrith & Jenny Munro
2 – 4pm, Performed exerts from the Fox and the Freedom Fighters with Nadeena Dixon Grovenor & Rhonda Dixon (TBA)
Presented as part of the 20th Biennale of Sydney
This edition of the Biennale is structured around thematic clusters, conceived as 'embassies’, with each venue providing constellations of thought. The MCA is transformed into the Embassy of Translation bringing together selection a selection of works by artists that consider history as one material among others.
On 15-19 March, Richard Bell’s 'Embassy’ was presented on the MCA Forecourt by and for the 20th Biennale of Sydney, with the assistance of the MCA. The artist restaged and paid homage to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy – the world’s longest running ongoing protest that was assembled by activists on the lawn of Australia’s Parliament House in 1972 – providing a space for debate, public conversation and screenings.
The MCA firmly believes exhibitions provide a platform for artistic debate and supports the right of artists to voice independent views and contribute freely to discussions of wider political significance.
The MCA is looking forward to welcoming Richard Bell’s 'Embassy’ back again on May 12-15, and engaging a wide range of audiences with his work.
Image: Richard Bell, Embassy, 2013, Installation view, 20th Biennale Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2016, photograph: Daniel Boud