Venice Biennale Exhibition comes to the NGA in Canberra

Art Announcement from Australia. Published by anonymous on Friday 13 November 2015.

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) today announced that the installation from this year’s Venice Biennale by Australian artist Fiona Hall will open in Canberra in April 2016.

The celebrated new Australian Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, attracted extraordinary international attention when it opened in May. Fiona Hall was commissioned to be the first artist to represent Australia in the new building with her exhibition Wrong Way Time, curated by Linda Michael. So far the exhibition has been seen by over 250,000people.

‘We are delighted to be able to offer all Australians the chance to see the work which represented our country at this major global arts event,’ said Gerard Vaughan, NGA Director. ‘We are proud to be exhibiting Fiona Hall’s Venice installation along with a selection of her works from the NGA’s collection. We hope this will become a regular feature of the Venice Biennale process, with each Australian exhibit returning to a major public gallery in this country. The NGA is very grateful to the many friends and supporters led by Simon and Catriona Mordant, Susan and Michael Armitage and John and Pauline Gandel who have provided financial support to ensure its presentation in Canberra.’

Established in 1895, the Venice Biennale is the world’s oldest and most prestigious biennale of international contemporary art. Notable for its dual exhibition model, the Venice Biennale comprises both a curated show and individual exhibitions of ‘national participations’.

Australia’s representation at the Venice Biennale began in 1954, and since then 36 distinguished contemporary visual artists have exhibited under the Australian banner.

‘The reaction from the global art community to the new Australian Pavilion has been overwhelmingly positive and I am delighted all Australians will now have access to the work of one of our most significant contemporary artists at the NGA,’ said Simon Mordant AM, Commissioner for Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2013 and 2015 who also led the fundraising for redevelopment of the new Australian Pavilion.

‘The Venice Biennale provides the opportunity to affirm our artistic and cultural identity but equally important is celebrating and sharing this success in our own country,’ said Rupert Myer AO, Chairman of the Australia Council for theArts.

The Australia Council for the Arts owns the Australian Pavilion and manages Australia’s participation at the Venice Biennale.

Fiona Hall has said of her work that ‘The world is such an amazing place,yet sadly we are living in troubled times and that sense is reflected in a lot of the works, as suggested by the title of the exhibition Wrong Way Time. I am really very happy to have this exhibition, created for the Venice Biennale, travel to Canberra and hopefully seen by many people from around the country.’

About Wrong WayTime:

Fiona Hall brings together hundreds of disparate elements which find alignments and create tensions around three intersecting concerns: global politics, world finances and the environment. In common with many of us,Hall sees these as failed states, as ‘a minefield of madness, badness and sadness’ stretching beyond the foreseeable future. Hall’s lifelong passion for the natural environment can be felt intensely in works that respond to our persistent role in its demise, or to the perilous state of variousspecies.

Hall’s seemingly random conjunction of things in a wunderkammer-like installation appeals to our human impulse to make connections, or perhaps a propensity for paranoia born of the deep uncertainty and fear of our times.Yet despite a prevalent darkness, Hall’s exhibition is fundamentally life-affirming, its own vitality in perverse distinction to the subjects it ranges across, which provide rich pickings for Hall’s extraordinary transformation of materials, images and objects.