Steiner Lenzlinger Souls 2011
Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger, Souls, 2011, collage, 24 x 37 cm.

Artistic Director of the 19th Biennale of Sydney, Juliana Engberg has revealed details for the Asia Pacific’s largest contemporary visual arts event, to be presented free to the public from 21 March until 9 June 2014 at five venues across Sydney.

With more than 90 artists from 31 countries, Engberg commented at an event held at the Sydney Opera House: “At its heart, the 19th Biennale of Sydney celebrates the power of artistic imagination. You Imagine What You Desire is an optimistic biennale that presents an exploration of the world and contemporary aesthetic experience through the inventions and desires of well-known artists, as well as many exhibiting in Sydney for the first time.”

Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney added: “Juliana Engberg is curating a much-anticipated exhibition that will be remembered by audiences for many years to come. We are thrilled to be working with a group of exceptional artists, many of whom are developing new projects especially for Sydney.”

In addition to the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), venues for the 19th Biennale of Sydney include two heritage-listed locations: Carriageworks, a former rail yard; and Cockatoo Island, a former prison and shipyard in Sydney Harbour. The 19th Biennale will also present works at Artspace and include several performative projects in Sydney’s CBD.

Inspired by the exhibition title You Imagine What You Desire, Scottish artist Nathan Coley is creating a new multi-venue work. Known for his thought-provoking text-based installations constructed from lights and scaffolding, Coley’s works will be installed at various Biennale locations across the city.

Budvytyte Choreography for the Running Male 2012
Eglé Budvytytė, Choreography for the Running Male, 2012, performance, 30 mins.

Areas of the city will be infiltrated during the Biennale’s opening weeks with a range of performative works and events designed to alter the sense of the everyday. Lithuanian artist Eglė Budvytytė will activate busy streets with her work, Choreography for the Running Male (2012–14), in which a group of men run through the city gesturing emotions ranging from shame to seduction.

Douglas Gordon Phantom video still 2011
Douglas Gordon, Phantom, 2011 (video still), stage, screen, black Steinway piano, burned Steinway piano, monitor, dimensions variable.

At the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the double-height gallery space will feature a site-specific video installation by renowned Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, commissioned especially for the 19th Biennale. Elsewhere at the MCA, the Biennale will feature the work of acclaimed Scottish artist Douglas Gordon, the first artist to win the Turner Prize in the field of video. Gordon will present a large-scale, mixed-media installation featuring the haunting voice of musician 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.

In 2014, the Biennale takes over the newly expanded space at Carriageworks, with works that explore the language, materials and narratives of the theatre and film worlds from which contemporary artists take inspiration for reinvention.

Artists at Carriageworks include Austrian artist Mathias Poledna; Israeli-born Yael Bartana; and Dutch artist Gabriel Lester. Working on a new commission and large-scale work, Lester will speak to the cinematic and its penchant for seductive illusion using modelling techniques and the unique architectural interior of the space. The Biennale of Sydney and Carriageworks will also co-present the world premiere of a new work by celebrated British artist Tacita Dean.

Artspace returns as a venue partner for the 19th Biennale, presenting work from artists including Ugo Rondinone, Maxime Rossi and Henna-Riikka Halonen.

See the full list of exhibiting artists here.

More: Website | Facebook | Twitter