Arts & Entertainment

19TH Biennale of Sydney

'Manners, Habits, and Other Received Ideas' by Hadley+Maxwell, photo: Gunther Hang

Australia’s biggest contemporary visual arts festival, the Biennale of Sydney, will kick off on March 21st. The festival, held every two years, will exhibit artworks across Sydney from both local and international contemporary artists. The three-month long festival will also host artist talks, forums, film screenings, family days, performances, guided tours, and other special events.

Two Berlin-based international artists, Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens, will exhibit their installation, entitled Manners, Habits, and Other Received Ideas, at Carriageworks in Redfern.

“It’s our first artwork with the Sydney Biennale and it’s our first time in Australia,” Maxwell Stephens says. “We really enjoy it here, the climate is particularly amazing.”

Howes and Stephens’ installation features sculptures made using a black aluminium foil normally used for cinematic lighting effects, called Cinefoil. When pressed onto other sculptures Cinefoil forms a temporary skin over the sculpture. When removed the impression of the absent sculpture remains on the Cinefoil. The artists use these impressions to create the final sculptures.

“We look especially at gestures, symbols of power, symbols of status and different criteria like this,” Stephens says. “We have collected this huge inventory and from that inventory we make new structures. It’s the largest use of the material and we’ve evolved from human figures into architecture, so it’s a step forward for us.”

Howes and Stephens have been working together since 1997. They see the Biennale as important for sharing artistic ideas between artists.

“It’s like the equivalent of a conference,” Stephens says. “It’s this exchange between international artists and artists from Australia.”

The 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire begins with a launch party on March 20th at the Australian Technology Park, organised by The Events Authority. Tickets for the opening night party are $150. (FM)

Mar 21-Jun 9, various venues, free, biennaleofsydney.com.au

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