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09 Jun 2011

18th Biennale of Sydney: all our relations

all our relations
18th Biennale of Sydney


18th Biennale of Sydney: all our relations 27 June – 16 September 2012 Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster, Artistic Directors Vernissage: 26 June 2012


+61 2 8484 8700
+61 2 9368 1617

Biennale of Sydney
43–51 Cowper Wharf Road
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011

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all our relations has been announced by Artistic Directors, Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster, as the exhibition concept for the 18th Biennale of Sydney, 27 June – 16 September 2012.

all our relations
intends to focus on inclusionary art practices of generative thinking, such as collaboration, conversation and compassion. Working from a collaborative framework, all our relations will be a departure from previous Biennale of Sydney exhibitions – the theme will increasingly become apparent through the process rather than being imposed on artists and audiences at the beginning.

De Zegher and McMaster said: ?Drawing on the possibility of the present, the Biennale will emerge from the engagement of all participants by using a model that begins with two curators in dialogue. A changing reality is apparent in a renewed attention to how things connect, how we relate to each other and to the world we inhabit. Rather than one work appearing to link to one or two other works, projects will correspond as if evolving from each other and progressing through the sequence of venues and buildings. Artists will work in a context that allows for mutual recognition and audiences from differing backgrounds will be part of this continual development. The collaboration will take place on many different levels: in co-existence, conversation and juxtaposition but also in purposeful connectivity. Artists, who can often feel isolated in their practice, will come together with neighbouring artists. This interconnection and interdependency will occur in the knowledge that audiences, too, will take elements from the exhibition and connect them with their own experiences.’

Since 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has explored varying terrains and broken new ground in each edition. The 18th Biennale of Sydney, under the creative direction of Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster, seeks to continue this history of pioneering. Major venues for the 18th Biennale of Sydney include the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Pier 2/3 and Cockatoo Island, with other venues to be announced.

Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney commented: ?Sydney hosts one of the most celebrated and respected biennale exhibitions in the world. For the first time, the Biennale has appointed a curatorial duo and their innovative approach offers a new direction for the 18th Biennale of Sydney. We eagerly anticipate the exhibition and range of public programs that will be offered in Sydney next year.’

Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster have recently collaborated at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, where they participated in the re-installation of the Gallery’s collection in the renovated museum building by Frank Gehry. De Zegher and McMaster led the reinstallation of the European and Canadian galleries respectively. They have also worked together on the exhibition Draw & Tell: Lines of Transformation by Norval Morrisseau/Copper Thunderbird (2001) at The Drawing Center in New York.

Catherine de Zegher is a curator and writer, and Visiting Curator, Tàpies Foundation, Barcelona. Until recently, she was Guest Curator, Department of Drawings, Museum of Modern Art, New York, where she co-organised On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century. De Zegher was Director of Exhibitions and Publications, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and, for many years, was the Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Drawing Center, New York. Before working in North America, she was co-founder and Director of the Kanaal Art Foundation in Kortrijk, Belgium.

Gerald McMaster
is a curator, artist and writer, and since 2005 has been the Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, where he recently curated Inuit Modern: The Esther and Samuel Sarick Collection. He was also a member of the curatorial team for the 2010 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto. At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, McMaster was the Director’s Special Assistant for Mall Exhibitions and Deputy Assistant Director for Cultural Resources. McMaster was also Curator, Canadian Museum of Civilization.

The Biennale of Sydney continues to play a central role in developing visual arts culture in Australia and connecting artists from around the world. Every two years, the Biennale of Sydney is presented free to the public over a 12-week period. As the most exciting contemporary visual arts event in the Asia-Pacific region, the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) will celebrate the organisation’s 39th anniversary.

Alongside the Venice and São Paolo biennales and documenta, it is one of the longest running exhibitions of its kind and was the first biennale to be established in the Asia-Pacific region. Since its inception in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has provided an international platform for innovative and challenging contemporary art, showcasing the work of more than 1500 artists from over 83 countries.

For access to media images, or to download the advance brochure for the 18th Biennale of Sydney, visit  

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Dara Vongsonephet
Marketing Manager
T +61 (0) 2 8484 8700  
M +61 (0) 434 932 499

The Biennale of Sydney is supported by: The Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments, the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, the NSW Government through Arts NSW, the City of Sydney, and Founding Partner since 1973, Transfield Foundation.  

The Biennale of Sydney gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the many organisations and individuals that make the exhibition and its programs possible.