Biennale of Sydney given a funding boost by NSW Government
Arts Minister Virginia Judge with Biennale Chairman Luca Belgiorno-Nettis
Ms Judge said the funding includes an extra $400,000 that will be allocated in next month’s State Budget to allow the festival to go ahead.
“The NSW Government is committed to making Australia’s premier visual arts event one of the world’s leading festivals of contemporary art,” she said.
“The Biennale of Sydney rivals Sao Paulo, Lyons, Istanbul and Shanghai – and most importantly, it’s free.
“It features 166 artists from 36 countries and more than 150 free public events at seven venues across Sydney.
“Without exception, it will provide access to the finest and most cutting edge contemporary art from around the world.
“Importantly, the Biennale of Sydney drives significant economic and tourism outcomes for NSW and Sydney, with the total economic contribution estimated at nearly $40 million.” In 2008, the Biennale attracted 436,150 visitors – almost 40 per cent from interstate or overseas.
This year’s festival is based on the curatorial theme, The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age.
“This theme explores the affirmative power of art in the face of unprecedented threats such as conflict, famine, inequity, environmental despoliation and global warming,” Ms Judge said.
“Situated in the heart of Sydney, in a land that has traditionally regarded distance as a disadvantage, the 17th Biennale will celebrate the beauty of distance by including art from around the world.
“Recent and new works by Australian artists and international artists will be showcased at Sydney’s leading cultural institutions, contemporary art spaces and heritage sites.”
The event, which runs from 12 May until 1 August, will feature an extensive free program of artists’ talks, performances, forums, film screenings, family events, guided tours and other special events.
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