Biennale of Sydney

23rd Biennale of Sydney

rīvus

12 March – 13 June 2022

Curatorial Statement

José Roca

Artistic Director, 23rd Biennale of Sydney

Paschal Daantos Berry
Anna Davis
Hannah Donnelly
Talia Linz

The Curatorium

 

Rivers, wetlands and other salt and freshwater ecosystems feature in the 23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022), titled rīvus, as dynamic living systems with varying degrees of political agency. Indigenous knowledges have long understood non-human entities as living ancestral beings with a right to life that must be protected. But only recently have animals, plants, mountains and bodies of water been granted legal personhood. If we can recognise them as individual beings, what might they say?

rīvus invites several aqueous beings into a dialogue with artists, architects, designers, scientists, and communities, entangling multiple voices and other modes of communication to ask unlikely questions: Can a river sue us over psychoactive sewage? Will oysters grow teeth in aquatic revenge? What do the eels think? Are the swamp oracles speaking in tongues? Do algae reminisce about the days of primordial soup? Are waves the ocean’s desire?

Participants