15th Biennale of Sydney (2006)
Zones of Contact
Expansive in both curatorial ambition and footprint, Zones of Contact expanded beyond its principal, inner-city venues to other sites, including art centres in south-west Sydney suburbs of Blacktown and Campbelltown, in a desire to reach broader audiences. The scale of the undertaking was equalled by Merewether’s inclusive research process, which included visits to many countries in the two years prior to the 2006 Biennale. Thematically, the exhibition dealt broadly with events, ideas and concerns that shape our lives, as well as our sense of past and future. It explored zones in which people live and move: cities and settlements, the merging and separation of public areas and private territories, and places where people encounter one another. In an attempt to map the world through its artists, Merewether gathered work about landscape and territory, notions of home and homeland, and the impact of cross-cultural encounter. Sub-themes of colonialism, experiences of war and conflict, displacement, migration and mobility in the exhibition played out against experiences of living in an increasingly cosmopolitan, globalised world. A signature work presented at Pier 2/3, Antony Gormley’s installation Asian Field, 2003, occupied the upper level of the 140-metre-long finger wharf, with 180,000 terracotta figures. At the Art Gallery of NSW, daily life was documented by artists such as Fiona Tan, U Sunok and Daido Moriyama, and arresting poster works by artists Ghazel and Šejla Kamerić were visible across the city.
Art Gallery of NSW; Museum of Contemporary Art; Pier 2/3; Artspace; Gallery 4A at the Asia-Australia Arts Centre; Australian Centre for Photography; Blacktown Arts Centre; Campbelltown Arts Centre; Hyde Park Barracks; Ivan Dougherty Gallery; Museum of Sydney; National Art School; Performance Space; SCA Galleries, Sydney College of the Arts; Sydney Opera House: The Playhouse, The Studio, Exhibition Hall; Tin Sheds Gallery, University of Sydney
Artists and Countries