Image: Tony Albert. Photo by Daniel Boud.
Sydney, Australia: The Biennale of Sydney and the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain have today announced a creative partnership to promote First Nations art. As part of the partnership, the two organisations have established the role of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain First Nations Curatorial Fellow, announcing celebrated artist Tony Albert as the inaugural appointment.
As a Visionary Partner, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain will work with the Biennale of Sydney to further commission, present and promote First Nations arts and culture as part of the Biennale of Sydney program. The transformative multi-project partnership will extend from 2023 to 2027, including the 24th Biennale of Sydney (9 March – 10 June 2024) and the 25th edition in 2026.
For the upcoming edition Ten Thousand Suns, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain will commission 14 new works by First Nations artists, with details to be released later this year.
A Kuku Yalanji man, Tony Albert, is one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists, who has gained international acclaim for his exploration of the legacy of racial and cultural misrepresentation, particularly of Australia’s Aboriginal people. Working across a diverse practice which combines text, video, drawing, painting and three-dimensional objects, Albert has developed a universal language that seeks to challenge and rewrite historical mistruths and injustice. He is recognised for his significant contributions to the arts and is acknowledged industry wide as a valued ambassador for Indigenous community and culture. Albert‘s artwork Healing Land, Remembering Country, was exhibited in NIRIN: the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020).
In 2023, Albert assumes the role of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain First Nations Curatorial Fellow. Throughout his tenure, Albert will work with the Biennale, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and the 14 commissioned artists, collaborating closely with the artists to bring their creative visions to life. He will also forge a significant connection between the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain collection in Paris and First Nations artists and curators, and will contribute to the sustainable support and promotion of Indigenous art and culture in the Biennale of Sydney.
The Biennale of Sydney and the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain previously partnered in 2022 to present the Australian premiere of The Great Animal Orchestra at the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, titled rīvus. The environmentally focused work was created by musician and soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in 2016. The presentation at the Biennale of Sydney included a site-specific version projected on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain First Nations Curatorial Fellow Tony Albert said: “I am so grateful and excited to look at the year ahead as the inaugural recipient of the Sydney Biennale and Foundation Cartier First Nations Curatorial Fellowship. Both of these organisations are visionary pioneers in showcasing and promoting incredible works of art. Indigenous Australian art has a unique identity and position within the contemporary art world. A platform to expand their artistic collection and the development of strong curatorial perimeters with First Nations peoples represents an important and timely partnership. In my hopes and dreams I believe that this partnership will bring outstanding commissions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and curatorial excellence to the rest of the world.”
Hervé Chandès, Artistic Managing Director of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain said: “By becoming the Visionary Partner of the Biennale of Sydney, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain meaningfully demonstrates a commitment to diversity, inclusivity, artistic innovation and excellence. This partnership reflects our belief in empowering First Nations communities to share their truths and underscores the crucial role of listening to their voices as we navigate the challenges of our planet. First Nations artists bring their rich cultural heritage and unique artistic traditions to the contemporary art scene. Their innovative approaches, and storytelling techniques can enrich the artistic landscape and challenge conventional norms in the art world. For forty years, through art and creativity, we aim to promote public awareness of, and foster a deep appreciation for, contemporary art from all over the world.”
Barbara Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney, said: “Art changes everything – the way we think, the way we feel and the way we see the world. And the Biennale of Sydney brings people together to celebrate contemporary art and ideas, for free, for everyone. Because it is our differences that unite us. First Nations knowledge and stories are something to be honoured and celebrated, and this unique collaborative partnership between the Biennale, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and all of the artists commissioned to present new work speaks to our shared values of backing initiatives that create positive and lasting cultural change. We are welcoming people to learn from First Nations people, amplify their voices and the impact of sharing their stories.”
Artistic Directors of the 24th Biennale of Sydney Cosmin Costinaș and Inti Guerrero said: “We are delighted to unveil the appointment of Tony Albert as the inaugural Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain First Nations Curatorial Fellow at the Biennale of Sydney. Tony is an exceptional figure in the Australian art and cultural scenes, widely respected and influential across several generations of artists and practitioners. The uncompromising questioning of power relations and political formulations in his artistic practice have pushed boundaries and contributed to exposing the ongoing effects of colonialism on First Nations people in Australia. This new role marks a significant opportunity to amplify the voices of First Nations artists in Australia and around the world and we eagerly await the impact of his work throughout this fellowship.”
The full 24th Biennale of Sydney program, including locations and full list of participating artists, will be announced later this year.
5 March 2024 – Media Preview
6-8 March 2024 – Vernissage (Professional Preview)
9 March – 10 June 2024 – Biennale of Sydney open to the public
Admission is free.
For further information on the Biennale of Sydney, please visit biennaleofsydney.art.
ABOUT FONDATION CARTIER POUR L’ART CONTEMPORAIN
The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is a private cultural institution whose mission is to promote all fields of contemporary artistic creation to the international public through a program of temporary exhibitions, live performances, and conversations. Created in 1984 by the Maison Cartier, the institution is exhibiting in Paris in a building designed by the architect Jean Nouvel.
The Fondation Cartier’s singular artistic program explores a wide array of creative fields from visual and performing arts to architecture, design, fashion, philosophy, and the sciences. For nearly four decades, the Fondation Cartier has been instrumental in revealing the talent of some of the greatest contemporary artists and has established its museum spaces as a platform where artists and scientists can meet and create projects to address major issues of today’s world. Its collection consists of nearly 2,000 works from a rich and multidisciplinary program. It is a testament to the relationships forged with more than 500 artists originating from all over the globe.
As part of its ongoing observation of the relationship between human beings and nature, the Fondation Cartier has produced collective projects (exhibitions, individual works of art, publications, performances, and public talks) approaching contemporary environmental issues, such as climate change, biodiversity and deforestation. The Fondation Cartier also built a long-term relationship with contemporary artists from Indigenous communities living in Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela or Australia (as demonstrated by the exhibition of Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori’s paintings it presented in Paris and Milan in 2022), and bear witness to the multiplicity of Indigenous languages and cultures. The Fondation Cartier travels the world, partnering with major art institutions and engaging new audiences to discover the works of contemporary artists, and be challenged by their perspectives.
Find out more here: www.fondationcartier.com/
ABOUT THE BIENNALE OF SYDNEY
The Biennale of Sydney is a leading international contemporary art event. It plays an indispensable role in Australia’s engagement with the world, and a meaningful role in the life of the nation. For almost 50 years, the Biennale has been a unifying force in the Australian arts sector, embedding boldly creative art exhibitions and experiences in the everyday life of Sydney and putting the artistic excellence of Australia front and centre on the world stage. The Biennale of Sydney has commissioned and presented exceptional works of art by more than 1900 national and international artists from more than 130 countries. The Biennale of Sydney is committed to free access for all.
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