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Biennale Debate Launches Dynamic Summer Programme

Media Release
3 December 2003

Biennale debate launches dynamic summer programme

Biennales: do we need them? is the latest topic in the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery's annual Summer Forum following the opening of its dynamic summer exhibition programme on Saturday December 13.

The forum, to be held on Sunday 14 December at 12.00 midday, will feature a panel of leading visual arts speakers including the General Manager of the prestigious Biennale of Sydney Paula Latos-Valier.

The Sydney Biennale was launched in 1973 as one of only four in the world. Recently dozens of these international biennale exhibitions have spread around the globe to locations as diverse as Brisbane, Dakar in Senegal and Gwang-ju in Korea and Vilnius. There are many views as to what this trend represents.

"Are biennales a model exhibition in the age of globalisation? Should New Zealand participate in these events? Do biennales benefit artists or do they advance curatorial, national, and art-market interests? These are some of the questions the panellists will debate," said Gallery Director and forum moderator Greg Burke. "

The forum takes account of the fact that artist Mladin Bizumic is exhibiting a project at the Gallery entitled Fiji Biennale Pavilions which proposes somewhat ironically a major new international art show in the tropical setting of Fiji.

"It also acknowledges our major new international exhibition Bloom: mutation, toxicity and the sublime and the fact that six works by the participating artists have been presented in recent international biennales," said Mr Burke

Along with Greg Burke and Paula Latos-Valier, Rob Garrett, Manager of Art Services at Creative New Zealand and artists Mladen Bizumic and Jacqueline Fraser will participate in the forum.

Greg Burke will give an overview on the history of New Zealand's involvement in Biennales and the role of the curator in the context of different biennale models while Paula Latos-Valier will speak about the Biennale of Sydney and its impact on Australian art since its inception in 1973.

Rob Garrett will speak on what participation in major biennales, including presenting a national pavilion at Venice, means to New Zealand's national funding and advocacy body Creative New Zealand. Mladen Bizumic will provide critical insight into his Fiji Biennale Pavilions project and question the relevance of the Biennale model to the South Pacific and New Zealand while Jacqueline Fraser will chart the shift in the reception of her work after participation in major events such as the 2001 Venice Biennale.

Following the forum discussion, Australian artist Hany Armanious, and European based New Zealand artists Denise Kum and David Hatcher will talk on their works in the exhibition Bloom: mutation, toxicity and the sublime at 2.00pm.

Summer Forum: Biennales: do we need them? 12.00pm Sunday 14 December Govett-Brewster Art Gallery


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