Skip to content

Biennale of Sydney opening week symposium

all our relations

This symposium will examine the central proposition of ‘all our relations’, while also exploring the key themes of the exhibition presented across the venues, including geo-politics and ecology (Art Gallery of NSW), notions of composition and compassion (Museum of Contemporary Art Australia), of sensation, mutuality, and healing (Pier 2/3 and Cockatoo Island), and embedded issues such as displacement, migration and identity.


Day 1: Thursday 28 June

Arrive for early entry at 9.30am for prompt 10am start.

10am Welcome to Country and Introduction

A Biennale in Post-Capitalist Times
Keynote Address: Pascal Gielen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Panel discussion: Co-Artistic Director Gerald McMaster with Felicity Fenner, Chief Curator, National Institute for Experimental Arts, University of New South Wales; Professor John Clark, University of Sydney; and Tan Boon Hui, Director, Singapore Art Museum.
Chair: Tony Bond, Director, Curatorial, Art Gallery of New South Wales

12pm: Break

Art as Relation
Keynote Address: Dr Susan Best, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Panel discussion: Co-Artistic Director Catherine de Zegher with Professor Brian Massumi, University of Montréal, Canada; and artists Craigie Horsfield and Erin Manning
Chair: Elizabeth Ann MacGregor, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Postcommodity and John Wolseley in conversation

Day 2: Friday 29 June

Arrive for early entry at 9.30 am for prompt 10am start.

In Finite Blue Planet
Professor Roger Maaka, Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand; Associate Professor Mary Roberts, University of Sydney; artists Jananne Al-Ani, Alan Michelson, Binh Danh, Judy Watson and writer Moira Roth explore notions of relational and cyclic understandings of existence, issues of geopolitics and ecology.

Possible Composition
Professor Roger Benjamin, University of Sydney; Will Stubbs, Papunya Tula Artists; and artists Alwar Balasubramaniam, Lee Mingwei, Judith Wright and Zoe Keramea open up themes central to the exhibition at the MCA – collaboration, participation and co-composition, and embedded issues of indigeneity, migration and belonging.

1pm Break

as above as below
Natalie King, Director of Utopia@Asialink at The University of Melbourne; Yusaku Imamura, Director, Tokyo Wonder Site; and Tan Boon Hui, Director, Singapore Art Museum address notions of harmony, collaboration, dialogue, reciprocity and ‘the space between’ with artists Tiffany Singh, Honoré ∂’O and Yun-Fei Ji.

Stories, Senses and Spheres
Anthony Burke, Professor of Architecture, University of Technology, Sydney and artists Philip Beesley, Ann Veronica Janssens, Jonathan Jones and Fujiko Nakaya discuss the key thematic ideas underpinning the exhibition and notions of empathy and healing that pervade the artworks on Cockatoo Island.

Thu 28 & Fri 29 June 2012, 9.30am–5pm

Free, bookings required

Bookings and enquiries: 02 8484 8718 or

Free, bookings required

Location: Domain Theatre

Related exhibition: 18th Biennale of Sydney