Thursday, August 9, 2012

Here we go

by Stephenie Cahalan

The 18th Biennale of Sydney began on June 27 and runs up to September 16. It occupies five different substantial venues. This means the people of Sydney have had 81 days to scrutinise what we are about to cover in about four. 

I feel like I am going speed dating with art.

We arrived, dumped our bags in our little Rocks pub at 3.30 this afternoon and by 4.00 we were excitedly drumming our fingers on the information counter at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay.
Anything Can Break 2011 by Pinaree Sanpitak,
Thailand
And what a reception we got. From the girl on the front desk, to the beautiful lady in the gift shop searching menus on Cockatoo Island for us at one minute to closing time, we were showered with good jou-jou. A venue open to 9 pm (just like late-night shopping – only on a Thursday), gallery attendants explaining the MCA app, and offering samples to fondle of an installation that we are clearly dying to touch in spite of the stern warnings against doing so.
Really, as a starting point for a large and slightly intimidating event, my first impression of the Biennale is of an open, accessible and welcoming experience.
And that’s before I have even got to the artworks. We’re off to a good start.

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