98 artists, creatives and collectives announced for Biennale of Sydney 2020

The Biennale of Sydney presents the most dynamic contemporary art from around the globe in venues across Sydney with exhibitions that ignite and surprise people, sparking dialogue, cultivating connections and inspiring action through meaningful, shared arts experiences.

Jota Mombaça, How old is suffering?, 2018, performance. Photograph: Anna Cerato

Announced today in Little Bay, NSW, on the land of the Bidjigal and Gadigal Clans, the 22nd iteration, titled NIRIN and under the artistic direction of Brook Andrew, will include artworks by ninety-eight artists, creatives and collectives to be showcased across six sites: Art Gallery of NSW, Artspace, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Cockatoo Island, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the National Art School in 2020. All in all, an expansive exhibition of contemporary art that connects local communities and global networks.

‘The urgent states of our contemporary lives are laden with unresolved past anxieties and hidden layers of the supernatural,’ said Andrew. ‘NIRIN is about to expose this, demonstrating that artists and creatives have the power to resolve, heal, dismember and imagine futures of transformation for re-setting the world.

‘Sovereignty is at the centre of these actions, and it shines a light on environments in shadow. I hope that NIRIN (edge) gathers life forces of integrity to push through often impenetrable confusion.’

Léuli Eshraghi, tagatanu’u, 2017, performance for ‘Deconstructed Comfort’, Open Space, Victoria, Canada. Photograph: Clayton Windatt

The full list of participants was announced today in Little Bay, NSW, on the land of the Bidjigal and Gadigal Clans, along with an extensive program called NIRIN WIR spanning from the Blue Mountains to La Perouse.

NIRIN, meaning edge, and WIR, meaning sky, is a phrase from Andrew’s mother’s Nation, the Wiradjuri people of central western New South Wales. The program focuses on Sydney as an expansive, global city comprised of vibrant, complex villages, and is a major partnership with the Powerhouse Museum, and a series of activations and creative partnerships with Blacktown Native Institution, Parramatta Female Factory, Bankstown Poetry Slam, 4ESydney HipHop Festival, City of Sydney Libraries, Randwick City Council, tertiary institutions around the country, grassroots organisations and more.

Grounded in connecting communities, the Biennale is also launching a learning program called OUR PATH, uniting an international network of artists and thinkers with Australian children and young people. The program offers a global context to local concerns, celebrating the valuable wisdom that exists in all communities.

‘Each visit to NIRIN will be a new and different experience,’ said Barbara Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney.

‘In the year of the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s landing, art is an essential catalyst for change. Through art, conversations and collaborative interventions, the Biennale will bring together people from across the city, state, country and the world in a safe place to discuss issues that matter.’

The 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020): NIRIN opens on Saturday 14 March and runs until Monday 8 June 2020.