This year’s Fremantle Biennale, SIGNALS 2023, is a festival of site-responsive contemporary art, from dockside dance performances to strobe-lit warehouse installations and a spectacular drone light and sound display, on view across the city from 3 to 19 November.
SIGNALS 2023 includes seventy events and performances featuring over eighty artists, performers, and musicians across eighteen commissions, sixteen world firsts and two Australian premieres – exploring themes of movement and communication across distances, from the ocean to the island.
Program highlights include Paris-based light/sound studio NONOTAK activating the vacant Elders Woolstores, using it as the canvas for their installation performance piece, Satellites. Weaving together the graceful interplay of motion and geometry, vibrant lights will trace infinite circles, creating hypnotic waves that transcend time and space. Meanwhile, Rottnest Island hosts Kooranup, a drone and light sound performance created by First Nations artists Yabini Kickett, Tyrown Waigana, Ilona McGuire, and Cass Lynch.
In an epic audio installation project, The Port’s Call by Tom Supple and Byron Scullin echoes across the Fremantle Port harbour, signalling the arrival and departure of large vessels with harmonic, reverberating soundscapes, beginning at dawn on the first day of the festival and concluding at dusk on Sunday 12 November. And, connecting to Country, The Yellow Bus journeys to Fremantle with its roving, multi-media exhibition, talks, and film screenings focused on Yindjibarndi history and culture. Still Lives: Fremantle by Luke George and Daniel Kok explores seafaring and the movement of bodies through a durational, site-specific performance installation aboard a historic pearl lugger. And Fremantle-based visual artist Sam Bloor brings the Elders Woolstores facade to life, penning a short poem to Fremantle.