THE 18TH SYDNEY BIENNALE // All OUR RELATIONS // 2012
The 18th Biennale of Sydney focuses on inclusionary practices of generative thinking, such as collaboration, conversation and compassion, in the face of coercion and destruction. With the creation of conditions for an encounter in consonance with our surrounding world, this event brings emphasis to what is already happening at large. Drawing on the possibility of the present, the Biennale emerges from the engagement of all participants by using a model that begins with two curators in dialogue. This matrix of conversation extends to both artists and audiences in a multi-vocal correspondence. All Our Relations relies on these various exchanges, affinities and empathies as its dynamic structure, the vascular and cellular structure and sinew of a kind of living, breathing organism, from which the Biennale’s meanings grow. Artists work in a context that allows for mutual recognition and audiences from differing backgrounds are part of this continual development, finding their own direction in these connections. It is in this altered attention to one another, in the meeting and making of ideas together, that constructive consequence can follow.
In seeking conjunctive energies, this collaboration has taken place on many different levels: in co-existence, conversation and juxtaposition but also in purposeful connectivity. Within this framework of mutuality, recognition and thoughtfulness, disparate ideas – some distantly and some closely related – are brought together in an exhibition process of composition; much akin to the process of thought itself. Artists, who can often feel isolated in their practice, come together with neighbouring artists. Rather than one work appearing to link to one or two other works, an attunement between all creative impulses takes place in time. Projects correspond as if evolving from each other and progress through the sequence of venues and buildings. This interconnection and interdependency occurs in the knowledge that audiences will take elements from the exhibition and connect them with their own experiences. In this shared space, the meaning and consequence of the artists’ works is engendered. First published on the occasion of the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) in the exhibition catalogue titled ‘all our relations’ edited by Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster.