Fiona Hall to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale

Adelaide-based artist Fiona Hall will launch her installation Wrong Way Time at the Venice Biennale in May.

Adelaide-based artist Fiona Hall will launch her installation Wrong Way Time at the Venice Biennale in May. Weaving together the powerfully intersecting themes of global conflict, world finances and the environment, Hall says the exhibition is a “minefield of madness, badness and sadness in equal measure.” When speaking about her installation, Hall says her ideas often changed daily in her head and Wrong Way Time is about exploring what’s working in the world and especially what is not. “I think the installation brings forth the contrasting values of the pessimistic and optimistic view of the world,” she says. “It opens up discussion about global conflict, world finances and the environment; it explores that through the multilayered meanings within the exhibition.” Exhibiting in Venice will be a first for Hall, with Wrong Way Time to be held in Australia’s new pavilion within the Giardini district at the Biennale. “When I came up with the ‘sadness, madness and badness’ and then Wrong Way Time I had to look at what was happening in the world at the time,” she says. “Stepping into the pessimistic side of my work I looked at war, the state of play and the notion that we have the survival of the fittest in our world. I had to draw on conceptualisations and the history of the world to develop and bridge the pain and suffering of war that I wanted to explore within the exhibition,” she says CEO of Australia Council for the Arts Tony Grybowski spoke at the official Australian Venice Biennale launch at the Art Gallery of South Australia on Tuesday, March 24. He says that Hall’s participation in the Venice Biennale is a “signpost for the creative community of Australia”. “Australia is a culturally ambitious nation and this is a milestone year for the creative arts community,” he says. “The international event held in Venice will not only see the first 21st century pavilion built in Venice, but also see over 500,000 people visit the exhibition through the six months. “It’s a unique opportunity for Australia to be represented by Hall on the world stage at this year’s Venice Biennale,” he says. Now living and working in Adelaide, Fiona Hall came to prominence as a photographer in the 1970s, and in the 1980s evolved her practises to embrace a diverse range of art forms including sculpture, installation, garden design and film. With an array of awards and diverse experience in the art and design fields, her exhibition opening on May 6 is one not to be missed if you’re travelling in Venice at the time. Established in 1895, the Venice Biennale is one of the most prestigious cultural centres in the world. Dubbed the ‘Olympics of the art world’ (the Biennale was established one year before the modern Olympic Games), every second year around half-a-million art and history lovers descend upon Venice’s historic Giardini della Biennale. Running from May until November, it features cinema, music, theatre, architecture and dance displays, attracting thousands of art and history lovers from around the world. The 2015 Venice Biennale will be held from May 9 to November 22 and will feature several Australian artists.

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