Discover four outstanding French artists and for the first time in Australia
the Fondation Cartier at the Biennale of Sydney!
The Biennale of Sydney is a must-see leading international contemporary art event, playing a central role in Australia’s engagement with the world.
This year’s exceptional 23rd edition, entitled rīvus meaning “stream” in Latin, features rivers, wetlands and other salt and freshwater ecosystems through 330 artworks by 89 artists in 6 different venues across Sydney from March 12 to June 13 2022.
Artistic Director José Roca gathers artists, architects, activists, designers, scientists and communities from throughout the world to question the relation of man to nature and its precious resources.
Four outstanding French contemporary artists are exhibited in the 2022 Biennale: Barthélémy Toguo (watercolor canvas), Milton Becerra (land-art installation), Marguerite Humeau (installation) and Tabita Rézaire (video installation).
In parallel to the Biennale’s openings and for the first time in Australia, the Fondation Cartier presents American artist Bernie Krause’s Great Animal Orchestra. The artist describes his work as « the acoustic harmony of the wild, the planet’s deeply connected expression of natural sounds
and rhythm ».
This powerful audio-visual work of animal voices accompanied by bright electronic signals was projected on the Opera House and can still be seen at the Stargazer Lawn at Barangaroo Cutaway.
FOCUS – Milton Becerra
One of France’s four contemporary artists being exhibited at this year’s 23rd Biennale of Sydney is Franco-Venezuelan Milton Becerra, worldly renowned for his immersive installations suspending objects in radiating webs of thread. As Becerra brings ecology in art, he is considered as a precursor of Land-Art.
The artist’s large installations investigating planes, volumes and tri-dimensional spaces, began in the 1970s as a search for connections between the individual and the natural environment. Since the 1980s, Becerra creates geometric passages connecting pre-Hispanic figurines, semi precious stones and crystals, to question the public about the sacred architecture and energy of the universe.
Milton Becerra’s multidimensional work, Lost Paradise – Vibrational Energy H20, has been especially commissioned for the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, entitled rīvus. The artist prepared his installation through documentary research and a field expedition to the rivers of Glenworth Valley (NSW). There, he carefully selected the three stones which appear weightless as they are tightly sustained by countless nylon fibers of Australian myriad thread resembling luminous rays.
The lines radiating from the objects simulate orbits, creating tangible vibrations and subtle sounds. “The superimposition of lines by the repetition of a gesture that I have called ‘Eurythmy’ is an action that creates an ‘energy field’ that is centered on the stones and extends through them embracing their surroundings, to infinity”, says the artist.
Milton Becerra sought to use exclusively Australian materials, which forced him out of his comfort zone as he explored colors and textures never used before. He describes his quest to achieve “forms that come from space-time sources, as diverse as they are distant, that converge in a relation to each other and reflect the prodigious framework of the universe”.
Lost Paradise is commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with the assistance of the Embassy of France in Australia and the Institut Français and can be admired at the Museum of Contemporary Art until June 13th 2022.
FOCUS – Barthélémy Toguo
This year’s 23rd Biennale of Sydney exhibits four outstanding French contemporary artists, amongst which Barthélémy Toguo. Born in Cameroon and based in both Paris and Bandjoun, Toguo is a cross-border engaged and powerful artist, currently on the forefront of the contemporary art scene.
Through painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, performance and installation, Toguo addresses enduring and burning geopolitical issues, such as borders, exile and the struggle for natural resources. The notion of belonging, which stems from his dual French/Cameroonian nationality, is central to his work.
Inspired by the 23rd Biennale of Sydney’s title, rīvus, meaning “stream” in Latin, Barthélémy Toguo’s watercolor art piece, The Generous Water Giant, represents a human body whose belly bursts out water droplets which are gathered within multiple human hands. “This sort of Gulliver crosses the five parts of the canvas which represent for me the continents of the Earth”, Toguo says.
The painting highlights the importance of reinforcing solidarity and community-building, especially when it comes to sharing precious resources such as water. Through poetic, hopeful and figurative gestures connecting nature with the human body, the artist depicts both ecological and societal implications.
Barthélémy Toguo’s canvas is commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with the assistance of the Embassy of France in Australia and l’Institut français and can be admired at the Museum of Contemporary Art until June 13th 2022.
For more information, visit the Biennale of Sydney’s website.