This iteration has been curated by Sebastian Goldspink and reflects the resilience and tenacity of the 25 leading Australian artists selected for inclusion who persevered throughout these uncertain times to make new work. This 31st Biennial riffs on the idea of improvisation – a fitting theme given how we have all found ourselves pivoting.
I particularly like that this exhibition has an intergenerational focus and showcases established and mid-career artists alongside more emerging. A bittersweet inclusion is the work of artist duo Angela and Hossein Valamanesh. Hossein tragically died suddenly in mid-January; the passing of this extraordinary Iranian-born South Australian artist who explored the poetry of Rumi was a devastating loss. For Free/State the couple considered their shared and individual histories with a major installation that Goldspinks says “reflects their love and their art”.
Internationally celebrated artist Tracey Moffatt’s brilliant and tongue-in-cheek voyeuristic film Heaven (1997), featuring male surfers changing in the car park at Bondi Beach, is a highlight. I loved Moffatt’s feminist flip of the male gaze then as much as I do now.
The idea of home is central to the work of Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding, whose installation decolonizes the Victorian architecture of the Redfern houses he grew up in. Golding has also made a great interactive work for kids who are invited to create a design for a superhero cape, inspired by a Batman cape the artist was given as a child. Kids will also love Laith McGregor’s crowd-sourced installation, Strange Days, composed of over 1000 bottles filled with messages of hope that spell out SOS.
I love AGSA’s willingness to commission works that interact with the space – they revere the building but are not too precious to miss the opportunity to present great moments. Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY Lands) artist Rhoda Tjitayi has painted her traditional stories directly onto the walls as a strategy to usurp the Gallery’s colonial architecture and Kate Scardifield has made 10m-long sails for the front facade of the gallery in a work that speaks to future systems of navigation and communication.
It’s on until June 5 as part of the 2022 Adelaide Festival. agsa.sa.gov.au
This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com