There are many curious ways to fill a day. Shopping for synthetic wigs. Cold calling strangers. Rearranging various objects in your home according to colour, height and date of acquisition. The following photographs are records of another option—not always available to the public but possible for anyone to replicate, at least in part, with the assistance of hired actors.
For one full day, just before the Biennale of Sydney’s official opening, Charlie Dennington rushed around documenting it with other cameramen: news guys with swinging backpacks and patched-up gear and boom mics and black sneakers; journalists from various places (mostly art magazines), swathed in the requisite black Comme and its associated regalia. Dennington got on boats and buses with an impatient media pack, moving from site to site across the city: all of them notebooks out, sizing-up works, making notes, pushing forward. He travelled between public institutions and visual arts centres and former convict penal establishments, documenting artists alongside old and new work.
The 20th Biennale of Sydney runs until 5 June 2016.
This year’s biennale (The Future is Already Here—It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed) has been curated by The Hayward’s Stephanie Rosenthal. There are seven sites, split into embassies of thought, and they’re designed to be fugacious sorts of places, temporal homes for talking and collecting thoughts. (“These embassies … are really about no borders,” Rosenthal told the crowd.) More than 200 artworks have been specially commissioned, and many sprawl outwards, to venues across the inner west region. Below, on that high-stimulation, go-go-go day, is what Dennington saw.
Karen Mirza and Brad Butler