The Australian Pavilion Biennale Arte exhibition opens
The Australian Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2017 presents MY HORIZON, a solo exhibition by the Brisbane-born, internationally acclaimed artist Tracey Moffatt.
Evoking tantalising, open-ended narratives, MY HORIZON comprises two new series of large-scale photographs, Body Remembers and Passage, and two new video works, Vigil and The White Ghosts Sailed In, which use carefully constructed scenarios while drawing upon inspirations as diverse as television news reports, poetry, Surrealist painting, documentary photography, Hollywood cinema and the artist’s personal memories.
Speaking of the exhibition’s title, Tracey Moffatt said, “My fictional characters are seen to gaze out to the horizon line, possibly dreaming of escape, or reflecting on their memories. The title MY HORIZON can be interpreted as wanting to see beyond where one is: to have vision, to project out, to exist in the realm of one’s imagination, or to want to go beyond one’s limitations. There are times in life when we can all see what is ‘coming over the horizon,’ and those are the moments when we either make a move or do nothing and wait for whatever it is to arrive.”
Naomi Milgrom AO, Australian Commissioner for the 2017 Venice Biennale, said “MY HORIZON is an exceptional experience, created with dedication, focus, discipline and a ferocious commitment by one of Australia’s most successful artists. Tracey Moffatt has transformed and activated the Australian Pavilion with her poignant narratives, which position desperate human journeys, border crossings and belonging as global concerns independent of a particular time or place.”
Natalie King, curator for the Australian Pavilion in 2017, said that Tracey Moffatt’s new work sits somewhere between fiction and history, and is redolent with imaginative narratives as she works across photography, film and video in highly staged photo dramas.
“Tracey’s carefully constructed scenarios and vignettes are melodramatic and resonate with references to film, art and the epic history of photography, as well as aspects of her own family history. Journeys and arrivals, occupation and dispossession, colonisation and massacres, loss and longing are alluded to in her choreographed cast of characters. MY HORIZON is capacious, open, expansive and personal,” Ms King said.
MY HORIZON is the second art exhibition held at the new Pavilion of Australia, which was inaugurated in 2015, designed by Denton Corker Marshall and managed by the Australia Council for the Arts. This is the first 21st-century building and only water-facing pavilion to be built in the historic Giardini della Biennale, and is in contrast against the Venice skyline with its black granite exterior and stark geometric silhouette.
Large-scale operable panels on the exterior of the building can be lifted, allowing natural light to stream through the exhibition space and offering pavilion visitors views of the canal. The interior of the building is a 240-square-metre, rectangular, almost square gallery, whose flexible format can be transformed in accordance to the multifaceted needs of installing work by contemporary artists.
The Pavilion of Australia, Giardini della Biennale
13 May to 26 November 2017, 10am – 6pm
The Giardini are closed Mondays (except 15 May, 14 August, 4 September, 30 October and 20 November)