Four Indigenous curators will join the Australian contingent at the 2007 Venice Biennale.
Indigenous curators – Keith Munro from Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Bruce McLean, from Queensland Art Gallery, and Tina Baum and Simona Barkus from the National Gallery of Australia – will join the 15 other Australian curators and arts educators at this year’s Biennale as part of the Australia Council for the Arts’ emerging and established curators program.
Dr Chris Sarra, chair of the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board, said the Board was excited about the opportunities that await the four Indigenous curators.
‘The Venice Biennale is arguably the most important contemporary art event in the world, and we are extremely proud to support our Indigenous arts practitioners’ participation.
‘The emerging and established curators program complements the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board’s groundbreaking Showcasing the Best initiative in that provides Indigenous arts practitioners with international professional development opportunities and helps strengthen the position of Australia’s Indigenous arts in the international arena,’ said Dr Sarra.
Keith Munro, the MCA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs curator, also participated in the 2005 curators program. He was able see the latest international contemporary art; meet artists and curators from across the globe; work closely with other Australian curators; and experience the vast scale and significance of the Biennale.
Keith Munro said: ‘It was a great experience participating in the establishing and emerging curators program in 2005 as it provided me with invaluable exposure to artistic and curatorial practice on the international stage.’
‘Another important aspect was having the opportunity to link up with other Indigenous arts professionals from around the world and establish a professional dialogue within our respective practices,’ Mr Munro said.
The Venice Biennale opens to the public on June 10 and continues until November 21.