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LARGEST EVER AUSTRALIAN CONTINGENT FOR VENICE BIENNALE 2007

Australia’s profile at the Venice Biennale 2007 will be at an unprecedented high with three leading Australian artists newly selected for the curated section of the event.

Photographer Rosemary Laing, video artist Shaun Gladwell and installation artist Christian Capurro have been chosen by Venice Biennale artistic director Robert Storr for his curated section of the prestigious international event.

This is in addition to Australia’s official representation within the Australian Pavilion and at external sites in Venice – Susan Norrie, Daniel von Sturmer and Callum Morton.

Rosemary Laing will exhibit three works from her 2004 series, To walk on a sea of salt. The three photographs, welcome to Australia; 5.10am, 15 December, 2004 and and you can even pay later depict the exterior of the Woomera Detention centre. Trained as a painter, Ms Laing has explored conceptually based photography and performance since the 1980s. She has exhibited extensively in Australia and more recently across the United States, Europe and Asia.  Her work is currently being presented at the Galarie Lelong, New York and the Galerie Conrads, D¸sseldorf Germany. Ms Laing’s work featured in 2006’s Prism: Contemporary Australian Art exhibition at the Bridgestone Museum of Art in Tokyo.

Sydney-based artist Shaun Gladwell will exhibit a new four-channel video installation influenced by the Australian desert landscape. Mr Gladwell’s work critically engages personal history, memory and contemporary cultural phenomena through performance, video, painting and sculpture. His previous work has been exhibited in major national and international exhibitions, including The Mind is a Horse, Bloomberg Space, London (2001) and the Yokohama 2005 Triennale of Contemporary Art: Art Circus (Jumping from the Ordinary), Japan. Mr Gladwell’s work was represented in the 2006 Biennales in Busan (South Korea) and Sao Paulo (Brazil).

Melbourne artist Christian Capurro will exhibit a site-specific installation of works related to his project Another Misspent Portrait of Etienne de Silhouette. The work centres on a Vogue Hommes magazine that was erased by hand by more than 260 people between 1999 and 2004. This five-year collaborative erasure work was shown at nine sites around Melbourne, Australia in 2004-2005.

Nineteen Australian curators and arts educators will also participate in the event through an Australia Council professional development initiative.

The Victorian Government through Arts Victoria has provided support for the Victorian artists – Daniel von Sturmer, Callum Morton and Christian Capurro.

Professor Ted Snell, chair of the Australia Council’s Visual Arts Board said: ‘We are extremely proud that the Australian contingent at this year’s Venice Biennale is the largest yet.’
‘The Venice Biennale is a crucial event to build opportunities for the international presentation of Australian contemporary art, and the Australia Council is committed to supporting it,’ Professor Snell added.

The Venice Biennale, one of the most important critical forums for contemporary visual art, runs from June 10 to November 21, with thousands of the world’s leading curators, collectors, gallery directors and critics attending the biennial event.  The Biennale comprises two sections – a curated show chosen by the event’s artistic director and national presentations chosen by the participating countries.

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