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Thursday 23 April 2015
Notes to Editors

Launch of the new Australian Pavilion in the historic Venice Biennale Gardens and the inaugural exhibition, Fiona Hall: Wrong Way Time at the 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia


At 4pm Tuesday 5 May in Venice, Italy (EST midnight Tuesday 5th May) the new Denton Corker Marshall designed Australian Pavilion in Venice’s historic Biennale precinct will be officially opened by Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, Attorney-General and Minister for the Arts, with remarks made by Mr Rupert Myer AM, Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Commissioner and lead donor for the new pavilion, Mr Simon Mordant AM, Paolo Baratta, President of the Venice Biennale, architect John Denton and pavilion donor, Cate Blanchett.

In addition to the speeches, a traditional Indigenous Australian smoking ceremony will be conducted by Matthew Doyle, Djakapurra Munyarryun and William Barton.

The new Australian Pavilion is the first 21st century pavilion to be built in the Biennale precinct.  A two level concrete and steel structure, clad in granite, has been designed as a white box within a black box.

The Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts has contributed $1 million towards the construction of the new pavilion.

The remaining costs for the building have been funded through a staggering $6.5million in donations from over 80 private Australian benefactors. Additionally, over $1.2million in sponsorship and donations have been raised to support the exhibition and associated launch events in Venice.

Renowned Australian artist Fiona Hall will inaugurate the new pavilion with the exhibition Wrong Way Time, which will open on Wednesday 6 May, 10.30am (Venice time, EST 6.30pm Wednesday 6 May). 

Curated by Linda Michael, Wrong Way Time brings together dozens of multi-part works created by Hall focused on the intersecting fields of global conflict, world finances, and the environment.  Hall sees in these states, a “minefield of madness, badness and sadness in equal measure”.

Founded in 1895, the Venice Biennale is the oldest and largest established art biennale, attended by more than 30,000 of the world’s leading curators, collectors, critics and media in the three-day preview period, and more than 440,000 in the six month exhibition period.

Nearly 90 countries exhibit within the Giardini, Arsenale and in locations across the historical city. Australia is one of 29 national pavilions in the Giardini.

This year, over 60 Australian artists, a record number, have been invited to present works at the Venice Biennale.

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:  Pre-event images of the Australian Pavilion exterior, key personnel and Fiona Hall and the exhibition Wrong Way Time will be available on Tuesday 5th May, 7am approximately (EST), but STRICTLY EMBARGOED until 12 pm midnight, Tuesday 5th May (EST).

Images of the Australian Pavilion opening and Fiona Hall: Wrong Way Time launch will also be available on request.


For images and interviews, please contact:

Katrina Hall+ 61 421153046

Documents attached: 

Record number of Australian artists invited to present works at the 56th Venice Biennale

Background information: Australia at the Venice Biennale

Background Information: Fiona Hall



Karen Smith


02 9215 9030, 0498 123 541



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