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Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Photo: Ken Leanfore. Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Biennale of Sydney to Resume at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in June

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Australia has announced that it is preparing to welcome visitors back to the institution, following a temporary closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, on Tuesday, June 16. The museum, which was forced to move the twenty-second edition of the Biennale of Sydney, titled “NIRIN,” online only a little more than a week after it opened, will extend the run of the physical exhibition.

“We know many people have been enjoying the digital programs that the MCA and the Biennale put online while the museum has been closed, and now they will have a chance to see it for real,” said museum director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor. She added that the safety of visitors and staff is of paramount importance and that the institution will implement “enhanced health, hygiene, and safety measures,” including installing additional handwashing and sanitizing stations and social-distancing markers so that museumgoers know the appropriate distance that should be maintained between guests.

In a review of the biennial, which was led by artistic director Brook Andrew, for the 2020 May/June issue of Artforum, critic Anthony Byrt wrote: “What was so brutally unfair about the Covid-19-induced suspension of ‘NIRIN’ . . . is that, for those few days it was open, it skewered many of our worst excesses. Without a whiff of tokenism, Andrew foregrounded Indigenous knowledge systems to emphasize the existential truth industrialized modernity has fought so hard, and failed, to overturn: that, despite all our efforts, we are not in control of the future of our planet or, for that matter, the pathways of our own lives.”

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