Zones of Contact: 2006 Biennale of Sydney

Various Venues

At the start of his catalogue essay for the 2006 Biennale of Sydney, director Charles Merewether states that his exhibition “aspires to be about the ‘now’ of the contemporary, bearing the disjuncture and discontinuities as much as correspondences and transversal movements of encounter and exchange.” Because this is such an ambitious exhibition—the only Biennale of Sydney since 1992 to come with a decent intellectual underpinning, albeit one couched in convoluted prose—Merewether’s claim deserves to be examined seriously. But at a time when the Documenta 10 aesthetic of video and Photoconceptualism with a social activist conscience has become an artistic default for such gatherings, he would need to come up with something more than just another Biennale chosen from artistic documents of forced or voluntary encounters and displacements.

To Merewether’s great credit, the show pretty much passes

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