For her first outing as a biennial artistic director, Stephanie Rosenthal (chief curator at the Hayward Gallery, London, since 2007) has adopted the words of science-fiction writer William Gibson as the show’s title and theme: “The Future is Already HereIt’s Just Not Evenly Distributed.” But there is more to Rosenthal’s conceptual repertoire than this warning that not everyone has equal access to the technological advancements of our time. A number of traditional Sydney Biennale venues have been rebadged as fictional “embassies” or “safe spaces for thinking and conversation.” For example, the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Embassy of Spirits) explores different belief systems. The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Embassy of Translation) provides a platform for revisiting history in the twenty-first century. Art located in abandoned industrial sites on Cockatoo Island
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