Art Week cheat sheet: the ultimate guide to getting your fix

Art Week cheat sheet: the ultimate guide to getting your fix

Mark in diary

Text: Yeong Sassall

Clear your schedule, art lovers. Noelle Faulkner edits the best in show from the enormous Sydney art week program

So you've got your Sydney Contemporary tickets (or are planning to - see our discount offer below), you've sussed out a plan of attack and you've taken heed of our Dos and Don'ts  - but wait, there's more. The proverbial steak knives are coming thick and fast, in the form of a brand spanking new Art Week program.  

For the first time, a heady program of curatorial walks and talks, informative sessions for aspiring collectors, forums tracing the influence art has on pop culture, fashion and society, and of course, killer art parties will be happening alongside the fair. For those with a weak heart or FOMO-tendencies, the list of To-Dos may have your cup runnething over, so here's the Buro edit of the Sydney Contemporary satellite happenings that should give you an epic cross-section of everything that's on offer. Get your iCal at the ready (and maybe some Berocca)... we'll see you there.

Related story: Art fair ettiquette: the dos and don'ts of navigating Sydney Contemporary

Collecting 101

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If there's a subtext to any art fair, beyond the artistic cross-section that's on show, it's the collecting game. That may not mean you need to be a collector, but it helps if you're at least art market curious and one does hope that an art fair will pique many attendees' interests towards what might be out there. If that sounds like your game, check out these events:

1. Art Money's Best Buys under $5000 (11:30am, September 13, free to ticket holders, Carriageworks) presented by curator Glenn Barkley, a man who knows.

2. Habitus: Selecting Art for Your Interiors (12:30, September 12, free to Sydney Contemporary ticket holders): a panel featuring Tribe Studio Architects' Miriam Green, interior designer Anna Trefely and Habitus editor Nicky Lobo.

3. The Other Art Fair's Private View (5pm, September 10, ticketed,, Central Park, Chippendale): a first peek at the other brilliant art fair worth visiting over the weekend, which specialises in emerging and affordable artists.

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4. Post Internet Art: Understanding the New Art Movement ( 5:30pm, September 9, free to Sydney Contemporary ticket holders, Carriageworks): a cool, forward-thinking forum that looks at technology and art in a 2.0 world, featuring art critic Andrew Frost, collector and philanthropist Clinton NG and Google Creative Lab creative director Tom Uglow.

Related story: Must see: Sydney Contemporary art fair hits Australian shores next week

Parties to be seen at

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As with any great art fair comes great parties: in this case, expect a swag of nightly after-dark happenings taking place around the city. Obviously, the Sydney Contemporary opening night (5pm, September 10, ticketed, is the hottest ticket to have, but here are our picks of the lot.

1. The After Parties (8pm, Thursday September 10, free, Redfern): four of Redfern's most beloved venues, The Dock, 107 Projects, Arcadia and The Bearded Tit open their venues for the afterparty, featuring live bands and performance artists at every venue. Outside of Redfern, there'll also be an afterparty at Firstdraft in Woolloomooloo after the opening of Volumes art book fair (7pm, September 11, $5). Side note: The Bearded Tit's co-owner Emma Price and artist Connie Anthes have co-curated the Performance Contemporary program, so the venue will play host to nightly after parties.... just sayin'.

2. Night Cap with Tracey Moffatt: Artists Behaving Badly (9:30pm, September 11, free to Sydney Contemporary ticket holders, Secret Door, next to QT hotel), one of Australia's most talked about contemporary artists, Tracey Moffatt, premieres her highly anticipated latest moving image work. Get there early.

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3. Night Cap With Sebastian Goldspink, Barry Keldoulis, Melissa Loughnan and Joan Ross (9pm, September 13, free to Sydney Contemporary ticket holders, Secret Door next to QT hotel): what happens when you have four provocateurs; the director of ALASKA PROJECTS, Sydney Contemporary CEO and fair director, gallerist and director of Anna Schwartz Gallery and founder of Melbourne's (now closed) Utopian Slumps, and a vibrant, artist famed for disrupting and opening narratives on identity ALL curating a private cinema? Head here to find out.

4. Late Night Laughs with Hannah Gadsby (6:30pm, September 9, free, AGNSW): bringing the LOLs to the state gallery after dark, this comedienne, combined with some bubbles and Archibald viewing, is a fantastic ease-in to the fair, not to mention an on-point antidote to a midweek slump.

From the artist's mouth

Generally speaking, most galleries offer artist talks on the reg and they're a fantastic forum where creatives can talk candidly about their practice and give collectors and art fans a highly personal insight into their work and/or their world. Of course, this week sees a bunch of artists take the floor:

1. Sanderson Contemporary presents Kāryn Taylor (3pm, September 10, free to Sydney Contemporary ticket holders, Carriageworks, Booth C05): visiting from her Auckland hometown, Taylor intends to talk about her latest work and the influence that the principal of quantum superposition plays in her cooly mediative work which explores light, space and time. Fascinating.

Related story: 5 artists you should get to know now

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2. Talent Borrows, Genius Steals - Appropriation in Art (12pm, September 11, free to Sydney Contemporary, Carriageworks): a fascinating talk on the fine line between appropriation and just plain ripping someone off, featuring artist Joan Ross and Sam Leach, as well as art historian and author well versed in post-modernism Rex Butler.

3. KIL.N.IT Experimental Studio (10am, September 12, free with RSVP, 184 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe): a private tour of brand new creative space and artist studios that put the spotlight on one of the fast-growing mediums in art in Sydney, ceramics. 

4. Paper Contemporary Presents Printmaking Demonstrations (various times daily, September 10-13, Carriageworks): from the master print-makers all the way through to the little guys making zines and artist books, these talks look at all aspects involved with print and why it's still an important medium in art.

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Out of the box frame

The fair isn't just about the art available for sale: there's so much more on show than that, with many of the events aiming to get your brain tick, tick, ticking, and your heart beat, beat, beating. Here's the best four of the lot.

1. Vogue Australia Presents The Fashion Forum (4:30pm, September 10, free to Sydney Contemporary ticket holders, Carriageworks): with four of the loveliest people in fashion: writer and curator Alison Kubler, Romance Was Born designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunket, and VOGUE deputy editor Sophie Tedmanson, this forum traces the impact and the power that fashion and art play in the larger cultural zeitgeist.

2. VOLUME 2015: Another Art Book Fair (all day, September 11-13, free, Artspace 43-41 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo, cult-status publishers Perimeter Books (Melbourne) and Printed Matter Inc. (New York) are teaming up to bring the raddest selection of self-published zines, hard-to-find artist-led books, one-off publications, photo books and many, many a limited edition. There's also workshops by publishers, writers, artists as well as film screenings and book signings. Seriously cool. 

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3. Behind the Scenes of the Australian Museum (3pm, September 12, free to Sydney Contemporary ticket holders, The Australian Museum): not just for the kids - explore the depths of the museum with residency artist Janet Lawrence and curator and project artist Victoria Harbutt and Grant Stevens - the incredible specimen restoration, curation and artistry that goes on out the back of the museum might surprise you.

4. Rosie Deacon Performance (All day, September 11, free to Sydney Contemporary ticket holders, Carriageworks): one of the Installation Performances not to be missed is this colourful, absurd and fantastically kitsch artist whose work borders on the line between grotesque and otherworldly will be bringing her technicolour "nest" to the fair. Fun!

Special offer: Sydney Contemporary is offering friends of Buro 24/7 the chance to purchase Opening Night tickets and Day tickets at 20% off. To book, simply enter the promo code BURO990294 here and click 'APPLY'.

Noelle will be taking over the Sydney Contemporary Instagram (@sydneycontemporary) on Saturday 12 September on behalf of Buro 24/7. Follow us on @buro247australia and her on @noelleflamingo.

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