Announced this morning, Tracey Moffatt will be the sole artist representing Australia at the 2017 Venice Biennale, arguably the most important and prestigious event on the international contemporary arts calendar.
With a career that stretches over 25 years, including close to 100 solo shows around the world, Moffatt is one of Australia's most successful contemporary artists. Surprisingly, she is also the first Indigenous Australian to present a solo exhibition at the major art event. "Tracey is one of Australia's celebrated and differentiated contemporary artists, invigorating the art scene both locally and internationally," said Venice Biennale 2017 Commissioner Naomi Milgrom AO of the appointment, who also noted that this appointment was "significant, bold and inspirational. A moment to be celebrated by all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, as it will be by all Australians."
"Last week when Commissioner Naomi Milgrom telephoned to inform me that it was to be me for Venice in 2017 I was a little in shock," Moffatt said in a statement after she was selected a five-member panel that included Milgrom, Public Art Fund director and chief curator Nicholas Baume, Shepparton Art Museum acting director Rebecca Coates, Carriageworks director Lisa Havilah and Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art director Chris Saines. "Naomi and the wonderful curator Natalie King and I will indeed enjoy our Venice 2017 journey together and we three will make sure that we keep up the humour." She continued, "But we three are dead serious about art. Naomi with her collecting and commissioning, Natalie who has worked as a curator for more than half her life and, as for me, I haven't really had a life; I've only had art."
The artist, who was invited to exhibit in the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale in 1997, works predominately in film, photography and video, went on to say she'd already started on her works for new Australian Pavilion in the Giardini.
If 2017 seems to far away, fear not, the Art Gallery of NSW will present Laudanum and other works, an in-depth study of her use of the still and moving image, on from May 28 - September 4, 2016, artgallery.nsw.gov.au.
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