Biennale Archive Stories
Mami Kataoka: An Open Interview with Mike Parr, Djon Mundine OAM and Paula Latos-Valier
This conversation launches an investigation into the Biennale of Sydney’s Archive, together with witnesses and protagonists. Approaching its 21st edition and 45th year, the Biennale considers its role over time, both in Sydney and the region. What can we learn from its achievements and controversies? What is its relevance today?
Paula Latos-Valier has an over 20-year association with the Biennale of Sydney, having managed many early editions working with curators including, William Wright, Nick Waterlow OAM, René Block, Richard Grayson and Isabel Carlos. She retired as Managing Director after the 2006 Biennale and is currently Vice President, Council of the Art Gallery Society of NSW; Chair of the S H Ervin Gallery Advisory Committee and Art Director of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation.
Djon Mundine OAM is a member of the Bandjalung people of northern New South Wales and has an extended career as a curator, activist, writer and occasional artist. He is renowned as the concept curator for The Aboriginal Memorial, first exhibited in the 7th BoS (1988) at Pier 2/3, and now a permanent display at the National Gallery of Australia.
Mike Parr is one of Australia’s most innovative and influential artists. His career spans more than four decades, running parallel to the Biennale’s own history. Parr has exhibited in seven Biennales – first in the important 1979 edition, curated by the late Nick Waterlow OAM; and most recently in 2016, with a memorable action and installation at Carriageworks. Also this year, the National Gallery of Australia presented a significant survey of Parr’s work from 1970 to the present.
Image: Ramingining artists, 'The Aboriginal Memorial', 1987–88, 200 hollow log coffins, natural earth pigments on wood. Installation view (1988) at Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay for the 7th Biennale of Sydney. Courtesy the artists. Collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased with the assistance of funds from the National Gallery of Australia admission charges in 1987.