Melburnians who couldn’t attend the Biennale of Sydney earlier this year can now experience a selection of its key works online.
The week-long program called Nirin Naarm is a collaborative effort led by artistic director and acclaimed Indigenous artist Brook Andrew and Melbourne’s Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA).
The 22nd biennale was named Nirin, a Wiradjuri word meaning “edge”, and was complemented by seven supplementary themes, including dhaagun (“earth”, or sovereignty and working together), yirawy-dhuray (“yam connection”, or food) and muriguwal giiland (different stories).
Nirin Naarm brings those aspects into dialogue with Naarm – the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung word referring to the land and waters of the Melbourne area.
The abridged program was originally intended as a physical exhibition, but was postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. The new iteration will be entirely digital, comprised of video works and a filmed curatorial introduction by Brook, as well as a public program of online events with the participating artists.
The international line-up includes artists from Australia, New Zealand (Aoteroa), Brazil, Canada, Haiti, Kashmir, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, the United States and more. Works range from grappling with multiple global crises, from the pandemic, to climate change, to ongoing racial justice movements.
The program will raise questions of truth-telling; consider warped histories and the narratives reinforced by public discourse, spaces and monuments; and premiere a new video by multidisciplinary artist Phasmahammer (Justin Shoulder), commissioned by the Sydney Biennale.
Nirin Naarm will be accessible worldwide online until Sunday November 15.
See acca.melbourne for more.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with ACCA.