Today the Biennale of Sydney has announced its new artistic director for the forthcoming 20th anniversary of the event. Leading the 2016 visual arts spectacle will be internationally renowned independent curator Stephanie Rosenthal. For each festival a new artistic director is appointed – Rosenthal will follow Juliana Engberg for 2014, and duo Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster in 2012.
In her present role as chief curator of London’s prestigious Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre, Rosenthal has produced a host of exhibitions with leading international artists. These include Robin Rhode, Bruce Nauman and more recently, a critically acclaimed retrospective of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta’s work. Rosenthal has also worked at Haus der Kunst in Munich for more than 10 years and was one of three curators behind the national section at the first Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias in Columbia this year.
At this year’s Biennale, Rosenthal presented a curator lecture entitled Performance in Public Institutions, where she unearthed the recent renaissance of performance work and its place in artistic institutions. Her eye for performance practice may indeed result in a broader roster of performance pieces in the 2016 exhibition.
“As one of the oldest Biennales, it is an ideal opportunity to assess what such an event could and should do in a location like Sydney, where so many different cultures and languages come together,” Rosenthal has said on her appointment as artistic director. “I look forward to showing great artists, and to working with a fantastic team to realise a meaningful and relevant 20th Biennale of Sydney.”