Carriageworks has gone from strength to strength in the past few years. Under the direction of Lisa Havilah, it has given us Chinese artist Zhang Huan’s monstrous Buddha, and Ryoji Ikeda’s explosive digital sound and video piece on quantum mechanics theory, Superposition.
This year, the multi-arts centre took on Bjork’s experimental VR exhibition, and released Nick Cave’s jubilant, rainbow horses onto the streets of Sydney. Naturally, Havilah’s 2017 program has been unveiled with great anticipation.
True to Carriageworks form, next year’s program is a layered and multi-dimensional catalogue of exhibitions, installations, performance, experiences and events.
“We start the year with a really fantastic Sydney Festival program, which has been put together with [festival director] Wesley Enoch,” says Havilah.
As part of the festival, Carriageworks will present a night market curated by Kylie Kwong. Conceptual artist Cat Jones’ olfactory installation, Scent of Sydney is also coming where visitors can participate in finding a precise fragrance to sum up the city.
But Havilah’s top pick for the festival is a new piece by Carriageworks resident, the Sydney Chamber Opera. “They’ll be presenting a new work with Australian composer Mary Finsterer called Biographica,” she says. “Later in the year, they will be performing the Rape of Lucretia, directed by Kip Williams, who’s just been appointed the director of the Sydney Theatre Company.”
“The first major work that we present directly after the festival is Back to Back Theatre’s Lady Eats Apple,” she says. The Geelong-based theatre company’s play will be performed on an inflatable set, navigating human history from the beginning of time until now. It was a hit at the Melbourne Festival this year.
While its major international installations are due to be announced in early 2017, Carriageworks’ has started to unveil the artists it will present as part of the first iteration of The National: New Australian Art. Held in partnership with the MCA and AGNSW, The National is a major institutional partnership, which will exhibit the work of 150 artists in three exhibitions, across three venues, over the next six years.
“Because working across disciplines is really a part of our DNA, we have commissioned works that include performances, and these are mostly new commissions,” says Havilah. So far, Carriageworks’ slice of the 2017 exhibition will include Brisbane-based Archie Moore, Justine Williams from Western Sydney, and Melbourne-based Richard Lever.
In June, an experimental sound festival titled Open Frame: Room 40 will draw together artists operating at the edge of contemporary sound practice. This includes American noise pop duo Xiu Xiu who will perform its tribute to the music of Twin Peaks.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will return in May, and round three of the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair is back in September. Also on the 2017 program is 1917: The Great Strike, a tribute exhibition to the 100-year anniversary of one of Australia’s largest industrial conflicts, which happened to unfurl at Carriageworks in 1917. “We’ve commissioned a whole series of new artworks that respond to the archives in that story,” says Havilah. Artists announced so far to exhibit include Sarah Contos and Will French.
The full 2017 program is now available on the Carriageworks website.