Since late June, the Biennale of Sydney’s 18th iteration has been on display at the various museums around town plus Cockatoo Island, opened up to the public with free ferries and art on display. I got told by my ex exec chef about it being a wonderful thing to do and he went on about this Japanese paper cutting woman being amazing. Turns out that woman is Sachiko Abe and really, all she does is cut paper quietly. Super thin strips of white paper endlessly, in a room. You can watch if you want but all she does is cut paper in a small space. I think I missed her performance because of parking issues but yea.

You can take the free ferry that is Captain Cook Cruises at wharf 6 or pay money for Sydney Ferries to take you over or even a water taxi if you’re feeling rich. The free ones run every 45 minutes or so and there’s really only one boat. The island itself used to take turns at being a shipyard as well as a prison so it’s full of warehouses and old buildings and factory space and tunnels and stuff. It’s interesting to just take a day out and have a picnic there because you get to explore a place that isn’t normally easy to access and free no less. You also get a great view of Sydney Harbour and stuff, which is nice. It’s kinda in between ANZAC bridge and the harbour bridge.

There’s art and performances all over the island itself and I reckon the place is a goldmine for photographers and painters and stuff. The main display building looked like a place you should film some horrible action C-movie in. It was interesting just to be out of the confines of my regular slog. Finally, it feels like there’s something to do in Sydney. I liked one exhibition by Li Hongbo, which had a room full of this colorful paper that had been glued together at points in a honeycomb such that the fan out into larger, 3D structures. The work was called Ocean Of Flowers and you kind of walk through this pretty paper garden until you reach the end, where there’s these wooden crates and some singular pieces that you can touch and then you realise the shapes are all guns and bullets and bombs in 2D. I dunno if anyone gives a shit but it was interesting.

Fujiko Nakaya also had this fog thing called Living Chasm going on. She basically installed some fog machines that go on at certain times over this gorgey passage area that feels like a cloudwalk. I missed it but I snapped a mother bird feeding her babies. Then there was Peter Robinson’s Gravitas Lite; styrofoam chains in a massive display over some old shit in the shipyard warehouse that makes you wonder how he made it until you step up closer. There was this outdoor exhibit of little wooden boxes with stones on top and the drone of what I now know to be bees. They’re like beehives labelled with the various stock exchange acronyms by Alec Finley called Swarm (ASX) that I found kinda corny. Jonathan Jones had 2 things I saw. One was Oyster & Tea Cups which was as the name implies, a pile of oyster shells and English tea cups, a juxtaposition of the natural and local versus the colonial foreign. He also put up some pretty lights in one of the tunnels. A little James Clar-esque.

It runs until the 16th of September and the website has all the deets if you just can’t miss the papercutting or whatever nonsense or you can go to the MCA, AGNSW for more shit.

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