Saturday, June 7, 2014

19th Biennale at Cockatoo Island - 7 June

Back from the US and one weekend left to see the Biennale at Cockatoo Island (I'd seen the MCA and AGNSW offerings before we left).  I'd already seen enough at the MCA and AGNSW to see why the big time critics were underwhelmed.  I was hoping that the island might redeem it somewhat so I grabbed 2 of the junior critics and hopped on the ferry to try and make a dent in the massive visitor shortfall that the 19th Biennale had over previous versions.

Short answer is no.  Longer answer is I have sympathy for how hard it must be to pull together such a big show, but this just seemed like a large group of random works thrown together.  The junior critics liked the google train (Callum Morton's ghost train, pic above) which wasn't half as scary as we worried about.  That said they preferred the ferry trip!  We didn't mind 'The Village' by some Danish artists which looked like oversized gingerbread houses.  But not much else which is a shame as cockatoo island is a great underutilized venue.  The imagination station where the junior critics made some fun projects was cool.  And I quite liked the Green Light by Kate Daw which was a very literal take on the Great Gatsby, pity it was just stuck right amongst the convict quarters where I reckon less than 20% of the visitors to the island would see it.  Why not the ferry wharf?

Points: 3 for the google train; 2 for Eva Koch's massive video installation 'I am the river' and 1 point for the green light.  See you in two years ...

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