8th Biennale of Sydney: The Readymade Boomerang: Certain Relations in 20th Century Art
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Held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Bond Stores 3/4, Millers Point, 11 April-3 June 1990, the eighth Biennale, titled The Readymade Boomerang: Certain Relations in 20th Century Art, began from ‘a trio of Dada originators’: Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Francis Picabia. A large number of artists across generations joined these key figures in Artistic Director René Block’s exploration of the ‘readymade’ in twentieth-century art, which aimed to highlight ‘its invention and pure use by Duchamp, to its resurgence in Nouveau Realism, Pop Art, and Fluxus of the 60s, all the way to new versions by young contemporary artists’.
Pop, fluxus and conceptual artists such as Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton, Joseph Beuys, John Cage, Alison Knowles, Nam Jun Paik and Piero Manzoni were shown alongside Rebecca Horn, Sophie Calle, Jeff Koons, Ilya Kabakov, Allan Kaprow, Jenny Holzer, Robert Gober, Reinhard Mucha, Tatsuo Miyajima, John Lethbridge, Rosalie Gascoigne, Robert MacPherson and Jackie Redgate, among others.
A new venue, the industrial Bond Store at Millers Point, featured site-specific works by artists such as Olaf Metzel and Simone Mangos, and several works were created on-site in Sydney, amplifying Block’s notion of the Biennale as a ‘workshop’. A comprehensive satellite program of music, performance, lectures, symposia, workshops and exhibitions at various Sydney venues complemented the exhibition, with Carles Santos’ piano recital on a barge in Sydney Harbour a highlight. Five satellite exhibitions included On Kawara, Joseph Beuys, Alain Fleischer, Fluxus and Broken Record, which featured artist’s experimentations with audio recordings, vinyl and album artwork – from John Cage’s 33 1/3 composition for 12 record players to Milan Knížák’s record-collages.