02 Nov 2017

This content is tagged as Visual arts .


Biennale Arte 2019 New Zealands artist and curators announced

The Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa is pleased to announce Dane Mitchell as New Zealand’s artist for the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2019.

The council is also pleased to announce Dr Zara Stanhope and Chris Sharp as the curators for New Zealand’s presentation.

Dane will create an ambitious new work that will speak to his interest in exploring how different forms of knowledge can intersect across the visible and the invisible.

The sculptural project will be simultaneously present whilst hiding in plain sight. Broadcasts that give voice to invisible realms and phenomena will be transmitted throughout the city of Venice, conveyed by modern and contemporary technologies.

“We are thrilled with Dane’s selection by unanimous decision,” says New Zealand at Venice Commissioner for 2019 Dame Jenny Gibbs.

“Known widely for his innovative and challenging work, Dane presented a strong proposal and we’re excited to have such an original project at this highly influential event.”

“Dane is at a timely point in his rich career, having presented in numerous international and New Zealand exhibitions for nearly two decades and forging strong international support and networks. We are confident this will stand him in good stead for his presentation at the Biennale Arte 2019.”

Eleven proposals were received for New Zealand’s presentation at the Biennale Arte 2019. They were assessed by a Selection Advisory Panel, chaired by Arts Council Chair Michael Moynahan.

Michael says, “Dane’s response to ‘space’ will push the boundaries of what’s expected of an exhibition at the Biennale Arte – continuing New Zealand’s legacy of being an innovative country with a great diversity of arts practice.”

Dane says he is delighted to join this legacy. “I’m thrilled to be selected for La Biennale di Venezia, 2019 and honoured to be part of such an incredible history of singularly strong New Zealand exhibitions in this prestigious context.”

The Biennale Arte opens every two years in May or June and runs for approximately six months. It involves more than 80 countries and attracts tens of thousands of key international curators, critics, collectors and artists to the three-day Vernissage (preview) period alone. It is the world’s largest and most prestigious international contemporary art exhibition, attended by key curators, writers and collectors.

The Selection Advisory Panel for the 2019 Venice Biennale comprised:

  • Dame Jenny Gibbs: NZ at Venice Commissioner 2019
  • Karl Johnstone: NZ at Venice Kaihautū 2019
  • Christina Barton: Director, Adam Art Gallery
  • Tobias Berger: Head of Art at Tai Kwun, Hong Kong (former Director Artspace New Zealand 2003-2005)
  • Nigel Borell: Curator Māori Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
  • Charlotte Davy: Head of Art, Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Simon Denny: Artist and creator of Secret Power for the New Zealand pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2015
  • Jenny Harper: Director, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu; Commissioner 2009, 2011, 2013
  • Leigh Melville: Chair, New Zealand at Venice Patrons
  • Dr Caroline Vercoe: Senior Lecturer, Art History, Auckland University

Creative New Zealand’s financial commitment will be $700,000 over two financial years.

Artists who have previously represented New Zealand are: Peter Robinson (2001), Jacqueline Fraser (2001), Michael Stevenson (2003), et al. (2005), Judy Millar (2009), Francis Upritchard (2009), Michael Parekowhai (2011), Bill Culbert (2013), Simon Denny (2015) and Lisa Reihana (2017).


Dane Mitchell (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Dane Mitchell’s practice is concerned with the physical properties of the intangible and visible manifestations of other dimensions. His work teases out the potential for objects and ideas to appear and disappear, and our ability to perceive or imagine transfiguration. His practice evokes a connection between the sensual and the conscious. It speculates on what is material and explores systems of knowledge or belief and people’s experiences of them.

Dane’s exhibition history dates back to 1999; since 2008 alone he has held 29 solo exhibitions and in the same period participated in more than 50 group exhibitions. He has presented solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally in public institutions in Germany and in countries including Brazil, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, the United States. Alongside this, he has participated in a significant number of important biennales, including Biennale of Sydney 2016, Australia; Gwangju Biennale 2012, South Korea; Liverpool Biennial 2012, United Kingdom; Singapore Biennale 2011, Singapore; Ljubljana Biennale 2011, Slovenia; Busan Biennale 2010, South Korea and the Tarrawara Biennial 2008, Australia.

Lead curator: Dr Zara Stanhope (NZ/Australia)

Zara Stanhope has over 20 years’ experience in curatorial management in lead roles in art institutions in Australia and New Zealand.

Zara is the Curatorial Manager, Asian and Pacific Art at Australia’s Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane), and was Principal Curator and Head of Programmes, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki from 2013 to 2017. Her other experience includes Deputy Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, inaugural Director of the Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington and Assistant Director of Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne.

Her curatorial practice spans more than 70 curated and co-curated exhibitions on Australian, New Zealand and international art and she is widely published. Exhibitions of note include Ann Shelton: Dark Matter, Yang Fudong: Filmscapes (co-curated with Ulanda Blair), The World in Painting (touring Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Australia), Three Colours, Gordon Bennett and Peter Robinson (touring Australia and New Zealand), Slow Release: Recent Photography in New Zealand and 2016’s Space to Dream: Recent Art from South America (with Beatriz Bustos Oyanedel). Recent publications include commissioning editor of Ann Shelton: Dark Matter and Gordon Walters: New Vision and co-editor of Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand: The Māori Portraits.

Zara holds a PhD from Australian National University and an MA from University of London and is Adjunct Professor at both RMIT University Melbourne and AUT University Auckland.

Curator: Chris Sharp (United States/Mexico)

Chris Sharp is a writer and independent curator based in Mexico City, where he and the Mexican artist Martin Soto Climent run the project space Lulu. 

A selection of recent exhibitions includes Against Nature, co-curated with Edith Jerabkova at the National Gallery of Prague (2016); As if in a foreign country, at Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna (2016); A Change of Heart, at Hannah Hoffman gallery, LA (2016); The Secret and Abiding Politics of Stones (2016) at Casa del Lago, Mexico City; The Lulennial: A Slight Gestuary at Lulu, Mexico City, co-curated with Fabiola Iza (2015); The Registry of Promise at La Fondazione Giuliani, Rome (2014), Le Parc St. Léger, Pougues-les-Eaux, France (2014) Le Crédac, Ivry, France (2014), and De Vleeshal, Middelburg, Holland (2015); The 12th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, entitled Le Mouvement, co-curated with Gianni Jetzer (2014); and Manners of Matter, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg (2014). 

He is currently preparing exhibitions at The Australian Center for Contemporary Art (2018), and Le Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (2018). He is a contributing editor of Art Review and Art Agenda, and his writing has appeared in many magazines, online publications and catalogues.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Jasmyne Chung
Senior Communications & Advocacy Adviser
Creative New Zealand | Toi Aotearoa
M: +64 27 838 8868 | jasmyne.chung@creativenz.govt.nz