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Sydney College of the Arts supports Biennale projects


10 July 2012

Maria Fernanda Cardoso's 'Intromitent organs of Tasmanian harvestman modeled after electronic microscope scans', 2008-2009, suite of 9 models, resin, glass, metal, 28 x 6 x 6 cm each, edition of 5 + 2 AP.
Maria Fernanda Cardoso's 'Intromitent organs of Tasmanian harvestman modeled after electronic microscope scans', 2008-2009, suite of 9 models, resin, glass, metal, 28 x 6 x 6 cm each, edition of 5 + 2 AP.

Cockatoo Island is home to three works made with support from the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) for the 18th Biennale of Sydney.

Internationally acclaimed artist and SCA PhD candidate Maria Fernanda Cardoso has built on a body of work inspired by the animal and natural world to create the Museum Of Copulatory Organs. This selection of scientific models and photographs of insect penises, together with a film Stick Insects Most Intimate Moments, On Video, is a substantial part of Cardoso's PhD research. The work is a collaboration with Ross Rudesch Harley. Originally from Colombia, Cardoso has a Master of Fine Art in Sculpture and Installation from Yale University. One of her best known works The Cardoso Flea Circus now resides in the Tate Collection and she has exhibited around the world in galleries such as New York's MoMA and Paris' Centre Georges Pompidou.

Canada's Iris Häussler, a conceptual artist who builds narratives around site-specific installations, was artist-in-residence at the SCA while developing her Biennale of Sydney project.

Häussler's works often blur the boundaries between reality and fiction. While in residence at the SCA she based He Dreamed Overtime on a fictitious former ranger from Cockatoo Island. The story behind her installation, including 73 beeswax sculptures on display at Building 2, describes the sculptures as the legacy of Ted Wilson while he was employed as a ranger on the island. It goes on to describe countless hours spent he spent casting inverted forms, symbolically filling his inner void from a long lost love. The complex artwork gradually uncovers the make-believe ranger's life on the island. The project exists in three components: material evidence created by Häussler at SCA, a website and the ongoing storytelling on site at Cockatoo Island.

"As my project is grounded in storytelling and one-on-one narration, I am extremely fortunate to have students from SCA enthusiastically taking on this role," she says. "They are essential for the project, and one week into the Biennale, we have all had amazing experiences interacting in the most active way possible with visitors."

Taiwanese-born Canadian Ed Pien also developed his biennale work while artist-in-residence at the SCA. Pien's Source is a labyrinth of inter-connected chambers with walls made of translucent paper. It invites visitors to immerse themselves within a complex realm of floor to ceiling paper, filled with drawings and video projections of characters and shadow play. Inuit Nunavut-born Tanya Tagaz lends a unique style of traditional throat singing to Source, creating a sound element within the structure.

The 18th Biennale of Sydney is on until 16 September.


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Katie Szittner, 02 9351 2261, 0478 316 809, katie.szittner@sydney.edu.au