Leg of Lamb’s Biennale of Sydney Top 5

Jake and Dinos Chapman, 'Two Faced Cunt', card box, pasteboard, newspaper, 2009

1) Jake and Dinos Chapman’s ‘Shitrospective’ at the MCA consists of rudimentary reconstructions of signature works like ‘Two-faced cunt’ cheekily fabricated in grubby cardboard, which somehow makes the shifty subject matter all the more perverse.

AES+F, still from 'The Feast of Trimalchio', nine-channel video installation, 2009

2) AES+F’s ‘Feast of Trimalchio’ on Cockatoo Island is the crowd-pleaser, and rightly so – it’s an epic multi-channel spectacle in three parts loosely based on ‘Satyricon’ by the Roman poet Petronius.   A sexy, thinly veiled critique of consumerism, beautiful people frolic like extras in a souped-up United Colours of Benetton ad until things start to go bad…

Yvonne Todd, 'Goat Sluice', colour photograph, 2006

3) Yvonne Todd on Cockatoo Island.  The Island’s a great venue, but sometimes makes it difficult for the art to hold its own.  Not so with Yvonne Todd’s selection of photographs.  Housed in a delapidated cottage furnished with grubby wallpaper, the site perfectly compliments Todd’s fabricated cast of christians, satanists and clammy pipes.

Jemima Wyman, detail from 'Combat Drag', photo-collage, 2009

4) Jemima Wyman, ‘Combat Drag’ on Cockatoo Island.  Ignore her video and concentrate on Wyman’s three large photo-collages.  Upon closer inspection, the highly coloured skull and mandala shapes reveal minute figures clad in ‘combat drag’ complete with toothy, sometimes double-eyed balaclavas fashioned out of the classic Ozzie flannel shirt.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, still from 'The Two Planets Series', video, 2008

5) Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘The Two Planets Series’ at the MCA is a three-channel video work that involves three groups of Thai farmers, each discussing a painting by Van Gogh, Millet or Manet.  Their observations are frank, often amusing and refreshingly unfettered by art world preconceptions.

Honorable mentions:

Roger Ballen‘s problematic photographs of rural South African communities, Paul McCarthy‘s trashy ‘Ship of Fools’ sculpture, Makoto Aida‘s cutesy apocalyptic bunny/phallus painting, Salla Tykka‘s footage of Lipizzaner stallions, Gunnel Wahlstrand‘s exquisite ink-washed renditions of family photographs and Regina Jose Galindo‘s provocative water-boarding re-enactment.

One response to “Leg of Lamb’s Biennale of Sydney Top 5

  1. so the MCA and Cockatoo Islands are the venues of choice?
    That surprises me because I hate the MCA as a rule and the worst of the Biennale is usually housed in there. Nonetheless I will check it out next weekend. x

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