The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Monday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?

The Biennale of Sydney 2022 Has Announced the First 59 Participants for Its Water-Themed Program

It'll feature artists, designers, architects and scientists folks from six continents and 33 countries — and set up shop by the harbour at The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve for the first time.
By Sarah Ward
April 13, 2021
By Sarah Ward
April 13, 2021

When the 23rd Biennale of Sydney takes over the city next March, attendees will be forgiven for having water on their minds. The returning art event famously showcased Ai Weiwei's 60-metre inflatable boat back in 2018, but in 2022 it's calling its entire program Rīvus, which means 'stream' in Latin.

The Biennale is embracing its titular notion in a number of ways, too. Announcing not just its theme but its first 59 participants for the event, organisers also revealed that it'll use its array of artworks and activities to form conceptualised wetlands and imagined ecosystems. The plan isn't just to feature these watery places in paintings, sculptures and installations, but to "follow the currents of meandering tributaries, expanding out into a delta of interrelated ideas," as a statement by the Biennale's 2022 Curatorium explains.

This year, Artistic Director José Roca, Art Gallery of New South Wales Head of Learning and Participation Paschal Daantos Berry, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia curator Anna Davis, Information and Cultural Exchange First Nations programs producer Hannah Donnelly and Artspace curator Talia Linz are overseeing the Biennale program, which'll run from Saturday, March 12–Monday, June 13, 2022. And if you're wondering what their theme will entail in a practical sense, specific artwork details haven't been revealed as yet; however, the Curatorium advises that the lineup will include "river horror, creek futurism, Indigenous science, cultural flows, ancestral technologies, counter-mapping, queer ecologies, multispecies justice, hydrofeminism, water healing, spirit streams, fish philosophy and sustainable methods of co-existence".

The first roster of participants charged with bringing all of these notions to life spans folks from six continents and 33 countries — complete with a heavy local component — and includes artists, designers, architects and scientists. Yes, that's a diverse range of skill sets, ranging beyond visual arts into other fields, which is why the Biennale has opted for the term 'participants'.

Julie Gough, Manifestation (Bruny Island), 2010. Installation view of Littoral (2010), curated by Vivonne Thwaites, Carnegie Gallery Hobart. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Julie Gough. Copyright © Julie Gough.

Exactly where the event will take place is yet to be revealed, except in one instance, with the Biennale setting up shop by the harbour at The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve for the first time — fittingly given the watery theme.

And if it feels like Sydney only just enjoyed the last Biennale, there's a reason for that. After the 2020 event was forced to take an unforeseen break due to the pandemic, it wrapped up later last year than initially planned.


A4C Arts for the Commons
Ackroyd & Harvey
Robert Andrew
Ana Barboza and Rafael Freyre
Badger Bates
Milton Becerra
Cave Urban
Hera Büyüktaşcıyan
Tania Candiani
Yoan Capote
Casino Wake Up Time
Carolina Caycedo
Alex Cerveny
Erin Coates
Cian Dayrit
Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S Davidson
Matias Duville
Clemencia Echeverri
Embassy of the North Sea
Juliana Góngora Rojas
Julie Gough
Rex Greeno and Dean Greeno
David Haines and Joyce Hinterding
Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe
Dale Harding
Joey Holder
Marguerite Humeau
Aluaiy Kaumakan
Pushpa Kumari
Eva L'Hoest
Mata Aho Collective
Clare Milledge
Yuko Mohri
Moogahlin Performing Arts with Aanmitaagzi Big Medicine Studio
New Landscapes Institute
New-Territories _ S/he _f.Roche
Leeroy New
Wura-Natasha Ogunji
Mike Parr
Marjetica Potrč
Caio Reisewitz
Tabita Rezaire
Duke Riley
Abel Rodríguez
Teho Ropeyarn
Diana Scherer
Dineo Seshee Bopape
Komunidad X Sipat Lawin
Kiki Smith
Paula de Solminihac
STARTTS (NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors) and Jiva Parthipan
Jenna Sutela
Imhathai Suwatthanasilp
Leanne Tobin
Barthélémy Toguo
Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi
Hanna Tuulikki
Gal Weinstein
Zheng Bo

The 23rd Biennale of Sydney will run from Saturday, March 12–Monday, June 13, 2022. Entry will be free, as always. We'll keep you posted on the whole artist lineup and exhibition program when they're announced. 

Top image: Carolina Caycedo, Yuma, or the Land of Friends, 2014, digital print on acrylic glass, and satellite images, 580 x 473 cm. Installation view at the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Museen Dahlen (2014), Berlin. Courtesy of the artist.

Published on April 13, 2021 by Sarah Ward
  •   shares
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter Pixel