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Sydney Contemporary 2019

Carriageworks' annual art fair features a huge program of performances, exhibitions, tours, talks and openings over four days.
By Marissa Ciampi
September 05, 2019
By Marissa Ciampi
September 05, 2019

Sydney Contemporary is back for its fifth year, once again taking over Carriageworks for an annual celebration of all things art from September 12–15. As is usually the case, this year will be the biggest yet, with over 450 artists from 34 countries exhibiting their work.

The opening night party on Thursday, September 12 promises to once again be among the year's biggest art bashes. On the night, visitors will catch a glimpse of thousands of new contemporary artworks, alongside eight performances — including Tony Albert's Confessions and the premiere of Nell's Ghost Songs for Rock Gate. Not to mention the afterparty, which we, your mates at Concrete Playground, are hosting with Campari at Earl's Juke Joint.

The art fair been been collated in partnership with more than 95 galleries — those include international heavy hitters like Kyoto's Cohju Contemporary Art, Paris's Nil Gallery, Cape Town's Worldart and New York's Flowers Gallery. As far as local galleries go, expect entries from Roslyn Oxley9 and Sullivan+Strumpf, and a focus on Indigenous and emerging artists.

Interactive art also takes centre stage with Australian artist Joan Ross presenting her virtual reality work Did you ask the river?, which depicts an unsettling 3D colonial landscape. Other large-scale installations include Gregory Hodge's Suspension Painting, Michael Lindeman's text-based sculpture Thanks and Alex Seton's carved marble skull Winners are Grinners. Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro have teamed up, too — creating the site-specific Tower of Power, which can be climbed for panoramic views of the fair.

Free talks will be on offer throughout the event, as will performances by the likes of Rainbow Chan, Marcus Whale and Hong Kong artist Movana Chen — she is presenting an ongoing performance series, titled Body Container Container Comes to Life. Paper Contemporary also returns for 2019 with a showcase of modern printmaking, artist books and other works on paper.

And, once you need a break from all that art, head to one of three bars — featuring champagne from Taittinger, Campari cocktails and Handpicked Wines — or to the pop-up restaurants for snack breaks.

Tickets to the afterparty will set you back 50 bucks, otherwise you can check out the fair at your leisure across the four days for $26. It'll be open from12–5pm on Thursday, 12–8pm on Friday, and 11am–6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Check out the full program over here, and be sure to nab tickets while you still can.

Images: Jacquie Manning.

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