Art is coming to life in Sydney as more than 140 Australian performers
become living sculptures in works by 13 of the world’s leading contemporary
Starting 11 April, the 13 Rooms
exhibition comprises of 13 purpose-built rooms on Sydney’s historic Pier 2/3 in Walsh Bay, each containing a performative art exhibit
directed by some of the most iconic names in contemporary art, such as Marina Abramovic, John Baldessari, Joan Jonas and
Viewers are immersed in the living
piece as soon they step through the door of each room. One work by
Shanghai-based artist Xu Zhen features a person in the centre of the room tilted
at 90 degrees – as if ready to fall but instead frozen in time and space. This
work is a meditation on the in-between status of marginalised communities –
specifically migrant workers – and performers of this piece are all immigrants.
Spanish artist Santiago Sierra’s work features a war veteran standing facing
the corner of the room. The man is still and silent – as if positioned in a
military line – and will not react to the audience in any way.
Not only is the fascinating interactive
art display produced by the Kaldor
Public Arts Projects, an
organisation that creates imaginative projects in public spaces globally, but
it is curated by two of the world’s most respected museum directors: Hans
Ulrich Obrist (co-director of London’s Serpentine
Gallery) and Klaus
Biesenbach (director of New York’s MoMa PS1).
“One of the differentiations of
how art is perceived in the 21st Century is that artists want interaction. In
the old days people would paint a picture and stick it on the wall,” said John
Kaldor, founder of Kaldor Public Arts Projects “Today’s artists want the public
Like all Kaldor projects, entry is
believe in free art, always have,” Kaldor said. “Since the very beginning our
vision has been to bring the latest of contemporary art to Australia. And so
here we have it – a sculpture exhibition where the sculptures go home at
The exhibition runs to 21 April, 11 am to 7 pm.
Leonov is the Sydney Localite for BBC Travel