The COFA graduates dominating Australia's representation at the world's most prestigious art exhibition have finally revealed their works to an international audience in Venice.
The Australian exhibits at the 53rd Venice Biennale have been officially launched, with artists working around the clock to finalise their works for the arrival of the expected 30,000-strong audience.
Master of Arts graduate Shaun Gladwell revealed his compelling MADDESTMAXIMVS series at the Australian Pavilion.
The work is a suite of five thematically interrelated videos with sculptural and photographic elements, influenced by outback Australian landscapes and the iconic Mad Max movies.
The V8 Interceptor Car (pictured) featured in Interceptor Surf Sequence will be parked outside the Australia Pavilion. The car, still covered in red desert sand gathered during location filming, will be the first thing viewer's encounter when visiting Gladwell's exhibition.
COFA graduates Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro are part of a satellite Australian group exhibition, Once Removed, curated by COFA academic Felicity Fenner.
Claire and Sean's installation is a five-metre tower of 195,774 video tapes commandeering a 16th century church at a convent in Venice's Castello district.
Installing the artwork has been a challenging process for Healy and Cordeiro. The monumental piece contains 30 tonnes of video cassettes, many of which were glued into small cubes in Sydney, shipped to Europe and transported to the chapel using small canal boats. The remaining collection was constructed on-site in Venice.
Commissioner for the Australian delegation at the Venice Biennale, Doug Hall, commended the artists.
"Our congratulations go to Shaun and his team as well as Felicity and the Once
Removed artists on presenting such challenging, diverse and compelling works that we are confident will invoke a strong positive response from international audiences," he said.
COFA academics and students have also played a significant role in developing the Venice Biennale 2009 Education Resource.
Two academics from the School of Art History and Art Education, Kim Snepvangers and Dr Gay McDonald, mentored six COFA students in researching and writing the education resource, which includes: video interviews with the artists and Felicity Fenner; a National Schools Project encouraging art-making and exhibition development; and a Facebook page and visual resource to be distributed to 12,000 schools nationally.
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