Australia Council seeks Expressions of Interest for 2019 Venice Biennale

Australian Pavilion Giardini della Biennale - photo by John GollingsThe Australia Council has announced its approach to managing Australia’s 2019 national representation at one of the most prestigious international contemporary art events – calling for artistic proposals for the exhibition at the Australian Pavilion in Venice.

The successful artist and curator will be selected by an independent external selection panel comprising national and international visual arts experts with deep artistic and curatorial knowledge and experience. This panel will be chaired by respected artist and academic Callum Morton, who represented Australia at the 2007 Venice Biennale.

Australia Council Chair Mr Rupert Myer AO said he was pleased to announce the approach for 2019 which will expand the involvement of external experts through the Artistic Selection Panel and Venice Council. “This approach will ensure Australia’s representation in Venice continues to be a rich source of exciting new Australian work,” said Mr Myer.

“The success of the project over many years is testament to the leadership and commitment of a national network of philanthropists and visual arts advocates. Many elements of the project will continue with little change. The Australia Council has been the pavilion owner and project manager for many years and will also continue to deliver a professional development program which provides invaluable opportunities for visual arts professionals from across the country.”

“The highly successful public-private partnership model will continue to be absolutely central to realising Australia’s representation in Venice, with advocacy and fundraising led by the Venice Council, an external group of leading contemporary visual arts advocates and distinguished arts philanthropists.”

The Australia at the Venice Biennale project will benefit from input by a diverse and impressive range of external experts. The project will include:

  • the Venice Selection Panel – comprising national and international visual arts experts, chaired by Callum Morton, who represented Australia at the 2007 Venice Biennale;
  • the Venice Council – comprising leaders from the contemporary visual arts community and distinguished arts philanthropists, who will spearhead advocacy and fundraising efforts; and
  • the Venice Commissioning Panel – comprising Australia Council Board members, to provide project strategy and governance oversight, chaired by Sam Walsh AO.

La Biennale di Venezia is the governing body of the Venice Biennale. Australia is a National Participant and one of only 29 countries with a permanent national pavilion in Giardini (Biennale gardens). La Biennale requirements for National Participation now include that the Commissioner ‘will have to belong to the Governmental Authority’ and that they are the project manager.

The Australia Council is already the project manager and will hold the role of the Commissioner for Australia in 2019. In the past the role has been held both by the Council and, most recently, by eminent arts patrons appointed by the Council.

Australia at the Venice Biennale has become an exemplary project which sees the Council bringing together a remarkable group of philanthropic, corporate and government partners who are committed to showcasing contemporary Australian visual arts globally.

For more information, to view and to submit an Expression of Interest, visit: for details. Expression of Interests close on Wednesday 22 November 2017.

Image: Australian Pavilion at the Giardini della Biennale – photo by John Gollings