Brook Andrew named Artistic Director of 22nd Biennale of Sydney

Brook Andrew - photo by Trent WalterThe Biennale of Sydney has announced Brook Andrew as the Artistic Director of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020).

“The artist is at the centre of our work at the Biennale of Sydney. We are therefore delighted to announce the appointment of one of Australia’s most distinguished artists, Brook Andrew, as Artistic Director of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney,” said Kate Mills, Chairman of the Biennale of Sydney. “He has consistently modelled national and global collaboration and the sharing of knowledge in both his artistic and exhibition-making practice.”

“The Biennale of Sydney offers an exciting geographical perspective for debate, controversy and cutting-edge discussions. As we collectively face an increasingly complex future, we are proud to celebrate the substantive, transformative creative practice of Brook Andrew as he imagines alternative visions for the future.”

Brook Andrew’s rich, research-based practice and museum and archival interventions have activated alternative histories and made forgotten stories visible in exhibitions at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Musée d’ethnographie de Genève, Geneva; Musée du quai Branly, Paris; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

In 2012, he curated the highly regarded exhibition, TABOO, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. His distinguished 25-year career was recently recognised with a large scale, immersive exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

In 2017, Brook Andrew was awarded the prestigious Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF) and he is presently concluding an ambitious, three-year-long Australian Research Council grant, Representation, Remembrance and the Memorial. This project responds to calls for a national memorial to Aboriginal loss during the Frontier Wars – a series of conflicts between Indigenous Australians and European settlers from 1788 to the 1930s.

“I am honoured to be appointed Artistic Director of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney in 2020,” said Brook Andrew. “As Artistic Director, I am interested in shining a light on the active, stable and rich preexisting collaborations and connectivity of Indigenous and Edge cultures.”

“I aim to work together with artists, collectives and communities, from Australia and around the globe, to reconfigure the world as we see it and reveal rich local and global rhizomes and unique individual cultural expressions in one place.”

A participating artist in the Biennale of Sydney in 2010 and 2018, Brook Andrew also participated in the 9th Shanghai Biennale and the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial, Niigata Prefecture (2012); 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, and Asian Art Biennial, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung (2015); and the Yinchuan Biennale, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), China (2016).

Jo-Anne Birnie-Danzker, Director and CEO, Biennale of Sydney noted that Brook Andrew was selected for the role of Artistic Director by a search committee which included among its members Dr Sook-Kyung Lee, Senior Research Curator at Tate Research Centre: Asia, London; Suhanya Raffel, Executive Director, M+, West Kowloon, Hong Kong; and Aaron Seeto, Director MACAN Museum, Jakarta.

The Biennale of Sydney also consulted closely with Exhibition Partners Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Carriageworks and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. “Brook Andrew’s commitment to alternative narratives and new understandings of historical legacies will further strengthen the Biennale’s commitment to the rich, diverse communities it serves, nationally and globally,” said Jo-Anne Birnie-Danzker.

“The Biennale of Sydney plays an indispensable role in Australia’s engagement with the world, and a meaningful role in the life of the nation. In 2018, it attracted visitation of more than 850,000, the highest level in the Biennale’s 45-year history.”

The 22nd Biennale of Sydney will takes place in 2020. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Brook Andrew – photo by Trent Walter