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Rivermouth: Selected works from the 23rd Biennale of Sydney: rīvus


Rivermouth: Selected works from the 23rd Biennale of Sydney: rīvus

4 Feb 2023 – 1 Apr 2023

Rivers, wetlands and other salt and freshwater ecosystems featured in rīvus—the 23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022)—as dynamic living systems with political agency. Indigenous knowledges have long understood non-human entities as living ancestral beings with a right to life that must be protected. But only recently have animals, plants, mountains and bodies of water been granted legal personhood.

Developed by guest curator José Roca, Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, Rivermouth builds upon the recent Biennale’s themes and concerns in a new exhibition featuring six of its local and international participants: the Birrarung / Yarra River, Tania Candiani, Jessie French, Gail Mabo, Diana Scherer and Paula de Solminihac. Privileging Indigenous knowledges and ways of being, Rivermouth recognises the importance of caring for Country, waterways and their bird companions, and non-Western systems of celestial mapping. It includes creative collaborations with other-than-human beings and elements, and further considers the potential in cycles of growth, decay and regeneration.

Co-commissioned by MUMA and the Biennale for rīvus, Tania Candiana’s Waterbirds: Migratory Sound Flow, 2022, is exhibited in Rivermouth alongside new and existing works by participants. This is the third commissioning and presentation partnership of its kind between MUMA and the Biennale, and follows previous co-commissions by artists Tania Bruguera (2020) and Michael Stephenson (2018). Rivermouth runs concurrently with travelling Biennale exhibitions at Adelaide Contemporary Experimental (4 February – 18 March 2023); Cairns Art Gallery (18 February – 16 April 2023) and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (28 January – 29 April 2023).

Image: Foreground: Jessie French, The Myth of Nature – agaG1, 2021-2022. Courtesy the artist & Anaïs Lellouche. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from the Australia Council for the Arts and assistance from the Sustaining Creative Workers Initiative. The Sustaining Creative Workers Initiative is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and Regional Arts Victoria. Background: Cave Urban, Flow, 2022 (detail). Courtesy the artists. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from Andrew Cameron AO and Cathy Cameron; and Ana Barboza and Rafael Freyre, Water ecosystem, 2019-2022 (detail). Courtesy the artists & Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Lima. Installation view, 23rd Biennale of Sydney, rīvus, 2022, The Cutaway at Barangaroo. Photo: Document Photography.

Gallery Details

Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)
Ground Floor, Building F
Monash University 
Caulfield Campus
900 Dandenong Road 
Caulfield East VIC 3145
T: 03 9905 4217
W: monash.edu.au/muma

Opening Hours
Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 5pm
Saturday: 12pm – 5pm

Entry is Free

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Gallery Info

The Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the lands where our office is located, and all Traditional Owners of country throughout Victoria and Australia. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enduring traditions and continuing creative cultures. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.