THE second Fremantle Biennale was launched this week, headlined by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde’s first trip to the southern hemisphere with his light installation Waterlicht.
Described by critics as “epic” and “grand”, Waterlicht immerses the audience in a flood of light that is designed to raise awareness of rising sea levels and climate change.
The Biennale will run for three weeks from November 1-24, with 15 new commissions including large-scale artworks, installations, architectural pavilions, performances and group exhibitions across the city.
Ryan Burge and his wife Jenn Garland will be launching their new sound work Sound Marks in the old Commissariat building next to the Shipwrecks Museum.
“Sound Marks is a sound installation that reimagines the sounds of the port from a time when there was more activity there, and from around the city,” Burges said at Thursday’s launch.
The launch of Undercurrent 19, as the Biennale has been titled, drew a huge crowd including the Dutch consul, former Fremantle federal MP Melissa Parke who’s just polishing off a report for the UN on atrocities being committed in Yemen, and Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt.
Biennale co-founder and artistic director Tom Muller said art had always been a fundamental component of Fremantle.
“The Fremantle Biennale builds on this reputation and following the success of our first edition. We are thrilled to expand the program to run for three weeks in November,” Mr Muller said.
“Artists from across Australia and the world will respond to the transience and transitional flow of Fremantle as a port town through a variety of different artistic practices.
“All art forms will inform and be informed by the space and history of Fremantle, whilst also addressing key topical issues of today.”
A major new commission by WA artist Bennett Miller, Behavioural Ecology (Red) will see a series of interventions, installations and live performances that respond to the formal, topographical and historical qualities of the port city.
by STEVE GRANT