NZ at Venice 2015 project
Creative New Zealand, Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa is pleased to announce that Simon Denny will be New Zealand’s artist for the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.
“Simon Denny is the most high-profile New Zealand artist in the international art world today. His work is rich, intelligent, and challenging. We are confident it will be compelling in the context of the Venice Biennale.”
– Heather Galbraith, New Zealand Commissioner for the 2015 Venice Biennale
Denny’s exhibition Secret Power will address the intersection of geography and power and the ownership of knowledge. Robert Leonard, one of New Zealand’s most experienced contemporary art curators, will be the curator.
“The Venice Biennale represents an incomparable opportunity for New Zealand artists to show their work on the world stage. It is the world’s largest and most prestigious international contemporary art exhibition, attended by key curators, writers, and collectors, attracting enormous public interest.”
– Dr Dick Grant, Chairman, Creative New Zealand Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa
The Venice Biennale is the leading international event for contemporary art. In 2013, it attracted more than 475,000 visitors, including the 30,000 curators, critics, collectors, dealers, and artists attending its three-day Vernissage preview. In total eighty-eight countries participated—including ten for the first time. In 2015, the Biennale will open on 9 May and run until 22 November.
The Biennale’s national representation operates through a government-to-government invitation. New Zealand’s presentation is managed by Creative New Zealand, Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa, whose financial commitment to Secret Power will be $700,000 over two financial years.
Commissioner: Heather Galbraith
Heather Galbraith is Head of Whiti o Rehua School of Art, in the College of Creative Arts at Massey University, Wellington. Before that, she was a Senior Curator at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, and at City Gallery Wellington. She was the inaugural Director/Curator of St. Paul St Gallery, AUT University, Auckland. Galbraith co-curated Francis Upritchard’s exhibition for the 2009 Venice Biennale and was New Zealand’s Deputy Commissioner in 2009 and 2013.
Curator: Robert Leonard
Robert Leonard is Chief Curator at City Gallery Wellington. He previously held curatorial positions at Wellington’s National Art Gallery, New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and Auckland Art Gallery and directed Auckland’s Artspace and Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art. He co-curated Michael Stevenson’s exhibition for the 2003 Venice Biennale.
Project Manager: Jude Chambers
Jude Chambers joined Creative New Zealand, Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa in 2005. As Manager International Special Projects and Cultural Exchange, she delivers international projects and initiatives. This includes New Zealand’s participation in the Venice Biennale and NZ at Edinburgh 2014, the WW100 Co-Commissioning Fund, and Te Manu Ka Tau (the international visitors’ programme). In her previous role as Senior Programme Adviser, she managed the Visual Arts portfolio and worked on New Zealand’s 2009 and 2011 Venice Biennale projects, project managing Bill Culbert’s Front Door Out Back in 2013.
Other team members
Artist’s Representatives: Michael Lett and Andrew Thomas
Audience and Market Development Adviser: Rose Campbell
Catalogue Editors: Robert Leonard and Mary Barr
Communications (Creative New Zealand, Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa): Helen Isbister, Matt Allen, and Sarah Pomeroy
Content Adviser: Nicky Hager
Assistant Curator: Alex Davidson
(This role is generously supported by Dame Jenny Gibbs)
Designer: David Bennewith
Project Administrator: Cassandra Wilson
Senior Manager, Arts Policy, Capability, and International (Creative New Zealand, Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa): Cath Cardiff
Exhibition Manager: Diego Carpentiero
Website Developer: Christoph Knoth
With additional support provided by Creative New Zealand’s Business Service team.
Attendants will be based in Venice for six weeks at a time to assist the supervision and promotion of Secret Power.