EMBARGOED: 6 March 2013

Simon Mordant appointed Venice Biennale Commissioner for 2015
Mr Rupert Myer AM, Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts, today announced the appointment of Mr Simon Mordant AM as Commissioner for the Australian exhibition at the 56th National Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2015. The announcement has been made today ahead of the Australia Council’s annual Visual Arts Award ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney this evening.
Mr Mordant is currently the Commissioner for the 2013 Australian Venice Biennale exhibition, which commences in June this year when a solo show of the work of artist Simryn Gill, curated by Catherine de Zegher will open in the Australian Pavilion at the 55th National Art Exhibition. Prior to the 2013 Biennale, Mr Mordant was Deputy Commissioner to Mr Doug Hall at the 2011 Venice Biennale, when an exhibition of work by artist Hany Armanious attracted more than 190,000 visitors to Australia’s national pavilion. “We are very pleased to re-appoint Simon Mordant to the role of Commissioner,” says Mr Rupert Myer. “The Australia Council has managed Australia’s representation at the Venice Biennale for more than 30 years and the appointment of a dynamic commissioner underpins a successful Australian exhibition. The role of commissioner is vital to driving advocacy and fundraising programs around our participation in each Biennale and Simon has an impressive track record in these endeavours.” “Simon’s dedication to the arts is unquestionable and his commitment to the Venice Biennale in particular has been extraordinary,” says Mr Myer. “As Commissioner, Simon continues to play a high profile role fostering international interest in Australian artists.” A committed supporter of the arts, Mr Mordant is the Chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). Earlier, as Chairman of the MCA Foundation, he was pivotal in driving fundraising for the Museum’s major $53 million redevelopment and expansion project. He is currently leading the fundraising for the development of the new Australian Pavilion in Venice. Mr Mordant also sits on the Board of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), the Sydney Theatre Company, the Leadership Council for the New Museum in New York, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Tate International Council and a member of the International Council of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. “I’m absolutely delighted to continue working with the Australia Council to deliver the Australian representation at the Venice Biennale,” says Mr Mordant. “Behind this showcase is an important public/private partnership and I am passionate about continuing to strengthen Australia’s representation at Venice. “2015 will be a very important year for Australia with the planned opening of the new Australian Pavilion - the only 21st century building in the Biennale gardens. The world will be focussed on Australia and I am honoured to accept this role of Commissioner at this time,” he says. The Biennale is considered the most important and prestigious event on the international contemporary art calendar. Australia’s long history of representation at the Venice Biennale began in
1954 with the exhibition of Sidney Nolan’s iconic works, followed by renowned artists including; Arthur Boyd, Rosalie Gascoigne and Albert Tucker. Recent Australian representatives include: Imants Tillers (1986), Judy Watson, Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1997), Howard Arkley (1999), Patricia Piccinini (2003), Ricky Swallow (2005), Susan Norrie, Daniel Von Sturmer and Callum Morton (2007), Shaun Gladwell (2009) and Hany Armanious (2011).

The 2013 Venice Biennale featuring Simryn Gill’s Here art grows on trees opens to the public on 1 June and continues until 24 November. Visit http://venicebiennale.australiacouncil.gov.au for more information Media contact:

Brendan Wall on 0427 689 910 or b.wall@australiacouncil.gov.au

http://twitter.com/auscouncilarts http://www.facebook.com/australiacouncil

The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body

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