Inaugural Biennale Legacy Artwork Launch

(5.30pm, Wednesday 30 April 2014, Customs House)

Thank you, Marah [Braye]. Hello, everyone, and welcome to Customs House.

It's some years now since the Biennale of Sydney has been widely recognised as a model for all other Contemporary Biennales around the world.

Every two years, its presents challenging, thoughtful and ground-breaking works in venues around our City over its three-month period.

Now we will have a permanent legacy from these great events.

After the last Biennale, Council agreed that the City and the Biennale would work together to develop a significant legacy artwork from each of the next three events - that is, from 2014, 2016 and 2018.

And so tonight, we are launching the first of those from this 19th Biennale, the City of Forking Paths by Janet Cardiff and George Bures-Miller.

An interactive audio-visual tour which starts here at dusk, this evocative and mysterious work blends reality and fiction, past and present and fantasy into a truly unique experience.

It will enable participants to experience our city more intensely, to see it with fresh eyes and to be liberated from the constraints of familiarity.

Janet will tell us more about it in a moment but the tour can be downloaded from our City Art website onto your own smart device. Alternatively, it will also be available from our libraries - 40 pre-loaded devices with headphones will join our collections at the end of this Biennale.

This is an outstanding example of a creative partnership working to enrich the lives of Sydneysiders and to deliver the sort of cultural, vibrant and creative city envisaged in our Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy.

I'd like to thank all those who have contributed to making City of Forking Paths a reality:

  • Juliana Engberg and the Biennale staff
  • The members of our Public Art Advisory Panel
  • Staff of our City Design Unit and most especially
  • The artists, Janet Cardiff and George Bures-Miller for this engaging and inspiring work.