Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster (eds): All Our Relations

Felicity Fenner


All Our Relations: 18th Biennale of Sydney 2012
edited by Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster
Biennale of Sydney, $45 pb, 399 pp, 9780646571997


The eighteenth Biennale of Sydney was premised on the establishment of a new paradigm of conversation and collaboration between the two curators, participating artists, and the exhibition audience. Reacting against perceived disconnections between people and cultures in a modern era of individualism, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue proposed a new model for relating to one another and to the world we share, a model based on empathy and togetherness. Appropriately then, much of the work in the exhibition was aesthetically beautiful, particularly the installations at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Gao Rong’s lifelike recreation in fabric of her grandparents’ modest home in northern China set the craft-oriented tone of the exhibition, each humble domestic item painstakingly embroidered by the artist. This poignant labour of love was not simply a novelty designed to catch viewers off guard (which it did), but a thought-provoking re-casting of the ordinary as extraordinary.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Felicity Fenner

Felicity Fenner

Felicity Fenner teaches at the University of NSW and is a curator of contemporary exhibitions, including the 2008 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.