The Biennale’s major sponsor, Transfield, recently deepened its relationship with the Australian Government’s increasingly cruel and unethical regime of mandatory detention for asylum seekers, by signing a $1.22 billion, 20 month, contract to manage the offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.
Transfield derives significant cultural capital from its patronage of the Biennale. As the Board of Directors of the Biennale has refused to prioritise the concerns of participating artists and insisted on retaining its relationship with Transfield, it is our belief that the art community must hold the Biennale and its sponsor to account.
Plinth Projects Inc. encourages artists and art audiences who wish to see the end of mandatory detention to support a boycott that serves to diminish the cultural value of Transfield’s brand.
We believe this can only be achieved if we act collectively as a concerned community, rather than making private ethical judgements (as the Board of the Biennale would prefer).
Plinth Projects Inc. believes that a collective refusal to participate in, or attend, the Biennale of Sydney, is a powerful symbolic action in the ongoing campaign to bring an end to the mandatory detention of asylum seekers.
Plinth Projects is a not-for-profit artist-run public art program, engaging the empty plinth at the centre of Melbourne’s Edinburgh Gardens in the exhibition of temporary public works.