30 Oct 2020

NIRIN NAARM Now online | 10–15 November 2020

In a unique new collaboration, ACCA is honoured to present NIRIN NAARM, a week-long online exhibition presenting selected key works from the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, titled NIRIN, under the artistic direction of acclaimed Indigenous Australian artist Brook Andrew.

The 22nd Biennale of Sydney, which ran from March – October 2020, was an artist- and First Nations-led endeavour presenting an expansive exhibition of contemporary art that connected local communities and global networks. NIRIN, meaning ‘edge’, is a word of Brook’s mother’s Nation, the Wiradjuri people of western New South Wales. NIRIN was conceived as a world of endless interconnected centres; a space to gather and to share, to rejoice, disrupt, and re-imagine.  ACCA is delighted to collaborate with the Biennale of Sydney and Brook Andrew to present NIRIN NAARM, bringing the word NIRIN into dialogue with NAARM, a Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung word which refers to the land and waters of the Melbourne area. 

Originally intended to open in July as a physical exhibition, NIRIN NAARM was postponed as a result of prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne. ACCA is now pleased to present NIRIN NAARM as a unique online experience, allowing visitors – not only locally, but globally – to view a selection of video works, in addition to a filmed curatorial introduction from NIRIN Artistic Director Brook Andrew and an accompanying public program with participating artists. 

NIRIN NAARM presents the work of artists from Australia, Aoteroa/New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Haiti, Kashmir, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, USA and elsewhere. It is set against a number of increasingly urgent social, cultural and political contexts and backdrops, such as the climate crisis and devastating bushfires in Australia and Brazil; the current global pandemic; and in solidarity with global activism related to the Black Lives Matters movement, which has underscored local and global histories of violence and discrimination, along with questions of justice, truth-telling, reconciliation and reparation. NIRIN is at the forefront of global movements to centre indigeneity, to reconsider cultural narratives and practices, and to reimagine public spaces, monuments and memory.

Hosted online for a limited one-week period, NIRIN NAARM provides an exclusive opportunity for audiences who may have been unable to visit the Biennale of Sydney to engage with a rich sample of moving image work from the exhibition, as well as a to view the premiere of a highly-anticipated new video by Phasmahammer (aka Justin Talplacido Shoulder), commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney. 

“NIRIN and NIRIN NAARM demonstrate how artists have the power to inspire and lead through difficult global times. There are many turning points in the world right now: come and be a part of this story and immerse yourself, your family and friends in inspiration, change and imagined futures. Melbournians and visitors to Melbourne can discuss issues exploding through the audio-visual power of NIRIN NAARM which is a lens to view the exhibition NIRIN currently open in Sydney.” — Brook Andrew, Artistic Director

Presented in collaboration with the Biennale of Sydney and Brook Andrew, Artistic Director of NIRIN.


Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006
Melbourne, Australia
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For further media information:
Katrina Hall