Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art – Jazz Money On The Values Of The Queer Community

The Adelaide Biennial Of Australian Art at Art Gallery Of South Australia, remains the longest-running survey of contemporary Australian art.

Jazz Money - Image © Rhett Hammerton

As a vital component and highlight of the Adelaide Festival since 1990, the Biennial builds on its reputation and commitment to supporting and celebrating innovative and ambitious practices.

The 2024 event, themed ‘Inner Sanctum’, has been curated by José Da Silva, who describes the idea of an inner sanctum “evoking the private, protected or sacred space we create in our homes and communities, as a refuge and sanctuary”.

The biennial unfolds across free exhibitions of new and recent works, live performances, music and public programmes – all highlighting our engagement with the world and with each other.

One of the artists featured in the 2024 event is Jazz Money. Jazz’s first poetry collection, the best-selling 'how to make a basket' (UQP, 2021) won the 2020 David Unaipon Award from the State Library of Queensland. In 2024 they will be releasing a second collection of poetry and their debut children’s picture book, both with the University of Queensland Press (UQP).

Jazz works across a range of mediums including visual art, film, performance, audio and print – with a practice centred in poetics.

Here she tells us about her practice and what she’ll be presenting in the Adelaide Biennial.

All Our Seasons 01
Jazz Money, born Sydney 1992, All Our Seasons 2023-24, digital print on various paper weights, fifty-two parts, 420 × 594 mm (each); Commissioned for Ace Hotel Sydney as a part of their Artist-in-Residence Program, 2023, Courtesy of the artist and The Commercial, Sydney © Jazz Money

What are you presenting in the Adelaide Biennial?
This Is How We Love is an installation of immersive choral audio. The audio component of the work is a recording of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir singing a song also called ‘This Is How We Love’ with lyrics written by me and music composed by Joe Twist. Originally written as the anthem for WorldPride Sydney 2023 and the song was premiered by a 400+ person choir at the Out & Loud & Proud international queer choir festival in February 2023. In Adelaide, the work will be presented as a series of suspended illuminated fabric sculptures which house the pendant speakers playing the a cappella recording of ‘This Is How We Love.’ The positioning of the work will evoke the enveloping sense of community that singing in a choir brings, while the lyrics speak to the importance of care, friendship and acceptance that are core values of the queer community.

Is there a theme behind your work?
Togetherness, care, love, acceptance and community. In presentations of queerness, often romance and sexuality are centred as being the defining elements of the community, but I think queerness is centred around something far greater than our romantic partnerships. The queer community is bound together by collective care that, at its best, can transcend race, gender, class and religion. These values are important tools that can be shared across all people in our society.

Crush (2021) 0
Jazz Money - Crush
still; Jazz Money, born Sydney 1992, Crush, 2021, single-channel 4K digital video, duration: 3 minutes, 49 seconds, edition 3 + 1AP Collection: edition 1/3. Artbank; Courtesy of the artist and The Commercial, Warrang Sydney © Jazz Money

Who or what has inspired this project for the Biennial?
Working with the assembled choir of queer singers that were brought together as a part of WorldPride Sydney 2023 really changed the way I think about performance and collective actions. As a poet I am quite used to being alone on a stage with my own voice, which honestly, gets a bit boring. There was something profoundly moving about being in the presence of hundreds of people from around the world singing a single set of lyrics, sharing story and rhythm and breath. Since the first performance of ‘This Is How We Love’ I have been eager to work again with a choir and to play with the ways story and community are communicated through orality, rhythm and togetherness.

What does being part of the Adelaide Biennial mean to you?
I am really honoured to be a part of the Adelaide Biennial. It is a huge milestone in my career and enables me to reach new audiences on a national platform. The work I am creating feels like a really significant realisation of thinking I have been developing over my career as someone who works in both poetry and visual art. José has brought together such a beautiful cohort of artists that think deeply about humanity and I’m thrilled to be a part of the line-up. 

JazzMoneyArt2Jazz Money, born Sydney 1992, All Our Seasons 2023-24, digital print on various paper weights, fifty-two parts, 420 × 594 mm (each); Commissioned for Ace Hotel Sydney as a part of their Artist-in-Residence Program, 2023, Courtesy of the artist and The Commercial, Sydney © Jazz Money

This year’s Biennial is themed ‘Inner Sanctum’. What are the places that make you feel safe and comforted?
I grew up with insecure housing and have spent my life moving every year or so. So place has always had a temporal understanding of safety and comfort. Instead, to me safety and comfort comes from the people within a space. My family and loved ones are home, no matter where their bodies may be. That. . . And fresh water. I feel at home in a river that has welcomed me.

The Adelaide Biennial is on at Art Gallery Of South Australia from 1 March-2 June.