Still from The City of Ladies (forthcoming) a filmic exploration of one of the earliest feminist texts written in 1402.

Contact: zanny.b[at]gmail.com.

Zanny Begg is a Sydney based artist and film maker who is interested in exploring the archeology of contested history/ies and the architecture of social change. She works with film, drawing and installation to explore ways in which we can live and be in the world differently: this has included working with macro-political themes, such as alte-globalization protests, and in micro-political worlds, such as with kids in prison. She is the 2016 winner of the Incinerator Art Award, Art for Social Change. Zanny has a young daughter and lives in Fairfield, Sydney.

Zanny’s films have screened at Antenna Documentary Film Festival (2014, 2015 and 2016), FILMETS Babalona Film Festival, Barcelona (2014), Diagonale Film Festival Graz (2013), Ok Video Festival, Jakarta (2013), Artspace Sydney (2012) Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (2012) the Berlin Biennial (2012), eva International, Limerick Biennial of Visual Art (2012), Sharjah Biennale, United Arab Emirates (2011) and the Taipei Biennial (2008). Her recent exhibitions include Little Baghdad, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Fairfield, 2015, Utopia Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom, the Secession, Vienna, 2014 and Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, 2015, The List, Campbeltown Arts Centre, 2014, Things Fall Apart, Artspace Sydney, 2012, Social Networking, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, 2012, What Keeps Mankind Alive, Istanbul Biennale, 2009 and the Taipei Biennial, 2008.

Her work is often collaborative, she has worked with The Choir of Love, Oliver Ressler, Keg de Souza, Refugee Art Project, Dmitry Vilensky (Chto Delat?) among others. Zanny has run numerous practical and theory workshops including working with children and young people and is interested in open source learning and radical pedagogy. She is a founding member of the art collective Undrawing the Line.

Zanny Begg filming What Would it Mean to Win?, 2008, Germany. Photo by Oliver Ressler.

Zanny Begg filming What Would it Mean to Win?, 2008, Germany. Photo by Oliver Ressler.

Zanny has a PhD in Art Theory with a focus the emergence of Socially Engaged Art practices between the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organisation Meeting in Seattle and the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. She was the director of Tin Sheds Gallery, the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney, 2010-2014.  In 2014 she began teaching at UNSW Art and Design.

Her recent articles include “Unthinking Utopia – Borderlessness as Method“, Utopia Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom, Pluto Press, “Transfield, Mandatory Detention, and the Biennale of Sydney” (with Ahmet Ögüt), Afterimage, 42(2):4-7 31 Aug 2014 and The Boys Home: Making Art in a Juvenile Detention Centre, The Conversation.

Interview between Zanny Begg and Peter McKay for Social Networking, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland, 2012.


Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland
Campbeltown Arts Centre
Cruthers Collections of Womens Art
The Neuer Berliner Kunstverein

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Utopia/Jump drawing in Isola Utopi, Riga

Recent exhibitions:

2016: Turn in Exhaust, Contemporary Art Tasmania, part of the dark mofo festival
How to Blow up a Bubble that Won’t Burst, in Imagine a City – 200 Years of Public Architecture in NSW, The State Library, Sydney, Summer School, Box Copy Brisbane and URBNE Film Festival, Milan
1001 Nights in Fairfield shortlisted for the Blake Prize (2015), Casula Powerhouse, Sydney (selected for touring exhibition exhibited at Wangaratta Art Gallery), shortlisted for the Fisher Ghost Award (2015), finalist in the LICHTER Art Award (2016), Frankfurt, selected by Werner Herzog for participation in the Rogue Film School (2016), screened Melbourne International Film Festival (2016), Antenna Documentary Film Festival (2016) and Winner of the Incinerator Art Award, Art for Social Change (2016), outstanding contribution Whyalla Art Prize (2016).
The Swamp (Undrawing the Line), in safARI, Sydney, Video in Progress, Ljubljana, One Night at the Museum, Fairfield Museum and Gallery and Kings School Art Prize
The Right of Passage (with Oliver Ressler), in If All Relationships Were to Reach Equilibrium, Then This Building Would Dissolve, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, UK, and featured in Facets Vol. 1, Disruptive Film.
In the Shade of the Waq Waq Tree (Undrawing the Line), MOCAK – Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow, Housing the Many exhibition and conference, Gängeviertel , Hamburg.

2015: The Chant of Nudimmud (Undrawing the Line)Refuge, Verge Gallery, Sydney, Utopia Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart.
How to Blow up a Bubble that Won’t Burst, Groundwork: From the Archives Up, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne
Doing Time, All Stations... Kudos Gallery, Sydney
1001 Nights in Fairfield, Fairfield City Museum and Gallery, Sydney, Little Baghdad, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Fairfield.
The Right of Passage (with Oliver Ressler), “Artists’ Cinema”, MSU – Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (HR), 10.04.2015; and Fotograf Festival, Prague (CZ), 02.10.2015
Eight Passage in Belonging and Displacement, Westspace, Melbourne

2014: Utopia/Jump in The “Survival Kit 6”, The former ‘Boļševička’ Textile Factory at Ganību dambis 30, Riga, San Mauro Cilento (Salerno) and “Utopia Island, Fragments and Moments for new Utopias”, Utopia Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom, the Secession, Vienna.
Doing Time, “The List”, Campbeltown Arts Centre, Sydney, the Blake Prize, UNSW Galleries.
The Right of Passage (with Oliver Ressler), “To Have and Have Not”, ACC Galerie, Weimar (D), 07.12.2013 – 02.02.2014, “Silent University”, Le 116 – Centre d’art contemporain, Montreuil (F), 21.02.2014, 10.05.2014, “The Occidental Accident”, 5th Biennale of Marrakech, Marrakech (MA), 26.02 – 31.03.2014, “Fragile Hands (after Marker)”, University of Applied Arts/Heiligenkreuzerhof, Vienna (A), 12.03. – 10.04.2014, EMAF 2014 – 27. European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück (D), 24.04.2014, “Political Imaginaries: Making the World Anew”, Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk (PL), 30.04. – 15.06.2014 (solo-exhibition O. Ressler), “The Occidental Accident”, One Nest stand #17, Den Haag (NL), 17.07.2014, “Specters. A cinè-politics of haunting”, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (E), 26.11.2014,
In the Shade of the Waq Waq Tree (Undrawing the Line), part of Utopia Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom, The Secession, Vienna, Protest Songs: Artful Actions at Lismore Regional Gallery, 2014 and Quo Vadis: the Last Drawing Show, UNSW Galleries.
Treat (or Trick) in Moon Workers, partnership between Museum of Contemporary Art of Santiago de Chile and the Academy of the Arts of the World, Colonge, 2014.

2013: The Right of Passage (with Oliver Ressler), “To Have and Have Not”, HALLE 14, Leipzig (D), 04.05. – 07.07.2013, “The Sights/Sites of Cultural Studies”, ACS Summer Institute, Klagenfurt/Celovec (A), 25.07.2013, “Off Side – Video Pamphlet Review”, La Rada/Locarno Film Festival, Locarno (CH), 09.08. – 18.08.2013, “Have the wanderers of yesterday become today’s bag packers?”, Shiryaevo Biennale/Victoria Gallery, Samara (RU), 09.08. – 25.08.2013, “Unseen Cinema”, Foam/Unseen Photo Fair, Amsterdam (NL), 26.09. – 29.09.2013, “Citizenship, Orientalism and the Commons”, Oecumene Project and Teatro Valle Occupato, Rome, 28.09.2013, “Général Bordure”, Le Quartier, Centre d’art Contemporain de Quimper, Quimper (F), 03.10.2013 – 12.01.2014, Antenna Documentary Festival 2013, Sydney (AU), 10.10. – 14.10.2013, “Unstable Territory. Borders and identity in contemporary art”, Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (I), 11.10.2013 – 19.01.2014, Art Sheffield 2013 / Bloc Projects, Sheffield (GB), 16.10.2013, “Smuggling Anthologies”, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka (HR), 22.10. – 04.12.2013, AC Institute, Film Series, New York (USA), 31.10. – 16.11.2013, “The Movement of Ideas” (film retrospective O. Ressler), Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva (CH), 19.11.2013,
The Focus Group, OK Video Festival, Jakarta
This is Not A Citizen, Screen City, Stavanger, Norway
The Bull Laid Bear (with Oliver Ressler), in It’s the Political Economy Stupid, “Crisis and Alternatives”, Belgrade
You are Here, Designated Drivers, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA

2012: Treat (or Trick) in Forays. Systems of Self-Interest – Mechanisms of Looting, Kunstraum Lichtenberg, Berlin.
What Would it Mean to Win? (with Oliver Ressler) in Things Fall Apart, Artspace, Sydney
Emeraldtown, Gary Indiana in Social Networking at Queensland Gallery of Modern Art Media Gallery, Queensland.
The Bull Laid Bear (with Oliver Ressler) in Berlin Biennial, eva International, Limerick Biennial of Visual Art, Diagonale Film Festival, Gratz, Austria, It’s the Political Economy Stupid, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York, After The Crisis, is Before the Crisis, Galleria Arte, Milan, and Occupy Art, Artspace Seminar Room, Sydney.

2011: Freeways “Out the Window” project Los Angeles
The Focus Group in Sharjah Biennale, Plot for a Bienniel film program, United Arab Emirates
Treat (or Trick) in It’s the Political Economy Stupid, Open Space, Vienna
Zugzwang in The Zero Dollar Show, West Space, Melbourne

2010: Emeraldtown: Gary, Indiana, Artspace, Sydney (You Are Here)
ReMake Estate, project with an abandoned house, Gary, Indiana, USA (You Are Here)
Cities Without Maps in Finalist Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship exhibition, Artspace Sydney (You Are Here)
What Would it Mean to Win? (with Oliver Ressler) in A World Where Many Worlds Fit, An exhibition on the counter-globalization movement, Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke, Canada
Pemulwuy Dream Team in RESPECT, Australia Council for the Visual Arts, Window Gallery
Treat (or Trick) in Una selezione delle Bienali di Istanbul a Atene, Palazzo Valle, Catania
The Focus Group in Proposals for a Socialist Colony, Skydive, Housten, USA

2009: Treat (or Trick) in What Keeps Mankind Alive, Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey, Reciprocity, Centro Cultural de Espana Beunos Aires, Argentina
Electrification of Consumer Brains in Without_us, Motorenhalle, Dresden, Germany
Pemulwuy Dream Team in There Goes The Neighbourhood, Performance Space, Sydney
What Would it Mean to Win? (with Oliver Ressler) in Disobedience – An ongoing video archive, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania


2016: Shortlisted for The Blake Prize for Religious Art
Finalist LICHTER Art Award, Frankfurt
Winner of the Terrence and Lynnette Fern Cite Residency Paris
Parramatta Artist Studio Resident 2016
Participant in 2016 Rouge Film School with Werner Herzog
Winner Incinerator Art Award, Art for Social Change

2015: Bundanon Residency, New Landscapes Institute
Powerhouse Youth Theatre Residency, Fairfield

2014: Australia Council for the Arts Experimental and Emerging Art Grant
Finalist Blake Prize for Religious Art
Finalist for the Paramor Prize: Art + Innovation 2015 (Outstanding Contribution)
Residency Reiby Juvenile Justice Centre, Airds.

2013: Expanded Architecture Residency, The Rocks

2012: Australia Council for the Arts Residency Barcelona

2011: Residency with Australia Indonesia Institute Residency
Finalist Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship (You Are Here)

2010: Artspace Studio Residency, Sydney
Highly Commended, Marrickville Contemporary Art prize
Finalist Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship (You Are Here)
Finalist Churchie Emerging Art Prize, Brisbane
Finalist International Award for Participation in Art Prize, Legislative Assembly of the Region Emilia-Romagna, Italy

2009: Australia Council Residency Chicago (You Are Here)

2008: Asia-Link Residency, Indonesia
Frasers Studio Residency, Sydney
Performance Space Residency, Redfern
Finalist Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship

2007: Australia-China Council Residency, Hong Kong

Recent Media:

1001 Nights in Fairfield, refugee tales from the choir, The Australian, 09/12/2015; and Refugee story up for the Blake, The Fairfield Advocate, 09/12/15
To read a review of the exhibit  Groundwork: From the Archives Up clink here.
Conversation, Celebration, Compassion, Real Time, Keith Gallasch, 128, 2015
Winter Wonderland, by Katie Milton, The Broadsheet, June 03, 2015.
Refugees say it through Art, Jennine Kahlik, Fairfield Advance, 2015
In the Shade of the Waq Waq Tree, Uniken, Summer 2014-2015
Review of Salon Fluchthilfe, Artforum.
Artist as Parents Series, Mythological Quarter
The Boys Home: Making Art in a Juvenile Detention Centre, The Conversation
Video Interview on The Boys Home with Das Super Paper
RealTime ‘The Artist as Citizen’ review by Ella Mudie
Architecture Australia ‘The Right to the City’ review by Linda Carroli
Of Bestial Acts and Rabbits in Hats, Reuben Keehan, Broadsheet, Vol 38, No 3
Emeraldtown, Gary Indiana, review by Marian Tubbs, Eyeline, Vol 74
Politics and Art: Direct Engagement, Jacqueline Millner, RealTime issue #92 Aug-Sept 2009 pg. 52
What Would It Mean To Win?, Gerald Raunig, Artlink Magazine, Vol. 28, #4, 2008
There Goes The Neighbourhood, Reuben Keehan, Eyeline, 70, p73
The Focus Group, Reviewed in Artlies, Cynthia Coffeild, May 2010
Oliver, M. You Are Here and somewhere else, Column 8, Artspace, 2011
Tucker, D. Summer Harvest, H-Art Magazine, Fall 2010