Victory over
the sun

Presented by Sydney Chamber Opera and the 20th Biennale of Sydney

In 1913, the Russian Futurists unleashed this dizzying piece of canonical apocrypha: a psychedelic proto-science fiction saga of time-travelling revolutionaries and singing weaponry, set against a backdrop that included an early draft of the avant-garde painter Malevich’s iconic Black Square. The text: untranslatable. The music: lost to history. Alongside Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, it is one of the few artistic works whose premiere provoked a riot.

The 20th Biennale of Sydney brings together SCO and visionary Sydney artist Justene Williams to make a new Victory for the 21st century. The result is a masterwork of passionate strangeness for the digital age that shows us worlds the Futurists could never have imagined.

Drones soar, history collapses, and a pair of strongwomen battle over humanity’s fate in a glorious dream of tomorrow.

Welcome to the new future.

Image: Justene Williams, Your Boat My Scenic Personality of Space, 2012, video still. Courtesy the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

Concept & Design
Justene Williams

Huw Belling (after Mikhail Matyushin)

Pierce Wilcox (after Aleksei Kruchonykh)

Musical Director
Jack Symonds

Lighting Design
Alexander Berlage

Jessica O’Donoghue
Sarah Toth
Mitchell Riley
Simon Lobelson

Hannah Cox
Danielle Maas
Eleni Schumacher

James Wannan
Jane Bishop
Joe Manton
Jack Symonds



Cockatoo Island, Sydney
Building 15


45 minutes

Press Reviews

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“The best thing at the Biennale”
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“brimming over with invention”

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We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and perform. We honour their elders both past and present, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.