Liverpool Biennial is the UK biennial of contemporary art. Taking place over 15 weeks across the city in public spaces, galleries, museums and online, the Biennial commissions artists from around the world to make and present work in the context of Liverpool. The 10th edition titled Beautiful world, where are you? invites artists and audiences to reflect on a world in social, political and economic turmoil.
The artistic concept and title for Beautiful world, where are you? derives from a 1788 poem by the German poet Friedrich Schiller, later set to music by Austrian composer Franz Schubert in 1819. The years between the composition of Schiller’s poem and Schubert’s song saw great upheaval and profound change in Europe, from the French Revolution to the fall of the Napoleonic Empire. Today the poem continues to suggest a world gripped by deep uncertainty; a world of social, political and environmental turmoil. It can be seen as a lament but also as an invitation to reconsider our past, advancing a new sense of beauty that might be shared in a more equitable way.
The Biennial programme is presented in locations across Liverpool including public spaces and the city’s leading art venues: Bluecoat, FACT, Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University’s Exhibition Research Lab, National Museums Liverpool, RIBA North, the Liverpool Playhouse, Victoria Gallery & Museum (University of Liverpool), and Blackburne House.
For the 10th edition of the Biennial, Bluecoat will host an exhibition of works by artists from around the world, including:
Ryan Gander has devised a project called Time Moves Quickly. The artist is working collaboratively with five children from Knotty Ash Primary School in Liverpool (Jamie Clark, Phoebe Edwards, Tianna Mehta, Maisie Williams and Joshua Yates) to produce a series of artworks for a group exhibition, as well as a series of five bench-like sculptures at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
Shannon Ebner is developing a new photographic work to be exhibited on the ground floor of Bluecoat, with a related sound piece in the gallery’s adjacent courtyard.
Suki Seokyeong Kang, a Korean artist, will create a new multi-part installation for Bluecoat.
Silke Otto-Knapp has been commissioned to produce a new large-scale work for the fourth-floor gallery of Bluecoat. Like a classic frieze, the painting will wrap around the perimeters of the space, combining figures in group formations with abstract panels.
Melanie Smith, an artist who explores the extended field of painting within the history of art and its relation to the moving image, will present her new film Maria Elena at Bluecoat.
Abbas Akhavan will be creating monumental sculpture dealing with the fragility of material culture in times of war and culturalconflict.
Also on show during Liverpool Biennial 2018 are partner exhibitions John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery, Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Liverpool John Moores University's Liverpool School of Art & Design, and the Biennial Fringe.
Liverpool Biennial 2018 will celebrate 20 years of presenting international art in the city and region. It is also part of Liverpool 2018, a thrilling year-long programme which celebrates the city's culture and creativity a decade on from European Capital of Culture.
Find out more about Liverpool Biennial at www.biennial.com/2018