Liverpool Biennial is the largest festival of contemporary art in the UK, with free exhibitions taking place across the city’s public spaces, galleries, museums and online.
From 20 March – 6 June 2021, the 11th edition of the Biennial, The Stomach and the Port, looks at the body and ways of connecting with the world. The exhibition is free, booking is required. See here for details.
To celebrate Liverpool’s iconic architecture and public spaces, a new series of outdoor sculptures and installations is now waiting be discovered at strategic sites across the city’s centre.
Commissions include Rashid Johnson’s Stacked Heads (2020) at Canning Dock Quayside; Teresa Solar’s Osteoclast (I do not know how I came to be on board this ship, this navel of my ark) (2021) at Exchange Flags; Linder’s Bower of Bliss (2021) at Liverpool ONE and Jorgge Menna Barreto’s mural Mauvais Alphabet (2021) on the side of Bluecoat. Presiding over the city, Larry Achiampong’s Pan African For the Relic Travellers’ Alliance can be found across ten locations, including St. George’s Hall, St. John’s Gardens, Central Library, Exchange Flags, Liverpool Parish Church, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. building, Edmund Gardener Vessel, Cunard Building, St. Luke’s Church and Liverpool ONE.
Local residents can safely experience these inspiring new additions to the city’s landscape, while observing COVID-19 guidance, including social distancing at all times and wearing appropriate face coverings.
Sonic & Digital Commissions
Online, 3 sonic and digital commissions are available to experience on the new Biennial Portal www.liverpoolbiennial2021.com, comprising Transmission: A series of five Podcasts on Disease and Pandemics in a Distorted World (2021) by Ines Doujak, in collaboration with John Barker; B3(TNSCAM) (2021), a digital experiment in reimagining the future of curating in the light of Artificial Intelligence by artists UBERMORGEN, digital humanist Leonardo Impett and curator Joasia Krysa; and as part of the Learning Programme, a performative series of pre-recorded and live streamed workshops by KeKeÇa Body Percussion Ensemble which invite schools and wider audiences to participate, using their own bodies as percussive instruments.
New Commissions for April
From 23 April, Liverpool Biennial 2021 will reveal 3 new commissions, including Superposition (2021) by Erick Beltrán, whose sound pieces and corresponding graphical drawings around his research into Latino American Cumbia music will be presented in a fleet of ComCab taxis travelling around Liverpool’s city centre. Beltrán sees the body move through ripples and rhythms as a way of reflecting on different forms of being and coming together beyond the conventional understanding of the individual.
Luisa Ungar offers members of the public a personal engagement with experts in clairvoyance through a series of weekly phone calls available on demand. Following the caller’s inquiries, each conversation might offer constellations that connect to Liverpool’s history as a contact point for global trade, through the interpretation of various types of material. Inspired by reports of contagion, hygienisation and witch-hunting in the city A Regurgitation is a Song is a Spell (Consultations to recreate the colonial disease) (2021) is based on research of official records, rumour and historical gossip.
Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s La Pensée Férale (2021) will be displayed at Crown Street Park, featuring a replica of a Pau Rei, a native tree of the Brazilian Mata Atlántica, embedded with the eye of an Indian pariah dog from Bangladesh, and surrounded by newly planted Fagus Purpurea Pendula trees. La Pensée Férale raises questions about subjectivity as a cultural construction as well as our attitude towards the environment, reinforcing that nature is not without perception or feeling.
Liverpool Biennial: The Inside Chapter
Later in the Spring, to align with Government guidelines, the second ‘inside’ chapter will launch the full festival of exhibitions and events hosted by key venues throughout Liverpool. In order to present the Biennial to the widest possible audience, exhibitions at the majority of partner venues have been extended until 27 June. Open Eye will remain open until 6 June and Tate Liverpool until 20 June. FACT continues until 29 August and Bluecoat until 5 September.