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Liverpool Focus : Liverpool Biennial 2018

New Artworks Inspired by the City

The tenth edition of the world-famous Liverpool Biennial runs from 14 July to 28 October 2018. Artists from across the world have been invited to explore the theme 'Beautiful World, where are you?'. The city of Liverpool provides the perfect backdrop for the festival, with public spaces, galleries, museums and civic buildings playing host to artworks across the whole 15 weeks. With partner exhibitions such as the John Moores Painting Prize, Bloomberg New Contemporaries and the Biennial Fringe, there's exciting months ahead for art fans in Liverpool.

"The tenth edition of the Biennial is an important moment for all of us, marking 20 years in the city. We feel proud to be part of Liverpool's programme for the 10th anniversary of Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008." 

- Sally Tallant, Liverpool Biennial Director

This year's festival invites artists to respond to the social, political and economic turmoil of the world around them. The theme 'Beautiful World, where are you?' derives from a poem written in 1788 by Friedrich Schiller, and reflects a world of deep uncertainty. It is a lament, but also an invitation to reconsider our past and expand our knowledge of what can be regarded beautiful.

After scouring the programme, we've found the artists that aim to take their inspiration from Liverpool. Head to associated venues from the 14 July to view the works.

Holly Hendry

Reflecting on Liverpool's architectural history, Hendry has researched materials and processes that are tied to the city - looking in particular at shipbuilding and the city's use of concrete in panelled buildings. Holly's large-scale commission is to be located in Exchange Flags and takes the form of moulded sections of pre-cast concrete and fibreglass. A mirror image of the work will be located in a nearby underground space - referencing Liverpool's underground Williamson Tunnels.

Holly Hendry's work can be viewed at Exchange Flags Square, L2 3SW and Victoria Gallery & Museum, Ashton Street, L69 3DR.

Recent exhibitions include The Box, Pippy Houldsworth, London (2017); Arratia Beer, Berlin (2017); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2017) amongst others. 

Mohamed Bourouissa

Inspired by a garden at a psychiatric hospital in Algeria and the patient that made it, Mohamed Bourouissa will create a community garden in the heart of Toxteth, and a short film to document the journey. By learning an occupational approach to gardening, Bourouissa has created a garden in collaboration with Granby Four Streets CLT and Kingsley Community Primary School in Toxteth, Liverpool - forming the basis of a work that is both dependent on and resilient to the city around it.

Granby Community Garden can be found at 75-77 Granby Street, L8 2TX - open Saturdays, 2-5pm.
Mohamed Bourouissa's film can be viewed at FACT, 88 Wood Street, L1 4DQ - open Tuesdays - Sundays, 11am-6pm.

Bourouissa has exhibited at Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2018); Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, USA (2017) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2016). 

Ryan Gander with Jamie Clark, Phoebe Edwards, Tianna Mehta, Maisie Williams and Joshua Yates

Working with five children from Knotty Ash Primary School in Liverpool, Ryan Gander will produce a series of artworks for a group exhibition at Bluecoat; bench structures at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and a film that documents the workshops. After maquettes of the cathedral are dissected into building blocks, the children will reassemble them into new configurations. They will then be reproduced on a larger scale, transforming into seating to be situated within the grounds of the cathedral. Gander hopes that his work will allow children and adults alike to think creatively and realise their agency through art.

Ryan Gander's work can be seen at Bluecoat, School Lane, L1 3BX, open daily 11am - 6pm.

Gander has exhibited internationally for over ten years, including in Japan, Canada, Germany and the USA.

Kevin Beasley

Kevin Beasley lives and works in New York, USA. His practice traverses sculpture, photography, sound and performance, and is shown as part of Liverpool Biennial at Tate Liverpool. Through the material transformation of a synthesis of objects, ranging from clothing to studio happenings, Beasley explores the idea of personal and collective reality. Your face is/is not enough (2016) is a sculptural and performance-based installation consisting of twelve repurposed NATO-issued gas masks adorned with guinea fowl feathers or glass beads, and further altered by sculptural extensions made up of articles of clothing, each mask differs from the next. Transforming symbols of control, Beasley evokes gestures of empowerment and agency within individual and collective acts of protest, power and protection. The work consists of a performance.

Kevin Beasley's work can be viewed at Tate Liverpool, Royal Albert Dock, L3 4BB - open daily 10am – 5.50pm.

Kevin Beasley has recently shown work at the Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, USA (2017); Hammer Projects, Los Angeles, USA (2017); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA (2016–17); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA (2016).

Rehana Zaman

Working at Blackburne House, a resource centre for women, Zaman has worked with teenage girls from Liverpool to develop a new video for Biennial 2018. Drawing upon the history of the city from otherwise unheard perspectives, the work will explore the work of women-led organisations and examine the social order of Liverpool. The film, entitled How Does an Invisible Boy Disappear? draws on the narratives of marginalised communities to create a history of the city, exploring the work of anti-racist and women-led film organisations. The film interweaves fiction with accounts of the past and present to examine how spaces and positions of authority are gendered and racialised.

Rehana Zaman's work can be viewed at Blackburne House, Blackburne Place, L8 7PE - open Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm and Sunday 12 - 4pm

Rehana Zaman was awarded a research grant by the British Council with Museo de Art Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, in 2015, and a Gasworks International Fellowship to Beirut in 2013. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Serpentine Projects, London and CCA Glasgow. 

Liverpool Biennial runs from 14 July and 28 October 2018 across multiple venues in the city of Liverpool.

Visit www.biennial.com for more details.

Time for more? Liverpool Focus : OUTPUT Gallery | The Story of Nanna Ditzel & The Trinidad Chair | Utility Follows : Hege Morris 


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