Liverpool Biennial is the United Kingdom's significant biennial of contemporary art.
For ten weeks, every two years, the city of Liverpool is host to an extensive range of artworks, projects and a dynamic programme of events. It is the largest international contemporary art festival in the United Kingdom.
Liverpool Biennial unfolds through a programme of exhibitions and projects that lead to a rediscovery of the city. Newly commissioned and existing artworks and projects are presented in diverse locations, including unusual and unexpected public spaces as well as the city’s galleries, museums and cultural venues. The cultural organisations in Liverpool work together in partnership to create an unparalleled context for the presentation of contemporary art and culture.
Liverpool Biennial commissions leading and emerging artists to make and present permanent and temporary public artworks as well as long-term community-based projects. There is an integrated research programme of learning, talks and events creating a dynamic year-round programme.
- Since its launch in 1999, Liverpool Biennial has commissioned over 200 new artworks
- Liverpool Biennial attracts over 600,000 visitors over 10 weeks
- In 2010 visitors to the Biennial spent £27millon
- 900 artists participate in each festival and its fringe
Sally Tallant is the Artistic Director and CEO. Liverpool Biennial was conceived and founded in 1998 by James Moores (with Jane Rankin Read, Lewis Biggs and Bryan Biggs) and presented the first Liverpool Biennial in 1999. The 8th edition of Liverpool Biennial will take place in 2014.
Liverpool Biennial includes:
- The Biennial exhibition is delivered in collaboration with partner organisations including FACT (the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Tate Liverpool, the Bluecoat and Open Eye gallery, with many of the new commissions appearing in public spaces around the city.
- The John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery which celebrates its 50th year in 2008 as a national open painting competition.
- The annual Bloomberg New Contemporaries Exhibition showcases new work by graduates from Fine Art schools in the UK. There is also The Independents Biennial, through which a programme of exhibitions is realised by independent and artist-led organisations.
- The City States starts from the premise that artists are inspired by the ‘freedom of the city’. Since 2006, Liverpool Biennial has included ‘collateral' events organised and supported by embassies, international agencies or galleries, and promoted by Liverpool Biennial as a part of the programme. In 2010, for the first time, Liverpool Biennial offered a platform for exhibitions organised overseas and promoted under the title City States.
Liverpool Biennial also has an ongoing year-round role commissioning art for the public realm, such as Richard Wilson’s Turning the Place Over and Antony Gormley’s Another Place at Crosby Beach; it also has an ongoing educational programme.
In 2004, the festival caused controversy by exhibiting a work by Yoko Ono entitled My mummy was beautiful. This was a series of full colour photographs of a woman's breast and crotch, which were exhibited throughout the city centre. Peter Johansson's Swedish red was a one room house at the Pier Head painted bright red and playing ABBA's record Dancing Queen. The Walker Art Gallery mounted The Stuckists Punk Victorian, the first major show of the Stuckist artists, who had not previously been given official recognition.
Lara Almarcegui, Ursula Biemann, Yael Bartana, Luis Camnitzer, Paolo Canevari, Billy Childish, Amanda Coogan, Marysia Lewandowska & Neil Cummings, Dias & Riedweg, Maria Eichhorn, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Satch Hoyt, Huang Yong Ping, Sanja Ivekovic, Francesco Jodice, Peter Johannson, Yeondoo Jung, Werner Kaligofsky, Germaine Koh, Andreja Kuluncic, Oswaldo Macia, Jill Magid, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Esko Männikkö, Dorit Margreiter, Cildo Meireles, Takashi Murakami, Yoko Ono, Mathias Poledna, Marjetica Potrc, Raqs Media Collective, Navin Rawanchaikul, Martha Rosler, Santiago Sierra, Valeska Soares, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Yang Fudong, Oliver Bancroft, Thomas Bangsted, David Blandy, Margarita Bofiliou, Dave Carbone, Lali Chetwynd, Petros Chrisostomou, Joe Clark, James Connelly, Tessa Farmer, Oriana Fox, Sarah Gilder, Anton Goldenstein, Mauricio Guillen, Thomas Hylander, Yvonne Jones, Samson Kambalu, Ahn Kang-hyun, Karoly Kesaru, Heidi Kilpelainen, Steven Lowery, Nicky Magliulo, Gary McDonald, Sarah Michael, Thomas Needham, Robert Nichol, Jesse Richards David Rowland, Michael Sailstorfer, Margaret Salmon, Shen Yuan, Heiko Tiemann, Douglas White, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Monica Bonvicini, Mark Bradford, Matthew Buckingham, Chen Chieh-Jen, Esra Ersen, Carlos Garaicoa, Simryn Gill, Shilpa Gupta, Jeppe Hein, Oscar Melgar & Jesus Javier Jaime, Toba Khedoori, Hans-Peter Kuhn, Ken Lum, Teresa Margolles, Kelly Mark, Lee Mingwei, Priscilla Monge, Mario Navarro, Lisa Oppenheim, Philippe Parreno, Anu Pennanen, Amalia Pica, Jean-François Prost, Rigo 23, Shimabuku, Julianne Swartz, The Kingpins, Kuang-Yu Tsui, Adriana Varejao, Humberto Velez, Matej Andraz Vogrincic, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jun Yang, Yang Jiechang.
The theme and title of the Biennial’s showpiece International 08 exhibition was "Made Up".
Throughout 2008 as part of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture, new commissions for the public realm included Winter Lights (a series of neon lights by international artists, such as Frank Scurti and Michael Pinsky, in collaboration with local communities), Visible Virals (interventionist artworks in public spaces and buildings in the city), and a series of Pavilions (creating spaces for cultural activity in local communities).
Again there was also the John Moores Painting Prize (No. 25), the New Contemporaries and The Independents.
Ai Weiwei, David Altmejd, Atelier Bow-Wow, Guy Ben-Ner, Manfredi Beninati, David Blandy, U-Ram Choe, Adam Cvijanovic, Nancy Davenport, Diller & Scofidio + Renfro, Leandro Erlich, Omer Fast, Adrian Ghenie, Rodney Graham, Tue Greenfort, Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler, Alison Jackson, Jesper Just, Otto Karvonen, Yayoi Kusama, Ulf Langheinrich (Granular-Synthesis), Luisa Lambri, Gabriel Lester, Annette Messager, Tracey Moffatt, Yoko Ono, Ged Quinn, Khalil Rabah, The Royal Art Lodge, Sarah Sze, Tomas Saraceno, Richard Woods.
The 6th biennial in Liverpool ran from 18 September 2010 to 28 November 2010. It contained six programmes of contemporary art including:
- Bloomberg New Contemporaries
- City States
- John Moores Painting Prize 2010
- S.Q.U.A.T. Liverpool 2010
- The Cooperative
The visitor centre was located in the former Rapid Hardware shop on Renshaw Street.
Sachiko Abe, Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan, Laura Belem, Emese Benczur, Daniel Bozhkov, Nina Canell, Danica Dakic, Song Dong, Wannes Goetschalckx, NS Harsha, Diango Hernandez, Nicholas Hlobo, Jamie Isenstein, Alfredo Jaar, Eva Kotatkova, Will Kwan, Lars Laumann, Antii Laitinen, Minouk Lim, Cristina Lucas, Tala Madani, Yves Netzhammer, Raymond Pettibon, Ranjani Shettar, Do-Ho Suh, Franz West, Hector Zamora, Tehching Hsieh, Carlos Martiel, Kris Martin, Otto Muehl, Carol Rama, Ryan Trecartin, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Aime Mpane, Oren Eliav, Tim Eitel, Edi Hila, Y.Z. Kami, Zbynek Sedlecky, Minerva Cuevas, Meschac Gaba, Clegg & Guttmann, Daniel Knorr, Lee Mingwei, Rob Pruitt, Anton Vidokle / Julieta Aranda, Tania Bruguera, Carlos Amorales.
For its 7th edition, Liverpool Biennial explored the theme of hospitality, inviting artists and thinkers to bring forth new understandings for our increasingly globalised and complex times. The biennial exhibition, The Unexpected Guest, comprised 62 international artists, and the Cunard Building was used as a venue for the first time. The programme included: Sky Arts Ignition Series, in partnership with Tate Liverpool, a public commission by acclaimed US artist, Doug Aitken, installed on Albert Dock in a temporary structure designed by David Adjaye; American composer Rhys Chatham, known for his large-scale performance works presented a concert as part of the opening weekend; one of Argentina's most established and internationally renowned artists, Jorge Macchi, presented Refraction in the LJMU Copperas Hill Building; Israeli artist, Oded Hirsch presented Lift a work which appeared to burst through the floor of Liverpool ONE - Liverpool's retail destination.
Artists who were part of The Unexpected Guest included:
Liverpool Biennial 2012 was curated by Sally Tallant, Artistic Director; the The Unexpected Guest by: Lorenzo Fusi, Curator, Liverpool Biennial in collaboration with: Sara-Jayne Parsons, the Bluecoat Mike Stubbs and Omar Kholeif, FACT Karen Newman, Open Eye Gallery Sook-Kyung Lee, Tate Liverpool and Jenny Porter, Metal Liverpool
- "FACT is a Liverpool-based cinema, art gallery and the UK's leading organisation for the support & exhibition of film, art and new media.". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "Independents Liverpool Biennial- The Independents Liverpool Biennial". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- Moss, Richard. "Stuckist's Punk Victorian gatecrashes Walker's Biennial", Culture24, 17 September 2004. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "Tate Liverpool - Past Exhibitions - Liverpool Biennial". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "Studio Banana TV Interviews Chen Chieh Jen". Studio Banana TV. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "The fifth edition of Liverpool Biennial’s International exhibition", biennial.com. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
- Biggs, Domela, Waldron and Kirk (eds) "Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art The Guide". Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art Ltd. ISBN 978-0-9536761-8-7
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- http://www.artinliverpool.com/biennial/[dead link]
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