The programme for Liverpool Biennial 2016, the largest contemporary art festival in the UK running from July 9 to October 16, has been announced by Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial.
For the ninth edition of the Biennial, 42 international artists will create new work for locations across the city, alongside a showcase of ten associate artists working in the North of England.
Liverpool Biennial 2016 has been conceived as a series of episodes, drawn from Liverpool’s past, present and future. The episodes are: Children’s Episode, the Biennial’s first comprehensive commissioning programme for artists to work collaboratively with children; Ancient Greece, the inspiration behind many of Liverpool’s grandest buildings; Chinatown, acknowledging Liverpool’s heritage as the oldest Chinese community in Europe; Flashback, artists’ new interpretation of history; in Software, Biennial artists will open up new perspectives and interactions with technology; and Monuments from the Future, for which artists have been invited to imagine what Liverpool might look like in the future.
The Children’s Episode will include a commission by British artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd who will create a film entirely cast, produced and directed with young people from Liverpool. Liverpool’s fleet of Arriva buses will include three double-deckers transformed by artists, of which one will be designed by schoolchildren. Reflecting on Liverpool’s radical political history, Japanese artist Koki Tanaka will revisit the scene of a huge protest in Liverpool in 1985, which involved around 10,000 children, demonstrating against the Conservative government’s Youth Training Scheme. Tanaka will bring together original participants and their children for a walk through the city, retracing the original route.
In Flashback, Merseyside-born artist Mark Leckey will present Dream English Kid, a film inspired by events in his life from the 1970s to 1990s, which will be screened alongside new sculptural works in the former entrance to the legendary Liverpool club night Cream.
A floor of Tate Liverpool will be transformed into Ancient Greece. Drawing on National Museums Liverpool’s significant collection of classical sculptures and Greek pottery, originally amassed by Lancastrian antiquitarian patron Henry Blundell in the early 1800s, Tate Liverpool will show these sculptures alongside new commissions by international artists including Andreas Angelidakis, Koenraad Dedobbeleer and Jumana Manna. Outside the Mersey Tunnel George’s Dock Ventilation Tower, the American artist Betty Woodman will create a large-scale bronze fountain made from Woodman’s characteristic vessels and fresco-like sculptural works.
Throughout the Biennial, echoes of China and Liverpool’s ever-present Chinatown will resound in spaces across the city, to be encountered in everyday settings such as the supermarket, and in large spaces such as the former Cains Brewery. Work by 15 artists from all parts of the world will be featured. Among these is a work by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh & Hesam Rahmanian, exiled in Dubai, who are sending a shipping container by sea full of works from their art collection and artefacts from their home, to be reassembled in Liverpool.
Among the locations for Liverpool Biennial 2016 will be the historic Cains Brewery building on Stanhope Street; the former ABC Cinema; Clarence Dock in North Liverpool; the Oratory; streets, pubs, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets; and all the key visual art venues in the city, including Tate Liverpool, FACT, Open Eye Gallery and Bluecoat.
Liverpool Biennial 2016 includes a programme of live performance events, film screenings, talks, tours and workshops. There will be a publication bringing together contributions from artists, writers and practitioners across disciplines. For the first time, Liverpool Biennial and The University of Liverpool’s Centre for New and International Writing are working together to present an international summer school. Liverpool Biennial Summer Sessions is a ten-day transdisciplinary programme for artists, writers, curators, academics and arts practitioners, on the theme of portals: time-travel, alternate/parallel universes, migration, and interdisciplinary connections between different practices.
Also showing during Liverpool Biennial 2016 are the John Moores Painting Prize at Walker Art Gallery, Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Bluecoat, and the Biennial Fringe.
Liverpool Biennial 2016 is curated by Sally Tallant, Dominic Willsdon, Francesco Manacorda, Raimundas Malašauskas, Joasia Krysa, Rosie Cooper, Polly Brannan, Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey, Ying Tan, Sandeep Parmar and Steven Cairns.
- Liverpool Biennial 2012
- Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial.