The Liverpool Biennial, now in its seventh incarnation, is billed as the largest contemporary art festival in the UK. This year’s programme was announced today by the Biennial’s new director, Sally Tallant. It’s difficult to pick highlights from such a rich and diverse programme but we have done our best by picking our “Top 5″ below.
1. City States at Copperas Street
Hosted in a former Royal Mail Sorting office, this exhibition will bring together over 60 artists from seven countries. Exploring the dynamics between cities and states with new and existing works, it will show work from cities including Copenhagen, Erbil, Gdansk, Hong Kong, Incheon, Lisbon, Makhachkala, Oslo, Reyjkavik and Vilinius. There’s a prize for anyone who knew where each of those cities are without using Google!
2. Doug Aitken at Albert Dock
Widely known for his innovative fine art installations, Doug Aitken utilises a wide array of media and artistic approaches, his eye leading us into a world where time, space and memory are fluid concepts. This Tate Liverpool commission, part of the Sky Arts Ignition Series, is Aitken’s first public realm installation in the UK. The immersive installation will be comprised of a series of filmed conversations between the artist and some of the world’s most established creative individuals.
3. Christodoulos Panayiotou at The Cunard Building
A selection of new and existing works by Greek Artist Christodoulos Panayiotou will be presented across several rooms of The Cunard Building, the former HQ and Passenger Terminal for the shipping company of the same name. Panayiotou’s works are performance-based and collectively span every level of what one could describe as a spectrum of the performative in art. This installation will explore central issues in the artist’s work such as notions of cultural and national identity, the construction of collective histories, media-manipulation, propagandistic imagery and political rhetoric.
4. Jorge Macchi
Macchi’s work explores the ideas of fate, chance and violence, utilising a variety of media including installations, video, painting, collage and photography. Each works aim to make us think about a set of questions that are as everyday as they are relevant: the representation of the infinite, the power of the gaze and so forth. For the Biennial, Macchi will present a commission in which a huge shipping container is wedged precariously in a public location.
5. The John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery
First held in 1957, the John Moores Painting Prize is the UK’s best-known painting competition. This year’s jury includes artists Fiona Banner, Angela de la Cruz and George Shaw, director of Whitechapel Art Gallery Iwona Blazwick and the BBC’s Alan Yentob.
All the way back in 2010 we reviewed the previous Liverpool Biennial. You can read the full review here. Alternatively, if you want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, we spoke to the curator of the 2010 edition, Lorenzo Fusi, here.
Liverpool Biennial 2012, 15-09-2012 until 25-11-2012, Various Locations, Liverpool. www.biennial.com
Christodoulos Panayiotou, Wonder Land, 2008, 80 colour slides, Images sourced from the Municipal Archives of the City of Limassol, Cyprus