Liverpool’s 10th Biennial asks the question: "beautiful world, where are you?"

12 July 2018
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2 minute read

Holly Hendry, Cenotaph, 2018
Photo: Pete Carr

Marking its 20th anniversary, 2018’s Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Arts asks artists to respond to the theme “beautiful world, where are you?” The “question is derived from a 1788 poem by German poet Friedrich Schiller”, a poem which describes a world gripped by uncertainty, in social, political and environmental turmoil – issues still relevant today. Spread across the entire city, the 10th Liverpool Biennial invites more than 40 artists from 22 countries to “reconsider our past”, while also “advancing a new sense of beauty that might be shared in a more equitable way”.

Curated by Kitty Scott and Sally Tallant, the Biennial runs for 15 weeks, beginning this Saturday and ending 28 October. The public programme includes more than 80 performances, film screenings, family events, talks and exhibitions taking place across Liverpool’s public spaces, civic buildings and the city’s leading art venues.

Weekly screenings of the work by Belgium-born, French filmmaker Agnès Varda will be shown, including newly commissioned work as well as a “personally curated set of films to accompany her own”. Varda’s work focuses on documentary realism, feminist issues, and social commentary with a distinct experimental style. Other artists, such as Holly Hendry, will display sculptures, alongside work by Ryan Gander, whose creative responses to queries, or what-ifs, align themselves heavily with the theme. Also on view will be work by First Nation artist Brian Jungen, exploring indigeneity and identity politics, and watercolour paintings by Silke Otto-Knapp, portraying her unique monotone style.

Once every two years, the Liverpool Biennial is the highlight of the city; showcasing their “culture and creativity a decade on from its accolade as European Capital of Culture". The Biennial also includes partner exhibitions: John Moores Painting Prize 2018, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, This is Shanghai and the Biennial Fringe.


Agnès Varda: 3 moving images. 3 rhythms. 3 sounds, 2018
Photo: Thierry Bal


Brian Jungen: Warrior 1, 2017, Warrior 3, 2017 and Warrior 4, 2017
Courtesy: the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York.
Photo: Thierry Bal


Ryan Gander: From five minds of great vision (The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King disassembled and reassembled to conjure resting places in the public realm), 2018
Photo: Rob Battersby


Silke Otto-Knapp: A series of images following one from the other, 2018
Photo: Thierry Bal

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Emma Latham Phillips

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