An Oscar nominee, a new ‘healing’ garden and a large-scale public sculpture are expected to be among the 2018 Liverpool Biennial highlights.
The first details of this year’s programme, which will take place under the title ‘Beautiful world, where are you?’ have been revealed as the festival marks its 20th year.
More than 40 artists from 22 countries will participate in this year’s Liverpool Biennial – the UK’s largest festival of contemporary art – as it’s held across the city from 14 July to 28 October.
Explaining this year’s theme, co-curators Sally Tallant and Kitty Scott say: “The Biennial asks ‘Beautiful world, where are you?’ – a question derived from a 1788 poem by the German poet Friedrich Schiller.
“Today the poem continues to suggest a world gripped by deep uncertainty; a world in social, political and environmental turmoil. It can be seen as a lament but also as an invitation to reconsider our past, advancing a new sense of beauty that might be shared in a more equitable way.”
Works announced include a new three-channel video installation at FACT by celebrated filmmaker Agnés Varda (pictured), combining extracts of her acclaimed films ‘Vagabond’, ‘Documenteur’ and ‘The Gleaners’.
Set to be Agnés’ first work in the UK, it follows her recent Oscar nomination.
Elsewhere, Exchange Flags will become the backdrop for a new large-scale commission by artist Holly Hendry as she reflects on Liverpool’s architectural history from the Williamson Tunnels to the old dock underneath Liverpool ONE.
The piece is set to feature large concrete or fibreglass casts above the ground, with corresponding work located in a nearby underground space.
In Liverpool’s Toxteth area Mohamed Bourouissa, who is currently the subject of a major solo show at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, will collaborate with the Granby Four Streets CLT and Kingsley Community Primary School to design and construct a new ‘healing’ garden for the city.
Other programme highlights being lined up include internationally acclaimed British artist Ryan Gander’s collaboration with Knotty Ash Primary School to produce a series of artworks; and the display of work by pioneering artists from Inuit, Aboriginal and Indigenous communities at Tate Liverpool, reflecting the resurgence of consciousness and activism amongst artists across the world.
This year’s Liverpool Biennial also forms part of the city’s wider Liverpool 2018 celebrations, marking 10 years since the 2008 European Capital of Culture year.