Facing the aftershocks of post-Brexit, it is urgent to go to the Liverpool Biennial. A key question of any biennial is the dialog between the real world city and the art. Liverpool is proud to be a working-class city, with Scouse dialect, and love for jeans, ale, sex, and music. In proof that art is not limited to the privileged, the city has become the second cultural capital of the UK.
Under director Sally Tallant the Biennial takes over the city in the form of a free festival, a Midsummer night’s voyage through six episodes. Profound questions about our past, present, and future remain without easy answers in this political moment, but we still believe that art can change the world. Liverpool, here we come!
Thursday, July 7
To start off the largest Biennial in the UK we got tickets for Dennis McNulty’s 40-minute long special performance of Homo Gestalt: The Time Domain. The work critiques how our mind and bodies interact with technology in the new 24-hour immaterial labor of contemporary working conditions versus the nine to five workspaces of the 1970s.
New Hall Place, Sandcastle Building, Bluecoat, School Lane
Friday, July 8
Here are the five positions we are the most looking forward to in the Biennial.
Turner prize winner Mark Leckey presents Dream English Kid, a film collaged from archival footage inspired by his autobiography; a memory of a Joy Division concert the artist attended at the Liverpool club Eric’s in 1979. Recently presented with great critical acclaim at Galerie Daniel Buchholz in Berlin he re-presents it with newly commissioned sculptural works.
Blade Factory, Camp and Furnace, 67 Greenland Street
Russian-born Alisa Baremboym is now an American sculptor of note, a global citizen, whose last exhibition at 47 Canal gallery lit up the New York art world with excitement. Her works investigate materiality (and consumption) both physically and philosophically.
To call Oliver Laric’s contribution to the Biennial ‘work’ might be somewhat misleading as it is almost entirely online and freely downloadable to be used by any cultural producer in any way imagined. As a longstanding part of his practice, he has created 3D scans of sculptures. For the Biennial he took scans of artworks at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery and made them available at Three D Scans. His sculptures and videos look at the creative copy, in the form of the bootleg or mashup and the long history of this practice in art.
Considered among the most important living Mexican artists, Mariana Castillo Deball moves seamlessly across media of sculpture, photography, drawing and archiving. Hers is a deep research-based practice taking from the scientific investigations into archaeology, physics, biology, sociology and transmogrifying them into installations. Castillo Deball has created To-day 9th of July 2016 as part of the Monuments from the Future which is a large-scale sculpture: an infinite staircase built for a character who can jump across the same date in different years throughout history.
Liverpool ONE, Paradise Street
In her new film Pharmakon, Lucy Beech explores the profound paradoxes of affect and emotional capitalism. Focusing on female interpersonal group dynamics, but more specifically support networks for treatment of “delusional infestation.” She unravels how contemporary medical care both necessitates its own treatment and conversely reinforce the ‘victim’ becoming both illness and remedyBeech’s film is screened at FACT which is open late Friday so end your Biennial tour here for tea-infused gin cocktails into the early evening.
FACT, 88 Wood Street
After FACT we head to the other event we have been looking forward Bloomberg New Contemporaries, an annual event held since 1949 that selects recent graduates from the UK to present them as some of the most innovative artists working today. In particular, we want to see the work of Sophie Mackfall and enjoy the BBQ; all this art viewing builds up an appetite.
Bluecoat, School Lane
After we will head to Cactus Gallery to see a solo presentation of early works of an artist who is always on our radar Ryan Gander.
Cactus Gallery, The Royal Standard Vauxhall Business Centre, 131 Vauxhall Road
Saturday, July 9
First thing Saturday we will head to the Tate Liverpool, to begin with the day-long performance of Adam Linder, Some Strands of Support which is a choreography based on hair prostheses. Taking for its inspirations the movement of hair; the work incorporates sculpture, not as props but necessity. The sculptures are essential elements that performers engage and activate.
Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock
At night CBS Gallery presents the first of the 2016 Duo Series, with new works by Perce Jerrom and Josh Whitaker.
CBS Gallery, Crown Building Studios, 57-59 Victoria Street
Sunday, July 10
The festival will carry on all summer, so Sunday we head a bit outside the beaten track. Last years Turner Prize winners, Assemble creates a showcase of new work made in collaboration with Granby Workshop, made of up those strong-willed and good-humored Liverpudlians to be on display outside the Exhibition Center where the International Festival for Business 2016 is taking place.
Granby Workshop, 15 Cairns Street
We will see you on the Liverpool Bay with a cold frothing ale in our hands toasting the city whose youth went on strike in 1985 to protest against the Thatcher’s first generation Neoliberal government; as they say “We were doing what the Labour opposition should have done: taking on the Tories. And we won!” A scene re-presented by Koki Tanaka in a film for the Biennial.
– Justin Polera