Liverpool Biennial 2018 - Beautiful world, where are you?
14 July 2018- 28 October 2018

Location: Along the Red Wall, first floor


Liverpool Biennial is the UK biennial of contemporary art. Taking place over 15 weeks across the city in public spaces, galleries, museums and online, Liverpool Biennial commissions artists from around the world to make and present work in the context of Liverpool. The 10th edition Beautiful world, where are you? invites artists and audiences to reflect on a world of social, political and economic turmoil.

The artistic concept and title derives from a 1788 poem by German poet Friedrich Schiller, later set to music by Austrian composer Franz Schubert in 1819. The years between the composition of Schiller’s poem and Schubert’s song saw great upheaval and profound change in Europe, from the French Revolution to the fall of the Napoleonic Empire. Today the poem continues to suggest a world gripped by deep uncertainty; a world of 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.

Liverpool Biennial 2018 will celebrate 20 years of presenting international art in the city and region.

Exhibitions at the VG&M

Janice Kerbel (Ground Floor, Waterhouse Cabinet)

Janice Kerbel will be showing a series of works on paper. This Canadian-born artist graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1996 and is now Reader in Fine Art there.  In 2011 she won the Paul Hamlyn foundation Award for artists and, in 2015, was nominated for the Turner Prize.  

Joseph Grigely (First Floor, Red Wall)

Joseph Grigely will show works from his Songs without Words series at Victoria Gallery & Museum. Based on newspaper images of singers and musicians, the works explore the representation and communication of sound. Taken from the New York Times, the series features images of people such as the opera singer Andrea Bocelli, or the American singer and actor Eartha Kitt. By removing the captions accompanying the images, Grigely points towards the significance of contextual information. Without the captions, the singers’ poses concentrate our attention on their ambiguity, as if we are watching the world with the sound turned off.

Mohamed Bourouissa (First Floor, Gallery 1)

Mohamed Bourouissa (b. 1978, Blida, Algeria) lives in Paris, France. Bourouissa’s images, installations and videos explore power relations, displays of masculinity and societal tensions, often by referencing art-historical imagery. At the VGM, Bourouissa will be displaying a series of botanical drawings inspired by an unfinished Algerian herbarium of the 1950s.

Silke Otto-Knapp (First Floor, Gallery 2)

Silke Otto-Knapp will display two paintings accompanied by an artist’s book produced in collaboration with Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey. At the centre of her works is the construct of the stage and motifs range from choreographed groups of figures, historical stage sets, as well as pared-down landscapes. 

Francis Alÿs (First Floor, Gallery 4)

Francis Alÿs will present a selection of postcard size paintings at Victoria Gallery & Museum. Executed in the tradition of classic plein air painting, the paintings also allude to the condition of global tourism of our contemporary art scene. Many were done while scouting new locations for future film projects, from the Middle East to South America or China. 

Joyce Wieland (Second Floor, Tate Hall Museum)

Solidarity (1973) is a ten-minute film that documents a strike at the Dare Cookie factory in Kitchener, Ontario. It features a single shot depicts the 5,000 people who demonstrated in April 1973, walking through grass, picketing and marching.

Aslan Gaisumov (Second Floor, Tate Hall Museum)

The single-shot video People of No Consequence (2016) documents the gathering of a group of elderly men and women, all survivors of the 1944 Soviet deportation of the Chechen and Ingush nations to Central Asia.

Holly Hendry (Second Floor, Tate Hall Museum)

A selection of sculptures from her Gut Feeling series.  Hendry is interested in defining the architecture of spaces by exploring the possibilities, such as surface, colour and density, inherent in a wide range of materials through her installations.