Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art 2021

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Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art 2021

  • 20 Mar 2021 — 27 Jun 2021

Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest festival of contemporary visual art. Taking over unexpected and public spaces, historic sites and art galleries, the Biennial has been transforming the city through art for over two decades. The 11th edition, The Stomach and the Port, explores notions of the body and ways of connecting with the world. 50 international artists and two collectives are taking part in this year’s Biennial. A dynamic programme of free exhibitions, performances, screenings and fringe events unfolds over the 12 weeks, shining a light on the city’s vibrant cultural scene. Liverpool Biennial: The Stomach and the Port is curated by Manuela Moscoso.

The 11th edition of Liverpool Biennial was scheduled to take place in 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Now rescheduled to 2021, the programme will be delivered as originally conceived but responsive to the new context – curated by Manuela Moscoso.

Liverpool Biennial 2021: The Stomach and the Port will present two new commissions by Austrian artists Ines Doujak and UBERMORGEN which are available online.

InesDoujak will present a film entitled MasterlessVoices at Tate Liverpool and a new commission in the format of a podcast series on the history of pandemics, in collaboration with John Barker. Interested in uncovering how histories of globalisation impact contemporary sociocultural conditions, Masterless Voices retraces the roots of carnival to patterns of extraction, labour and trade, particularly in the textile industry. Tracing the global histories of fashion, clothing becomes a signifier of colonial, gender and class struggles.

The podcast series traces the social and cultural history of pandemics, beginning with the global transmission of diseases that was facilitated by European colonialism. Doujak and Barker follow this history to the present day where the dehumanising language of diseases, parasites and infestation have entered a political vocabulary directed at migrants and minorities.

UBERMORGEN (Elizabeth Haas and Hans Bernhard) present an online project in collaboration with Leonardo Impett and Joasia Krysa titled The Next Biennial Should be Curated by a Machine. The project is a speculation on future curatorial forms in light of developments in artificial intelligence and reimagines the curation of a biennial as a self-learning system. The workbrings together vast amounts of data such as archivalmaterial on biennials past and present, usingmachine learning techniques to propose a biennial based on AI. Working with algorithms, the project raises questions about how human behaviour and technology are shaping one another. The Next Biennial Should be Curated by a Machine is presented as an online project, accessible through the websites of Liverpool Biennial and Whitney Museum of American Art.  

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Ines Doujak, Ghostpopulations, 2019. Photo: Ines Doujak