Longitudes

Report: Liverpool Biennial 2018 "Beautiful world, where are you?" in photos



The Liverpool Biennial 2018: Beautiful world, where are you? (14 July – 28 October 2018) presented the work of over 40 artists in locations across Liverpool including public spaces, civic buildings and the city’s leading art venues: Blackburne House, Bluecoat, FACT, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool John Moores University’s Exhibition Research Lab, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, the Oratory, the Playhouse theatre, RIBA North – National Architecture Centre, St George’s Hall, Tate Liverpool, Victoria Gallery & Museum (University of Liverpool), public spaces and online.

The 2018 edition was curated by Kitty Scott (Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario) and Sally Tallant (Director, Liverpool Biennial) with the Liverpool Biennial team.

The following texts are from the Liverpool Biennial website. All photos by Latitudes.

Above and below. Banu Cennetoğlu's "The List" on a 280-metre hoarding on Liverpool's Great George Street.

Compiled and updated each year by UNITED for Intercultural Action, an anti-discrimination network of 550 organisations in 48 countries, "The List" traces information relating to the deaths of more than 34,000 refugees and migrants who have lost their lives within, or on the borders of Europe since 1993. Since 2007, in collaboration with art workers and institutions, Banu Cennetoğlu has facilitated up-to-date and translated versions of "The List"  using public spaces such as billboards, transport networks, and newspapers. An updated edition of The List is presented on Great George Street in Liverpool and can be accessed online at guardian.co.uk. Copies of "The List", which were distributed by The Guardian newspaper on World Refugee Day on 20 June, are also available at exhibition venues.

Installed on a 280-metre hoarding on Liverpool's Great George Street, "The List" has been vandalised twice since the biennial opened in July. Cennetoğlu decided not to install it for a third time, leaving the ripped remains as a “reminder of the systematic violence exercised against people”. 


Mathias Poledna at The Oratory.

Screened within a specially designed structure, Mathias Poledna’s new film "Indifference" (2018) further advances his exploration of modernity’s visual imaginary. The work is set against the backdrop of early 20th-century European history, a period of traumatic modernisation and conflict.


Suki Seokyeong Kang at Bluecoat

Conceived as a visual translation of the Korean musical notation ‘Jeongganbo’, Land Sand Strand is a new multi-part installation by Suki Seokyeong Kang. The work transforms the exhibition space into a grid. Building on the concept of the hwamunseok – a traditional Korean woven mat, interpreted as the minimum space provided for each individual in society – it is activated by performers and the audience. The choreography, inspired by the Spring Oriole Dance and traditionally performed on the hwamunseok, is shared with visitors. The movements on the mat serve as the blueprint for the wider installation consisting of painting, sculpture and video.

Brian Jungen at Tate Liverpool.

Brian Jungen carves ‘feathers’ from the soles of Nike trainers to create a series of sculptures that resemble Cheyenne-style war bonnets. These headdresses, familiar from countless Westerns, address a long history of conflict and the lingering effects of colonisation. They signify the strength and pride of indigenous people today.


Duane Linklater at Tate Liverpool.

The sculptural works of Duane Linklater consider the notions of cultural loss, social amnesia and identity from the perspective of the indigenous peoples in Canada. Commenting on the economy of the fur trade, they suggest that animals, even in death, might retain their spirits or selfhood beyond the value they possess as commodities.






Haegue Yang at Tate Liverpool.

Haegue Yang presented her sculpture series "The Intermediates" (2015-ongoing) in Tate Liverpool's Wolfson Gallery. Made from artificial woven straw, The Intermediates allude to both traditional arts and crafts techniques and modern industrial production methods. Representing figures and sites from folk tales and ancient traditions, they question definitions of ‘paganism’. Yang’s environment for these works includes recordings of wildlife taken from the British Library’s sound collection, a wallpaper juxtaposing pagan traditions and modern history, and suspended ribbons that evoke folk traditions such as maypole dancing. Her multisensory, hybrid environments suggest fleeting connotations of time, place, figures and experiences that connect ‘folk’ traditions and contemporary culture.



 Not as part of the biennial programming, but this conversation coincided with our visit. 

The White Pube's Zarina Muhammad and Gabrielle de la Puente were in conversation with Tate Liverpool's new director Helen Legg about their origins as "embodied art critics", their practice and the challenges art criticism presents today. 

Aslan Gaisumov at St George’s Hall

Tracing the struggles and turbulent histories of the Chechen people, Aslan Gaisumov’s most recent work Keicheyuhea (2017) follows the artist’s grandmother as she returns to her lost homeland in the mountainous scenery of the North Caucasus for the first time since the displacement of her family 73 years earlier. 

Naeem Mohaiemen at the St George’s Hall.
  
Screened in the courtroom at St George’s Hall is "Two Meetings and a Funeral" (2017), a three-channel film by Naeem Mohaiemen – currently nominated for the Turner Prize 2018. The work revisits the Cold War-era power struggles between the political coalitions of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The project navigates alliances of convenience made during Bangladesh’s fight for UN recognition, as well as parallel decolonisation struggles in Palestine-Israel, the Portuguese colonies and South Africa.

At the Victoria Gallery & Museum. Part of "Worlds within worlds" section. 

Display of the Brendel Plant Models of World Museum anatomical models of plants, made for display and teaching purposes by the Berlin firm of R Brendel & Co in Germany around the turn of the 20th century.


Francis Alÿs' paintings at the Victoria Gallery & Museum. 

Francis Alÿs presents a selection of postcard-size paintings from the 1980s to today under the title Age Piece. Executed in the tradition of classic à plein air painting, these works allude to the condition of global tourism in the contemporary art scene. Many of the paintings were done while scouting new locations for future film projects, often in conflict zones such as Israel and Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Plateau.

Five bench-like sculptures can be found on the plateau behind the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. For this new commission, Ryan Gander dissected a model of architect Frederick Gibberd’s modernist cathedral into a series of simple ‘building blocks’. The blocks were then reassembled into different configurations by schoolchildren from Liverpool: Jamie Clark, Phoebe Edwards, Tianna Mehta, Maisie Williams and Joshua Yates. The maquettes that Gander and the children created have been reproduced on a larger scale to produce this new public seating arrangement within the cathedral grounds. This presentation is part of a larger project, Time Moves Quickly.

 John James Audubon at the Central Library.

One of the only 120 complete edition copies of The Birds of America by John James Audubon at the Central Library. The 19th-century book contains exquisite illustrations of a wide variety of birds of the United States.

Paul Elliman's work at Exhibition Research Lab.

Paul Elliman presents the "Vauxhall Astra 2020", the forthcoming and newest model of a car available since 1979 when General Motors launched the Vauxhall/Opel Astra, now the only car produced at Ellesmere Port. The Astra 2020 is offered as a constellation of raw materials, half-a-dozen boulders and rock-like lumps of the car’s constituent parts at original scale, made of steel (iron ore), glass, plastic, aluminum, rubber, and electrical components.


Mohamed Bourouissa has created a garden working with local people, gardeners, school pupils, teachers and artists. The artist was inspired by a garden made by a patient of the psychoanalyst and writer Frantz Fanon at the Blida-Joinville Psychiatric Hospital in Blida, Algeria. Fanon’s patient created the garden as occupational therapy, reflecting the organisation of his mental space through its structure. Bourouissa researched and learned the patient’s approach to botany, architecture, and therapy in order to create a similar garden in Liverpool. The garden has been conceived as a space of ‘resilience’. Some of the plants are native to Algeria and others have healing effects. A film documenting the garden and its evolution is presented at FACT.


Very close to Bourouissa's Resilience Garden is Assemble's ongoing project at Granby's Street.

Assemble's ceramic workshop in Granby Street, "a manufacturer of architectural ceramics, based in Liverpool and established in 2015. The workshop is part of Assemble's ongoing involvement with the Granby Four Streets neighbourhood."

Work by Taus Makhacheva at Blackburne House.

Taus Makhacheva has created a ruin-like sculptural installation that serves as a spa, in collaboration with artist Alexander Kutovoi. The installation incorporates ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) techniques and video.


RELATED CONTENT:
  • Report from Athens: "AGORA", 4th Athens Biennale 2013 4 November 2013
  • (Post 1/3) The 55th Venice Biennale: "The Encyclopedic Palace" in pictures and as seen by the critics, 1 June–24 November 2013 9 June 2013
  • (Part 2/3) "The Encyclopedic Palace", 55th Venice Biennale in tote bags 14 June 2013
  • (Post 3/3) The 55th Biennale di Venezia: National Pavilions and Collateral Events in pictures and as seen by the critics, 1 June–24 November 2013 17 June 2013
  • Manifesta 9, "The Deep of the Modern", Genk, Belgium, 2 June – 30 September 2012 in pictures and seen by the critics 12 June 2012
  • dOCUMENTA (13) in pictures & as seen by the critics, 9 June–16 September 2012 12 June 2012

Latitudes in the 'OMONOIA' Summit of the Athens Biennale 2015–2017

1960s view of Omonoia Square (Concord Square) in Athens – one of the many views of the site shared in this Flickr.

Latitudes will participate in one of the three panels that will comprise a two-day International Summit (18–19 November) that initiate the next two years of activities of the next edition of the Athens Biennale, titled “OMONOIA” (Concord). Intuitive towards the institution of biennales, the Athens Biennale intends to revise its identity and bridges the past with the present and the future by merging the fifth edition (2015) with the sixth (2017). 

The Summit is framed within the "Synapse 1: Introducing a laboratory for production post" the first synapse of what will be an ongoing series of events that will run over the next two years. 

The first day (18 November, 9:30–20h: National Theatre – New Rex, 48 Panepistimiou ) of the Summit will be organised under three panel discussions – Alternative Economies, The Performative in the Political, Rethinking Institutions. See the programme here.

The second day (19 November 2015, 9:30–20h, Bageion, 18 Omonoia Square) will host a series of working groups between scholars, self-organised initiatives, cooperatives and activists as well as an open assembly that will summarise the proceedings and discuss potentials for the future.

The aim of the Summit is to promote transnational knowledge-exchange and consider common grounds among academics, artists, activists and initiatives involved in practices of commoning, urban welfare and grassroots participation and kickstart the urban laboratory that the Athens Biennale aims to become for the next two years.

#AB5to6
#ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ
#AthensBiennale


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All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption).

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Report from Athens: "AGORA", 4th Athens Biennale 2013

The former stock exchange displayed nine digital price boards, a work by George Harvalias.

The tumultuous events of the last years in Greece have seen hundreds of thousands of people rallying, striking and rioting to protest the waves of austerity measures imposed on the debt-stricken country. Protestors have repeatedly clashed with police, lives have been lost, unemployment has skyrocketed, and the government warned in 2010 that the nation was "on the brink of the abyss". This year's Athens Biennale set itself the courageous task of asking, "Now what?". Taking its cue from the notion of the agora as a place of gathering and collaborative reconciliation, the Biennale transposed an ancient discursive framework onto the holy mess of the present. Its bitingly resonant main venue was the former Athens stock exchange, not quite a ruin, but a scarred shell of a building in the centre of the city.



  
The main hall of the former Athens stock exchange building on Sofocleous Street. This neo-Classical building opened in 1876 and was the trading floor for shares listed on the ATHEX exchange until it moved to another venue in July 2007. The nine digital price boards (the actual boards of the former exchange) was a work by George Harvalias, perhaps the touchstone of the biennial. It reproduced the share prices from the last day's trading in the building in 26 June 2007 when prices were near their peak value, with no sign of the subsequent catastrophic market crash to come. 


 






The text work on the balcony of the stock exchange hall was part of series entitled "New Behavioral Notes" (2012) by Dimitris Dokatzis, an Athenian artist of the same generation as Harvalias born in the 1950s. The words read "Money – Money! That is always the danger with you", a fragment taken from an Agatha Christie novel.



Among the younger generation of Greek artists and the more veiled comments on the financial crises, Constantinos Hadzinikolaou showed "Peacock" (2003–13), a Super 8 loop of a male Peafowl's extravagant courtship display.

One of at least three Spanish artists in the Biennial (besides Catalans Núria Güell and Ester Partegàs), Fernando García-Dory focused "on Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean islands as semi-enclosed ecosystems that stage the classic neo-liberal drama in which local economies succumb to the promissory spectacle of worldly paradise."

The guts of the Biennale were a series of discussions, workshops and roundtables, and on 12 October 2013 the main venue hosted a fascinating, sobering and graph-filled economics conference, featuring blue-chip economists from around the world including Heiner Flassbeck, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Poka-Yio, Biennale co-founder and co-director introduced the conference (photographed above). 


Paolo Manasse, Professor of Macroeconomics and International Economic Policy at the University of Bologna.


This year's biennale is fully online and can be followed on twitter #AB4AGORA, facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vimeo and YouTube platforms. Alternatively, for an overview of what's coming up, check out the biennale calendar.

AB4 was put together by a large group of contributing curators and collaborating correspondents as well as through an open call for projects. One of the features of the exhibition was the presence of a number of artists from Chicago, reflecting the engagement of Stephanie Smith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. (Stephanie was a contributor to the Latitudes-edited "Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook"). Among them, Geof Oppenheimer stood out with his "Reversals" (2013) new work which grew out of the sifting of archival advertising and press images to comprise ambiguous montages of economic affluence and political intrigue (photographed above). 



At the Contemporary Art Meeting Point (CAMP, on 4 Eupolidos & 2 Apellou str.), material related to four decades of socially engaged art in Chicago was presented under the name "Never the Same", the archive led by Daniel Tucker and Rebecca Zorach (photographed above). 



Of the artists more familiar from the better-worn paths of contemporary art, Gabriel Kuri presented "Quick Standards" (2005), which comprised four emergency blankets taped on wooden sticks.

We were very grateful to curator and art historian Christoforos Marinos and his partner Xenia Kalpaktsoglou (co-founder and co-director of the force that is the Athens Biennale) for helping us in setting up some impromptu meetings with some impressive artists while we were in Athens. We managed to meet Vangelis Vlahos, Kostis Velonis, Rallou Panagiotou, AlexandrosTzannis, Kernel (an artist/architect curatorial collaboration of Pegy Zali, Petros Moris and Theodoros Giannakis) and Dora Economou


(Above) Kernel (Pegy Zali, Petros Moris and Theodoros Giannakis) at the café of the Athens Biennial.

Apart from the Biennial, elsewhere in Athens, the Deste Foundation/Dakis Joannou Collection presented "The System of Objects", a show inspired by Jean Baudrillard's 1968 book of the same name. Curated by Andreas Angelidakis with Italian curator Maria Cristina Didero, the show extended over densely-installed rooms which were, as Angelidakis suggested "a little bit like floating down that river of the internet... Cypriot antiquities float alongside major installations by Maurizio Cattelan, paintings by Jeff Koons and worn out red vinyl tights from American Apparel? A seminal Archizoom chair from 1968 floats next to a painting by a Cypriot artist given to Dakis ages ago? Really?".
 

 

And of course what visit to Athens could ignore the treasures of the National Archaeological Museum? Of the objects on show, the finds from the Antikythera shipwreck were perhaps the most astonishing. Dated to 60–50 BC, they came from what experts believe was a freighter packed with Greek art headed to Italy. Ancient reminders from the dawn of the art trade, the antiquities – half consumed by the sea – were brought together for the first time in a special exhibition. 


 


This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Manifesta 8, 2010, in Murcia?

 

Hot on the heels of Manifesta 7 which took place throughout the Trentino-South Tyrol region of northern Italy this summer and autumn, the applications for host city for the 8th edition of this European Biennial of Contemporary Art - Manifesta 8 would take place in 2010 - closed a little more than a month ago. According to the Polish newspaper Gazeta, the contenders in what increasingly feels like an Olympics-style bid, are ... Gdansk, Poland; Riga, Latvia and Murcia in Spain. The same paper reports that the Polish bid was someway short of the 3.3 million Euro price tag.

In contrast, the southern Spanish city of Murcia, doubtless keen to shake off its image of golf resorts and vegetable growing, is seemingly very flush with money for contemporary art. Rather improbably, the city already has something of a track record for bringing home major projects and attracting some big names. And as many in the arts seem to be cutting budgets in credit crunch times -- not least the State-funder SEACEX who recently announced a 22% cut in its provision for Spanish artists abroad -- Murcia seems to be spending and investing in contemporary art more than ever.

Earlier this year the city staged Estratos, (see posts from 03.02.08 and 28.05.08) a twenty-artist project curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, the first 'PAC' (Proyecto de Arte Contemporáneo) a biennial-like format alongside residencies and exchanges supported by the Region of Murcia. Anish Kapoor's 'Islamic Mirror' curated by Rosa Martinez, continues at the Santa Clara Convent until January 2009 (organised by Culture and Tourism Department of the Region), and in May the SOS 4.8 Festival, with curators including Rirkrit Tiravanija was also funded by the Region. With the debacle of Manifesta 6 and the dispersed and difficult to navigate recent edition, what is clearly going to be a well-financed bid from an ambitious Murcia (with the 2nd 'PAC' already in place for 2010, and doubtless supported again by the communications skills of Urroz Proyectos), will surely take a lot of beating. And rumours are already beginning to circulate that a decision has already been made. We'll find out shortly before Christmas.

––

UPDATE:

The Region of Murcia's selected "en diálogo con África del Norte" as the host of Manifesta 8. There will be a presentation on the 11 February, at 14h at their Stand de la Región de Murcia in ARCO, Madrid. See e-flux announcement (11/02/09)

[Image: http://flights.jet2.com/Murcia/weather.htm]

Founded in 2005 by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, Latitudes is a curatorial office based in Barcelona, Spain, that works internationally across contemporary art practices.

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