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This final chapter complements the outdoor sculptures, installations, sonic and digital commissions, and online event programme on the Biennial Online Portal, which launched in March. Now, in line with Government guidance, the Biennial is opening more doors to Liverpool, welcoming visitors to safely enjoy the UK’s largest free festival of contemporary art.
The Stomach and the Port is curated by Manuela Moscoso and showcases the work of 50 leading and emerging artists and collectives from 30 countries around the world, including 47 new commissions for the Liverpool Biennial.
Exploring concepts of the body, the Biennial draws on non-Western thinking that challenges our understanding of the individual as a defined, self-sufficient, entity. Instead, the body is seen as fluid, being continuously shaped by, and actively shaping its environment. At the heart of this Biennial is Liverpool’s history as a port city, an active agent in the process of modernisation, change, and colonialism. Through the visible and invisible dynamics of the port’s past, this Biennial envisions different forms of being human and explores what bodies have the potential to be.
Presented across the city, in new and historic locations, the Biennial has taken over the Lewis’s Building, Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building, the Lush Building, Liverpool Central Library and Cotton Exchange to install site-specific exhibitions, while new exhibitions have been created with the city’s leading art venues, Tate Liverpool, FACT, Bluecoat and Open Eye Gallery.
The Biennial’s series of outdoor sculptures and installations by seven artists celebrate Liverpool’s iconic architecture and public spaces. Connecting bodies and experiences to key places, past and present, together they speak of the movement of humans across the sea and propose new understandings of the relationships between the body and nature.
To navigate the breadth of the Biennial and to make connections between the artworks, a free Guide is available to pick up around the city and online, and a series of suggested trails gather exhibitions, outdoor sculptures and installations around 3 curatorial entry points – Stomach, Porosity and Kinship.
Underpinning the physical festival is the Biennial Online Portal, a platform presenting an introduction to each of the artists and entry points, along with a dynamic digital programme Processes of Fermentation. This combines an inspiring line-up of live performances, artist interviews, curatorial videos, artist-led discussions and workshops, a film programme and podcasts, providing ever-changing, rich and engaging multimedia content. In addition, a vibrant selection of online and physical resources is available for children and young people, bringing the Biennial into the home, the classroom and the community.
To coincide with the launch of the exhibitions, the Biennial is releasing work for sale by Liverpool Biennial 2021 artists: a special edition vinyl by Neo Muyanga, produced in collaboration with SAVVY Contemporary and a limited-edition print by Teresa Solar, alongside a trio of prints by Dr. Lakra. Also available at www.biennial.com/shop is The Stomach and the Port book, featuring essays by selected artists and written narratives by Manuela Moscoso and Keyna Eleison, Co-Director of Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro. Proceeds from every sale support future programming with artists and communities.
“This Biennial’s creative vision, developed by Manuela Moscoso with our artists, has produced a vital and thought-provoking edition with The Stomach and the Port, addressing some of the big questions of our times and overcoming significant challenges which the pandemic has presented along the way”.
“The Stomach and the Port reflects on systems of exchange, how borders are not only geographic but also political and subjective constructs. Rooted in decolonising our experience of the world, the artists collaboratively present a re-calibration of the senses and a catalyst for change.”
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