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WATCH: Here’s what you can expect as Liverpool Biennial 2021 continues

24/05/2021

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Two months after it brought a series of outdoor artworks to Liverpool city centre, Liverpool Biennial 2021 has added nine indoor venues for art fans to discover.

They include the old Lewis’s department store building and the top floor of the Lush flagship shop on Church Street along with galleries and prominent historic buildings.

The inside chapter launched on May 19, coinciding with the easing of Government restrictions, completing the festival’s programme of exhibitions and installations on the theme of The Stomach and the Port.

Photo – Mark McNulty

This 11th Liverpool Biennial – the UK’s largest free festival of contemporary art – is showcasing 150 works of art by 50 leading and emerging artists and collectives from 30 countries around the world, looking at the body and nature alongside Liverpool’s own history as a port.

Sam Lackey, the new Director of the Biennial, says she’s proud that the festival has been able to play such an active role in reigniting the cultural hub that is our city.

“I have witnessed the power of this Biennial’s creative vision, developed by Manuela Moscoso and our artists. Together they have created 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,” she says.

“Liverpool Biennial is a huge free exhibition across the city that you can dip in and dip out of on different days and what would be brilliant is if more people from Liverpool came than have ever come before to safely experience the artworks.

“In these difficult times it just feels really amazing to be making something like this happen.”

Here’s everything you need to know to about Liverpool Biennial 2021, outside, inside and online …

When does the inside Liverpool Biennial start?

Indoor exhibitions opened on May 19. Different venues have different closing dates but most run until of June 27.

Where will the inside exhibitions and installations be?

There are nine new venues: Tate Liverpool at the Albert Dock, Open Eye Gallery at Mann Island, FACT on Wood Street, Bluecoat on School Lane, the Lush building on Church Street, Lewis’s building on Ranelagh Street, Dr Martin Luther King building at the Albert Dock, the Cotton Exchange (entrance on Ormond Street off Old Hall Street) and Central Library on William Brown Street.

Everyone loves the Lewis’s building, what’s happening there?

The Biennial’s curator Manuela Moscoso and its producer scoped out the legendary department store before lockdown and fell in love with its backstory and its location as well as the huge open space. It’s taken over three floors – the ground floor where the concessions used to be and in former offices on the second and third floors.

There are lots of different artworks to see including some large-scale ones, all exploring the same theme of what we consider a body to be and what it means to be human.

The Lewis’s building element of the Biennial will run until June 27.

Do I need to book tickets?

For the majority of indoor venues, yes. Although entry is free and open to everyone, they will be issuing timed tickets, one per visitor, because capacity has been limited for Covid safety reasons. If you’re planning to visit several different exhibitions, even on the same day, you’ll need to book separate tickets and time slots for each one.

There’s no booking, just walk-ins, at three of the inside venues: FACT, Open Eye Gallery and Central Library.

Are the outdoor artworks still there?

Yes and two more have been added since the first launch in March – Erick Beltrán’s sound and graphic works Superposition (2021), animating a fleet of ComCab taxis driving throughout the city, and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s La Pensée Férale (2021) at Crown Street Park.

How easy is it to see a few outdoor works in one trip?

Very because as well as an interactive map on the website to show where everything is, the Biennial team has created a series of trails taking in exhibitions, outdoor sculptures and installations. There’s one focused on the waterfront, one on the business district and one on the city centre.

What if I’d prefer to get involved from home?

That’s simple because there’s a Biennial Online Portal here which includes live performances, artist interviews, curatorial videos, artist-led discussions and workshops, a film programme, and podcasts.

For full listings, to book timed tickets and find out about the safety measures in place visit: https://liverpoolbiennial2021.com/

Get all of the latest news for Liverpool and beyond here.

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