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Lewis's Building joins Liverpool Biennial locations for 2021


The postponed Liverpool Biennial takes place next spring – and the festival will take over two floors of the old landmark Lewis’s department store.

The 11th Biennial, titled The Stomach and the Port, takes place from March 20 to June 6 2021.

It should have been held this summer until the Coronavirus pandemic brought a halt to events nationwide.

More than 50 leading and emerging artists from the UK and abroad including Frieze Artist Award winner Alberta Whittle, Liverpool-born artist Linder, Rashid Johnson and Jenna Sutela will take part in the 12-week festival of exhibitions, screenings, sculpture and sound - the largest contemporary visual arts festival in the UK.

Lewis’s will host highlights from Alice Channer, works from Camille Henrot’s Wet Job series and a multi-sensory installation from Lamin Fofana.

Neo Muyanga’s (pictured below) newly commissioned project A Maze in Grace, inspired by the hymn composed by Liverpool slaver-turned-abolitionist John Newton, will be presented as a video installation in the grade II listed building.

Other artists taking part in the Biennial include Judy Chicago, who previously created a mural the Sgt Pepper at 50 celebrations in 2017, Black Obsidian Sound System and David Zink Yi. This time her work will be shown at Tate Liverpool.

A series of public realm artworks from Larry Achiampong, Teresa Solar, Erick Beltran, Linder, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and Rashid Johnson will be displayed at outdoor locations across the city including the Canning Dock, Exchange Flags, Crown Street Park and Liverpool ONE, while works will also be showcased indoors at Tate Liverpool, The Cotton Exchange, Bluecoat and FACT.

Liverpool Biennial 2021 explores notions of the body and ways of connecting with the world, drawing on non-Western ways of thinking and challenging an understanding of the individual.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, Biennial curators have had to find new ways to deliver the programme and some works have had to be adapted.

Since the original Biennial concept was revealed, the organisation’s director Fatos Üstek has left the organisation. She has been replaced by an interim director Sam Lackey, head of collections at the Whitworth Art Gallery.

She said today: “We’re experiencing intense and transformative events across the globe, with many of us adapting to, and coping with, life-changing shifts.

“At Liverpool Biennial we feel that ways of sharing and interpreting our lives and experience are of huge importance right now.

Alberta Whittle: between a whisper and a cry (2019) film still. Photo by the artist


“This edition has been curated with passion and nurtured over several years with a group of carefully selected artists who are connected to Liverpool as a place.

“The city is known for being an epicentre of social and cultural exchange, through connecting communities and artists and continually reshaping its global identity by steadfastly investing in arts and culture.

“We’re committed to working together with our partners in the city to redesign and remodel events, to enable us to put on a show in the city and to broadcast across the world. By continuing to support artists and draw more world class talent and artworks to Liverpool, we hope to inspire the creators of the future.”

Liverpool Biennial runs from March 20 to June 6 2021. More from the website HERE

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