Liverpool Biennial 2018: Beautiful world, where are you?
Liverpool Biennial 2018
Beautiful world, where are you?
14 July – 28 October
The 10th edition of Liverpool Biennial, Beautiful world, where are you? invites artists and audiences to reflect on a world in social, political and economic turmoil.
The title for Beautiful world, where are you? derives from a 1788 poem by the German poet Friedrich Schiller, set to music by Austrian composer Franz Schubert in 1819. The years between the composition of Schiller’s poem and Schubert’s song saw great upheaval and profound change in Europe, from the French Revolution to the fall of the Napoleonic Empire. Today, the poem continues to reflect a world gripped by deep uncertainty. It can be seen as a lament but also as an invitation to reconsider our past, advancing a new sense of beauty that can be shared in a more equitable way.
Over 40 artists from 22 countries are presenting work that responds to the call Beautiful world, where are you? The city of Liverpool provides the setting with its public spaces, galleries, museums and civic buildings. As an additional strand, Worlds within worlds invites audiences to explore the rich histories and stories evoked by objects and artefacts from the city’s civic collections and architecture.
Beautiful world, where are you? is presented 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
Also showing as part of Liverpool Biennial 2018 are partner exhibitions John Moores Painting Prize 2018 at the Walker Art Gallery, Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018 at Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Art and Design, This is Shanghai and the Biennial Fringe.
In 2018, Liverpool Biennial is celebrating 20 years of presenting international art in the city and region. It is also part of Liverpool 2018, a year-long programme that proudly showcases the city’s culture and creativity a decade on from its year as European Capital of Culture.
Liverpool Biennial 2018 is 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.
Haegue Yang (b. 1971, South Korea) lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Seoul, South Korea. Yang’s practice spans a wide range of media, from paper collage to performative sculpture and large-scale multi-sensorial installation, often featuring everyday objects, in addition to labour-intensive woven sculptures. Articulated using her abstract visual vocabulary, her anthropomorphic sculptures often play with the notion of ‘folk’. Her multisensory environments suggest uncontrollable and fleeting connotations of time and place, and experiences that connect us.
For Liverpool Biennial 2018, Haegue Yang has created an immersive environment for 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.
Selected recent solo exhibitions were at Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2018); KINDL, Berlin, Germany (2017); Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2016); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2015); Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art, Strasbourg, France (2013); and Modern Art Oxford (2011).
Suki Seokyeong Kang (b. 1977, Seoul, South Korea) lives and works in Seoul. Kang deploys various media including installation and video to seek a synesthetic expansion of painting. Through movement and rhythm, she creates an environment that guides the direction of her painting, which she uses like a visual musical score. Her practice is situated between the abstract and figurative, the organic and geometric, creating a visual language of balance and harmony.
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.
Recent exhibitions include 11th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2016); National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, South Korea (2016); Villa Vassilieff, Paris, France (2016); Audio Visual Pavilion, Seoul, South Korea (2015); and Old House, Seoul, South Korea (2013).