As plans for Liverpool Biennial 2018 are beginning to unfold, Getintothis’ Janaya Pickett explores the theme and exciting potential of its tenth edition.
Did you know that according to a recent survey 1.2 million people experienced the Liverpool Biennial 2016? No, us neither. And that 60% of those folk came from outside the city? Quite impressive that, isn’t it?
Since its inception in 1998 Liverpool Biennial has commissioned over 300 artworks from over 400 artists and next year the event will be celebrating its twentieth birthday and tenth edition, alongside city wide activities celebrating the 10th anniversary of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture status.
The title and concept this year is Beautiful world, where are you? and will run from July 14 to October 28, 2018.
This writer remembers, while at a history seminar in her first year at university, a lecturer emphasising that we live in the most interesting times. Now, as a teenager in the early 2000s that seemed difficult to understand as comfortable as life was- especially after studying world wars and revolution.
It seemed then that everything that could happen had and growing up during 90s economic booms and globalisation, it was plain sailing from then on. The naivety is obvious in hindsight.
Beautiful world, where are you? Comes from a line of a 1788 poem by German writer Friedrich Schiller. A generation later, composer Franz Schubert set the poem to music. Between 1788 and 1819 Europe’s sociopolitical landscape underwent dramatic change with French revolution and the rise and fall of the Napoleonic Empire.
There was anxiety about what the future might hold, much as there is now and this is where the poem/concept is relatable today. Director Sally Tallant and co-curator Kitty Scott think that this type of reflection “can be seen as a lament but also as an invitation to reconsider our past, advancing a new sense of beauty that might be shared in a more equitable way“.
And where better to undertake such a theme in a city as culturally and historically rich as Liverpool, with its wealth of interesting spaces and (as previous Biennials have shown) possibilities. In ‘interesting times’ it can be therapeutic and helpful even to witness how creatives interpret them and so we’ll be keeping our ears to the ground for what sounds like a rather exciting 2018.