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Liverpool Biennial 2021 celebrates final weeks with live weekend of events

Liverpool Biennial 2021 celebrates final weeks with live weekend of events

by Culture Liverpool

Liverpool Biennial 2021 celebrates the final weeks of the 11th edition The Stomach and the Port (ends 27 June) with a weekend of free, live artist activations across the city centre and online this Saturday and Sunday, 19 – 20 June.

To continue the Biennial’s tradition of animating unusual spaces, pop-up public events with this year’s artists will include Haroon Mirza’s participatory choral commission on the terraced piazza at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral; Linder’s improvised dance and music performance outside her billboard Bower of Bliss (2021) on College Lane; and a new, durational movement and audio work by SERAFINE1369 in the garden at Bluecoat.

Other performative commissions taking place across the weekend will feature the documented dance performance Deader than Dead (2020) by Ligia Lewis; phonecall performances with experts in clairvoyance in Luisa Ungar’s A Regurgitation is a Song is a Spell (Consultations to recreate the colonial disease) (2021); immersive taxi rides in Erick Beltrán’s Superposition (2021), and Godofredo Perreira’s performative lecture Ex-Humus; alongside family friendly activities and guided tours across the city, bringing The Stomach and the Port to life.

Mindful of recent announcements, and to ensure the public’s safety, Liverpool Biennial will at all times observe government guidance and encourage social distancing.

This Sunday also marks the last chance to see the Biennial at Tate Liverpool, while exhibitions continue until 27 June or beyond at seven other Liverpool venues, alongside online commissions and outdoor artworks across the city.

The Stomach and the Port, the 11th edition of Liverpool Biennial, is curated by Manuela
Moscoso and showcases the work of 50 leading artists and collectives from 30 countries around the world. Presented in new and historic locations, the Biennial’s exhibitions have taken over the Lewis’s Building, Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building, the Lush Building, Liverpool Central Library and Cotton Exchange with site-specific exhibitions, while new exhibitions have been created at the city’s leading art venues, Tate Liverpool, FACT, Bluecoat, alongside outdoor sculptures, installations, sonic and digital commissions, and a dynamic digital event programme on the Biennial Online Portal, to present the UK’s largest free festival of contemporary art.

The participating artists include: Larry Achiampong, Black Obsidian Sound System, Erick
Beltrán, Diego Bianchi, Alice Channer, Judy Chicago, Ithell Colquhuoun, Christopher Cozier, Yael Davids, Ines Doujak & John Barker, Dr. Lakra, Jadé Fadojutimi, Jes Fan, Lamin Fofana, Ebony G. Patterson, Sonia Gomes, Ane Graff, Ayesha Hameed, Camille Henrot, Nicholas Hlobo, Laura Huertas Millán, Sohrab Hura, Invernomuto & Jim C. Nedd, Rashid Johnson, KeKeÇa, Jutta Koether, SERAFINE1369, Ligia Lewis, Linder, Luo Jr – shin, Jorgge Menna Barreto, Haroon Mirza, Neo Muyanga, Pedro Neves Marques, Roland Persson, Anu Põder, Reto Pulfer, André Romão, Kathleen Ryan, Zineb Sedira, Xaviera Simmons, Teresa Solar, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Jenna Sutela, Martine Syms, UBERMORGEN, Leonardo Impett and Joasia Krysa, Luisa Ungar, Alberta Whittle, Zheng Bo, David Zink Yi.

Sam Lackey, Director of Liverpool Biennial, said:

“The Stomach and the Port presents a dynamic and timely response to some of the biggest questions that we are facing today. Set against the backdrop of Liverpool’s colonial history as a port city, we invited artists across the world to create new commissions that explore ideas of kinship, porosity and the bodily experience. The works on display throughout eight of the remaining exhibitions in Liverpool’s most well-loved art galleries and re-discovered architectural gems, are powerfully emotive, often humorous and playful, but above all suggest new ways of thinking about the world around us and how we can change our future. With under a week left to see Tate Liverpool’s exhibition which ends on 20 June, and just under two weeks left to see the rest of the Biennial, with the exception of FACT and Bluecoat running on longer, we are delighted to host a live weekend of satellite events for local audiences, where we can connect and be with the artists, and celebrate an amazing finale to this incredible edition.”

Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool:

“Liverpool is proud of its diverse cultural offering. The Stomach and the Port’s Live Weekend is a great testimony to the Biennial’s commitment to Liverpool and its vital role in bringing culture back to our great city with bold, ambitious new commissions and ideas that respond so pertinently to the challenging times we are in.”

Linder, Artist, said:

“I’m thrilled to be one of the many artists in the Liverpool Biennial, especially
at this moment in time when the city digs deep into its various histories in order to further explore its myriad future possibilities. I was born in Liverpool and I spent my formative years here, the city has shaped me like no other city since. It’s a delight to return to my birthplace to activate the Bower of Bliss billboard on College Lane with intermittent sound, fragrance, dance and music.”

Liverpool Biennial Live Weekend: Saturday 19 June

Public Sculpture Tour: 10am
Free, booking necessary via Eventbrite. Meet inside the courtyard at Bluecoat

Join Hyun Seo Chiang from the Liverpool Biennial Programme team on a tour around the city centre, exploring this year’s public sculptures, including Rashid Johnson’s Stacked Heads (2020), Teresa Solar’s Osteoclast (2021), Larry Achiampong’s Pan African Flags For the Relic Travellers’ Alliance,

Linder’s Bower of Bliss (2021), and Jorgge Menna Barretto’s mural Mauvaise Alphabet (2021).
Live Performance: Linder at Liverpool ONE, College Lane
11 – 2pm Free, no booking necessary, drop-in

Throughout the Live Weekend, a series of 20-minute performances will take place in front of Linder’s Bower of Bliss (2021) billboard. The activations will feature improvised dance by local dancer Lauren Fitzpatrick and Kirstin Halliday in response to music by composer and musician, Maxwell Sterling, to extend the key concepts and themes of Linder’s works in Tate Liverpool and in the billboard, reinforcing the need for safe and deeply pleasurable spaces within cities.

Costumes by Louise Gray.

Born in Liverpool, Linder is internationally renowned for her radical feminism. She uses photography, photomontage and performance to critique past and contemporary gender roles, specifically the representation of women. Fashion, music and performance are important features in her work, often referencing her background in the 1970s punk and post – punk scenes. As part of her investigations into women’s history, Linder researches archives and develops displays championing underrepresented voices. Linder is the recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award, UK (2017). Recent exhibitions include Kettle’s Yard, UK (2020) Nottingham Contemporary, UK (2018); Art on the Underground, UK (2018); Glasgow Women’s Library, UK (2018); and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2013).

Film Performance: Deader than Dead by Ligia Lewis at The Black-E
11 – 6pm Free, no booking necessary, drop-in

Ligia Lewis conceived and directed deader than dead in 2020 as an intrigue-based inquiry into deadpan, an impassive mannerism deployed in comedic fashion in order to illustrate emotional distance. The dancers perform to Macbeth’s culminating soliloquy (“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,” a reflection on repetition and meaninglessness), which unfolds through the work in modular parts, each one an illustration or parody of death, stasis, and the void, each one tied to its own carefully selected soundtrack or sample. Full of play and comedic tropes, the work is also a meditation on “playing,” or acting, as well as on tragedy’s recurring cycles and familiarity  within Black and brown experience; on time, as it loops; on performance; on touch, as an act of both care and violence. Built in the form of a musical lament, it is a protracted complaint performed ad infinitum, decomposing itself along the way.

Ligia Lewis is a choreographer based in Berlin, Germany, and Los Angeles, USA. Lewis’ work gives form to movements, speech, affects, thoughts, relations, utterances and the bodies that hold them. Her works slide between the familiar and the unfamiliar, held together by the logics of interdependence, disorder and play. In considering the social inscriptions of the body, her work materialises the enigmatic, the poetic and the dissonant. Lewis is the recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants Award (2018); a Bessie Award for Outstanding Production (2017); and a Factory Artist residency at tanzhaus nrw (2017 – 19). Lewis’ stage works are currently managed and produced in part by HAU Hebbel am Ufer Theater, Germany, a collaboration which began in 2017.

Family Friendly: Kinship Activity Craft Afternoon at Bluecoat
1 – 4pm Free, no booking necessary, drop-in

Be inspired by Jorgge Menna Barretto’s mural Mauvaise Alphabet (2021) displayed on the side of the Bluecoat building in this drop-in session on the Bluecoat Platform, the new family friendly outdoor sculpture by artists Simon & Tom Bloor, to make some exciting collage work with all the Kinship Activity Sheets from each of the Biennial’s venues. All materials provided and hopefully the sunshine too!

Live Performance: The Three /\/\/’s by Haroon Mirza at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral 2.15pm, 3pm, 3.45pm
Free, limited availability, booking essential via Eventbrite

Join in the observance of Haroon Mirza’s newly commissioned choral work The Three /\/\/’s (2021), supported by Open Culture, which explores social gatherings and ritual, informed by the Fibonacci sequence and golden ratio. In collaboration with Mirza, Liverpool-based choir leader Jenifer John leads an ensemble of performers, made up of Anne Taft, Emma Bispham, Jennifer John and Tayo Aluko to evolve the vocal interpretations of the ritual. Taking place on the Cathedral’s terraced piazza, audiences are invited to participate in each 8-minute cycle of the commission by mimicking the sounds, emanating out from the heart of the choir.

Haroon Mirza lives and works in London, UK. His work tests the Interplay and friction between sound and light waves and electric current. He devises sculptures, performances and immersive installations that pry on one’s awareness of their own experience. An advocate of interference, he creates situations that purposefully cross wires, describing his role as a composer, manipulating his primary medium, electricity, a live, invisible and volatile natural phenomenon.

Mirza asks us to reconsider the perceptual distinctions between noise, sound and music, and draws into question the categorisation of cultural forms. Recent exhibitions include Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Australia (2019); John Hansard Gallery, UK (2019); Sifang Art Museum, China (2019); and Ikon, UK (2018).

Ex-Humus: A lecture performance with Godofredo Perreira at The Black-E
5 – 6pm Free, booking necessary via Eventbrite

In a performative lecture, architect and theorist Godofredo Pereira considers how exhumations are paradigmatic of extractive capitalism’s violence over peoples and environments. Exhumations reveal the bodies the earth holds and what these have to say, be it soil, mineral or human bodies. As such, exhumations are sites where modes of relation to earth are both contested and re-imagined.

Dr. Godofredo Enes Pereira is an architect and researcher. He is the Head of Programme for the MA Environmental Architecture at the Royal College of Art, London. Prior to joining the RCA, he taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture. He was a member of Forensic Architecture where he led the Atacama Desert project. For the past decade Godofredo has been conducting research, publishing and exhibiting on environmental architectures and collective politics. He’s the author of the book Savage Objects (Lisbon, 2012), is currently preparing the publication of  ‘Ex-Humus: Territorial Politics from Below’, and together with Susana Calo has recently been awarded a Graham Foundation Grant for the publication of ‘CERFI: Militant Analysis, Institutional Programming and Collective Equipment’.

Phonecall Performance: A Regurgitation is a Song is a Spell (Consultations to recreate
the colonial disease) by Luisa Ungar 7 – 9pm
Free, online, pre-book a call via Eventbrite

Book a phonecall with experts in clairvoyance. Ask a question, share a concern or an urgency. Luisa Ungar has worked with a group of clairvoyants around various types of material from collections and archives in the city of Liverpool. The experts will be available to the public to answer questions via phone calls. Inspired by reports of contagion, hygienisation and witchhunting, Ungar explores ways of reclaiming practices that were marginalized by the moderncapitalist world, revising forms of deprivation of women’s voices in connection to local history.

Luisa Ungar lives in Colombia. Her multidisciplinary practice explores how social norms are constructed and institutionalised through language. She is interested in mechanisms that question ways in which local history is constructed, using didactic strategies that trace colonial structures implicit in our ways of learning, communicating and speaking. She looks for threads on animality and the non-human which shape our behaviour, and her performances are often built on conversations from the local environment and interweave micro-stories with seemingly disjointed historical narratives and archaeological remains in order to build new layers of meaning.

Live Weekend: Sunday 20 June
Public Sculpture Tour 11am
Free, booking necessary via Eventbrite. Meet inside the courtyard at Bluecoat.

Join Abi Mitchell from the Liverpool Biennial Programme team on a tour around the city centre, exploring this year’s public sculptures, including Rashid Johnson’s Stacked Heads (2020), Teresa Solar’s Osteoclast (2021), Larry Achiampong’s Pan African Flags For the Relic Travellers’ Alliance,,Linder’s Bower of Bliss (2021) and Jorgge Menna Barretto’s mural

Mauvaise Alphabet (2021).
Live Performance: Linder at Liverpool ONE, College Lane 11 – 2pm
Free, no booking necessary, drop-in.

Film Performance: Deader than Dead by Ligia Lewis at the Black-E
11 – 6pm Free, no booking necessary, drop-in.

Live Performance: SERAFINE1369 in the Garden at Bluecoat
2 – 8pm Free, booking necessary via Eventbrite

I I I (something flat, something cosmic, something endless) (2021) by SERAFINE1369 is set to an evolving soundscape. It was made in a moment when all that there was, was this body and its dreams, nightmares, cycles and needs, its sensations and wanting.
A durational performance inducing a state of expansiveness and detachment from the pressure to create – or be formed by – meaning through conventional narrative arcs. Its duration witnesses / tracks the rhythmic cycles, the peaks and troughs of an endocrine system beyond the arc of climax. The work situates a research and obsession with the unit of ‘one minute’ – asking whether we can transform the stuff of time or whether it transforms us. Considering the invention of colonial time and agency, the ways we inhabit its units of fixed endless measurement, even as this Time slips out of relation to the celestial bodies that have long been its anchor and justification.

Working with live and recorded text written over the last year from dreams and heartache and reflection – a wasteland of feeling – I I I (something flat, something cosmic, something endless) is a wide and flat landscape as score for performance. A reading, a listening, a movement.

Based in London, SERAFINE1369’s practice is always relational, moving across spaces,
contexts, roles and collaborations. They work with dramatic compositions of sculpture, electronic music, overwhelm, syncopation, internal narratives, texture, trance states, the public and dance, to build atmospheric landscapes through the live unfolding of the tensions between things that produce meaning. The resultant choreographies engage with questions of entanglement, alienation and sensation. SERAFINE1369 is the moniker of Jamila Johnson-Small, 2019/20Torchlight Artist at Siobhan Davies Dance, UK. Recent presentations include CA2M, Spain(2020); My Wild Flag, MDT, Sweden (2020); Queer Performance Camp, La Chapelle, Canada (2020); Silencio, France (2019); Transmediale, Germany (2019); Palais de Tokyo, France (2018); and Institute of Contemporary Arts, UK (2018).

Taxi Ride: Superposition (2021) by Erick Beltrán
19 & 20 January: To book call ComCab Taxis on 0151 298 2222 (normal phone & taxi rates apply).

Take a taxi ride around Liverpool and experience the rhythmic world of Latin American Cumbia music, intersected by quantum physics, the primordial state and psychopomp in Erick Beltrán’s new commission Superposition (2021). The full Superposition commission, combining lights and music alongside the graphic designs, can be experienced across 5 taxis, while on display across the tip-seats of an additional 30 taxis are Beltrán’s graphic designs, complete with QR codes providing access to the accompanying audio.

Erick Beltrán (b. 1974, Mexico City, Mexico) lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. Beltrán
analyses and reflects on the mechanisms of thought systems, specifically the relationship of power that exists between the editing process and ways of constructing knowledge.

Working with diverse media, such as publication, lecture- performance and installation, Beltrán experiments with the link between public art and diverse graphic languages, investigating the museum, library and the archive as forms of knowledge. Recent exhibitions include Volt, Norway (2019); La Tallera, Mexico (2018); Espacio Odeón, Colombia (2018); and Cuenca Bienal, Ecuador (2018). Supported by Patronato de Arte Contemporáneo, A.C., Embassy of Mexico inthe United Kingdom and Com Cabs.

Image credit: Teresa Solar, Osteoclast (I do not know how I came to be on board this ship, this navel of my ark), 2021. Installation view at Derby Square, Liverpool Biennial 2021. Photography_ Mark McNulty 

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