With less than a month to go, here is the ‘long-awaited’ Spanner in the Workz highlights of the Liverpool Biennial 2018!
The Biennial 2018 celebrates its 10th programme of what is overall twenty years of arts across the city and region. It also personally marks my fifth Biennial from when I first visited Liverpool as an art student in 2008. It has become a tradition to visit and feel quite sentimental about loyally making the pilgrimage to the north every two years via a series of (increasingly unreliable) trains searching for what new contemporary national and international art in some of Liverpool’s most remarkable buildings, galleries and spaces has in store. There is also a case for the Liverpool bar that sells triple gins for £3, but perhaps the less said of that the better....!
In response to the collective theme, ‘Beautiful World Where Are You?’ artists and audiences are invited ‘to reflect on a world in turmoil’. It sounds serious and whilst I do not question that the world, politically, environmentally, socially and economically is in a tumultuous and uncertain period, I found much of what resonated with me in this year’s Biennial to be conscientiously uplifting and more hopeful or engagingly activist in the face of such challenges. Works such as Mae-ling Lokko’s ‘Hack the Root’, presented at RIBA North Architectural Centre deals with the turmoil of food-waste and unsustainability of materials for building by proposing a creative solution whereby agrowaste-fed mycelium (mushroom) have been cultivated into modular biomaterial building panels. Shown is a video that explains this process alongside the tiles themselves, a growing chamber and prototypes of structures which could be built from this material. I had no idea mushrooms could be used in this way and am excited that work artists are still using science to creatively problem solve and generate new ideas.
|(still) Madiha Aijaz 'These Silences Are All The Words' 2017-18|
|Francis Alys, 'Outskirts of Mosul' 2016 - part of 'Age Piece' 2018|
|Botanical Plant models at the Victoria Gallery & Museum|
|St George's Hall Steps from the Courtroom down to the prison cells|
|Glue residue left from the 'destruction' of Banu Cennetoglu's list of Refugee names|
Liverpool Biennial 2018, can be seen at selected venues across the city until October 28th. For more information visit: http://www.biennial.com/2018