FACT explores the Biennial
3 October 2012
Adrian Searle, art critic for The Guardian, began his review by saying 'Two days isn't nearly
enough time to get to grips with the current Liverpool Biennial',
I've been trying to see as much as I can over the past two and half
weeks and I've barely scratched the surface.
I began my Biennial journey at LJMU's Copperas Hill Building. The former sorting office is home to the City States strand of the Biennial, a collection of work representing cities from around the world responding to this year's biennial theme of Hospitality. Black Pillow by Lithuania based artists Audrius Bucas and Valdas Ozarinskas is one of the largest and most impressive works in the Biennial. The giant inflatable pillow fills the room from floor to ceiling, its massive size completely dominating the exhibition space. The pillow has grown in size since it was first shown in 2010, now measuring 35m across. It's almost impossible not to want to touch the giant pillow, people were poking and prodding and resting their heads against it to see what it felt like.
Located in Liverpool One, Elmgreen and Dragset's slightly open VIP door, But I'm on the Guest List Too!, highlights the celebrity and VIP culture often noticeable in Liverpool and across the UK. The door was guarded by a gigantic, shaven headed, surly looking bouncer. We couldn't quite summon up the courage to see what he'd do if we tried to get past him so instead we sat and watched as the crods of shoppers passed by and took photos of the shiny door.
American artist Doug Aitken is presenting his first ever piece of public art next to Tate Liverpool, in a pavilion designed in collaboration with British Architect David Adjaye. The Source consists of a series of interviews with some of the most important creatives working today where Aitken asks, what is the source of their creativity? The four-minute long films are all beautifully shot and edited. My highlight was Tilda Swinton's interview where she talked about the power of cinema, her experiences as an actor, how much better life gets once you pass 25, and finished by swapping shoes with Doug Aitken!
Next on my list of places to visit are The Bluecoat for the film The Unfinished Conversation by John Akomfrah (who was part of the 2007 exhibition The Ghost of Songs at FACT), The Monro and The Walker Art Gallery.
If you haven't had the chance to see the exhibition at FACT yet, we're open until 9pm this evening (and every Wednesday during the Biennial)