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Liverpool Biennial 2020: Themes and Participating Artists Revealed

by FACT

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Titled The Stomach and the Port, Liverpool Biennial 2020 will take place from 11 July – 25 October.

Liverpool Biennial 2020 explores notions of the body. Drawing on non-Western ways of thinking, The Stomach and the Port challenges an understanding of the individual as a defined, self-sufficient entity. The body is instead seen as a fluid organism that is continuously shaped by and shaping its environment. Liverpool’s dynamic as a historical international port city – a point of global contact and circulation – provides the perfect ecosystem in which to situate these enquiries.

More than 50 international artists have been invited to respond to the theme within the context of Liverpool. These include Lamin Fofana, Jadé Fadojutimi, Sonia Gomes, Camille Henrot, Rashid Johnson, Linder, Haroon Mirza, and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané.

Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest festival of contemporary visual art. Taking over historic buildings, unexpected spaces and art galleries, the Biennial has been transforming the city through art for over two decades. A dynamic programme of free exhibitions, performances, screenings and fringe events unfolds over the 15 weeks, shining a light on the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

Fatoş Üstek, Director of Liverpool Biennial, said: "We are thrilled to bring new horizons to the Biennial in 2020. We will be expanding further into public spaces with permanent and temporary artist commissions, whilst increasing our visibility in the city through our programming. We have brought together artists from the UK and around the globe, whose practices demonstrate a breadth of enquiry into the world we live in, to research and engage with Liverpool, its history and cultural landscape.”

Manuela Moscoso, Curator of Liverpool Biennial 2020, said: "A plethora of artistic positions are grouping under this edition of the Biennial: many include sound, shun direct representation, de-stabilise gender categories, or look at intense forms of contact. We are taking the visible and invisible dynamics of Liverpool's historic port as portents for the future body.”

The Biennial programme is presented in locations across Liverpool, including public spaces, historic sites and the city’s leading art venues: Bluecoat, FACT, Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool and Victoria Gallery & Museum. New for 2020, Liverpool Biennial’s reach will also expand to the city’s historic Fabric District and beyond.

Cover image: artwork by Dr. Lakra. Design by Sara De Bondt and Mark El-khatib.