Liverpool Biennial 2018: Agnès Varda, Mohamed Bourouissa & Morehshin Allahyari

  • 14 July 2018 - 28 October 2018


The 10th edition of Liverpool Biennial, Beautiful world, where are you? invites artists and audiences to reflect on a world in social, political and economic turmoil.


Within this context, FACT showcases new and existing works from two artist-filmmakers at very different stages of their career: Agnès Varda and Mohamed Bourouissa.


A new commission by artist Morehshin Allahyari will be hosted online for Liverpool Biennial 2018. Allahyari’s project is co-commissioned with FACT and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Liverpool Biennial is the UK biennial of contemporary art. Taking place over 15 weeks across the city in public spaces, galleries, museums and online, the Biennial commissions artists from around the world to make and present work in the context of Liverpool. The 10th edition titled Beautiful world, where are you? invites artists and audiences to reflect on a world in social, political and economic turmoil. 


The artistic concept and title for Beautiful world, where are you? derives from a 1788 poem by the German poet Friedrich Schiller, later set to music by Austrian composer Franz Schubert in 1819. The years between the composition of Schiller’s poem and Schubert’s song saw great upheaval and profound change in Europe, from the French Revolution to the fall of the Napoleonic Empire. Today the poem continues to suggest a world gripped by deep uncertainty; a world of social, political and environmental turmoil. It 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. 


The Biennial programme is presented in locations across Liverpool including public spaces and the city’s leading art venues: Bluecoat, FACT, Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University’s Exhibition Research Lab, National Museums Liverpool, RIBA North, the Liverpool Playhouse, Victoria Gallery & Museum (University of Liverpool), and Blackburne House.

Also on show during Liverpool Biennial 2018 are partner exhibitions John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery, Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Liverpool John Moores University's Liverpool School of Art & Design, and the Biennial Fringe. 

Liverpool Biennial 2018 will celebrate 20 years of presenting international art in the city and region. It is also part of Liverpool 2018, a thrilling year-long programme which celebrates the city's culture and creativity a decade on from European Capital of Culture.


Find out more about Liverpool Biennial at


Image 1: Paul Elliman, Beautiful world, where are you?, 2017

Image 2: Agnès Varda, Ulysse (film still), 1982

Image 3: Mohamed Bourouissa, Horse Day (film still), 2014-15. Courtesy of the artist and Kamel Mennour, Paris/London

Beautiful world, where are you?
£18.95, 320 pages
Available from our information desk in the foyer.


The accompanying publication Beautiful world, where are you? is published as part of Liverpool Biennial 2018. The book gives another medium for artists and contributors to respond to this timely question, offering the pages as a place to reflect, educate and invigorate. Designed as a non-hierarchal platform, the book explores ideas around language, gender, migration, histories, economics, music, technology and environment.


Including texts by Lucy Ash, John Bridgeland and Sylvia Earle, Eugenia Cheng, Sophie Collins, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Inua Ellams, Geoffrey Farmer, Candice Hopkins, Kenric McDowell, Gerald McMaster, David Suzuki, Imre Szeman, Rufus Wainwright and contributions from the Liverpool Biennial 2018 artists.


Published by Art Books Publishing Ltd

Education/Learning Pack

Designed for schools and educators bringing students to visit FACT during the exhibition. It includes an outline of the artwork on show, as well as a learning objectives, gallery discussions and post-visit ideas to stimulate the learning process around the themes of our exhibition.


Download the Learning Guide for Agnes Varda now.

Download the Learning Guide for Mohamed Bourouissa here.

Captured by CaptureVR, please check out the 360-degree tours of our gallery spaces showcasing work by Agnès Varda and Mohamed Bourouissa.


Learning Space - view now


Gallery 1 - view now


Gallery 2 - view now

"If you travel to Liverpool only to see Agnès Varda’s film Ulysse (1982) at FACT, you will not waste your time. A small masterpiece in which the great Varda presents, years after its taking, one of her photographs to those who posed for it, her subject here is the quicksand of memory – for which reason it is entirely appropriate that no sooner has it finished than you feel an almost overpowering need to see it all over again." Rachel Cooke

4 stars The Observer



"The Biennial has pulled off a coup with the first UK commission of work by Legendary French New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda" Laura Davies

Liverpool ECHO  



"What I remember best of the 10th Liverpool Biennial are the eruptions of violence...The screaming woman and the three hideous attackers in Agnès Varda’s three-part film at FACT." Adrian Searle

4 stars The Guardian



"If you decide to visit, make sure you stop at new-media arts centre, FACT. Upstairs, Algerian Mohamed Bourouissa shows his unforgettable 2013 film Horse Day, in which black “horsemen” ride around a poor neighbourhood in Philadelphia, before staging an equestrian fair.  Downstairs, we find one of the biennial’s headline acts: a newly commissioned, three-channel video installation by the French New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda." Alistair Sooke

4 stars Daily Telegraph



"the 2018 edition of the Liverpool Biennial marks a return to form .... highs such as the Resilience Garden are enough to show the biennial’s importance to Liverpool itself. If it was a beautiful world that was being asked for, perhaps this was where it was found most of all.Tom Emery




Six artists in Biennial not to miss