Of course whilst in Liverpool we could not pass up the opportunity to visit some of the exhibitions in the Liverpool Biennial, especially as both Rosalind Nashashibi and Emily Speed were nominated by the Biennial’s Artistic Director Sally Tallant. The theme this year is ‘Hospitality’ and there are exhibitions right across the city.
One of the highlights was the exhibition ‘City States‘, which was in fact 13 mini exhibitions each representing a different city from all around the world and curated by an arts organisation from that City. The UK city represented was Birmingham, curated by We Are Eastside.
The City States exhibition worked well, housed on the open plan 3rd floor of Liverpool’s former post office building (LJMU Copperas Hill Building) with the smaller subdivided exhibitions providing a way to navigate the large open space.
Another highlight of the Biennial was being able to see inside buildings including Copperas Hill and the Cunard Building (former shipping headquarters of the Cunard Shipping Company). Using such particular buildings as exhibition spaces gives artworks a hard task to hold their own within challenging spaces that compete for attention. Some artworks and exhibitions did this better than others, but the settings did mean that the Biennial was enjoyable for both thought provoking exhibits and intriguing locations.
In yet another spectacular building, the Victoria Gallery and Museum, previous Northern Art Prize winner Paul Rooney is exhibiting in the solo exhibition ‘Here Comes Franz.’ They have recently acquired his work ‘The Futurist’ which is shown alongside five of his previous works. So, a fantastic chance to see lots of his work all at once!