Biennial 2010 Ends – Preparing for 2012

There was a closing party for the Biennial last night. Lewis Biggs donned his multicoloured jacket as he does for this event every 2 years and thanked all the people involved especially the volunteers and other front of house staff who deserve great credit for working in such harsh cold conditions.

Of course the work at Biennial HQ never stops and the 2012 Biennial is already being planned. Here’s the official press release…

Bigger, Bolder, Brighter…Liverpool Biennial is already planning for 2012

Liverpool Biennial 2010 drew to a close on Sunday 28 November having attracted many thousands of enthusiastic visitors from around the world to the city over the Festival’s ten weeks. Opening in September, the Biennial welcomed the art world to celebrate the launch of what would be its most successful edition yet. Key factors in the success of this year’s edition have been the positive reception awarded to the new City States collection of exhibitions and the quality of the International exhibition, Touched, especially in its imaginative adoption of the former Rapid Hardware site on Renshaw Street.

Lewis Biggs, Artistic Director of Liverpool Biennial, said: “I’m delighted by the public and professional response to Liverpool Biennial 2010. It has demonstrated that quality and scale remain key to our success. In particular, our strengths this year have been the collaborative, critical and contextual specificity of the International exhibition – which mark it out in the global field of Biennials. And secondly the participation of seventy artists from six regions around the world in individually curated, critically engaged exhibitions for the City States platform. These strengths enable us to look forward with confidence and certainty to overcoming current challenges and to offering visitors a stimulating and memorable experience again in 2012.”

Proposals for 2012 include:

·       The adoption of a common thematic approach for both the International exhibition and the City States exhibitions, to be developed by curators from around the world alongside Liverpool based curators.

·       The expansion of the City States platform, giving greater acknowledgement to the desire of partners around the world to contribute to Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art.

The curatorial team for the International exhibition will be announced in the New Year along with the theme of the Festival and the process for the development and selection of the City States exhibitions.

Liverpool Biennial 2010, comprising six programmes, took place across venues and sites around Liverpool city centre, including the Walker Art Gallery, FACT (Foundation for art and creative technology) the Bluecoat, Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool, A Foundation Liverpool, and many other gallery and non-gallery sites including the former Rapid Hardware premises on Renshaw Street.

At the heart of the festival was Touched the Biennial’s International exhibition, where 75 international artists were selected to showcase their work, including 45 new commissions and some key works previously unseen in the UK. Highly visible commissions included Bridging Home, Do Ho Suh’s Korean house on Duke Street and Touched trailblazer by Brazilian artist Laura Belém, The Temple of a Thousand Bells at The Oratory.

The festival also included the John Moores Painting Prize the UK’s leading contemporary painting competition at the Walker Art Gallery organised in partnership between National Museums Liverpool and John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust (which continues until 3 January 2011) which included five prizewinning paintings from the first John Moores Painting Competition China; Bloomberg New Contemporaries: the very best from the UK’s up-and-coming artists at A Foundation; City States: International exhibitions exploring the cultural dynamics between cities and states at the Contemporary Urban Centre; S.Q.U.A.T. Liverpool 2010: presented by No Longer Empty/The Art Organisation (TAO), and The Cooperative: one-off high-impact activity that brought together the foremost arts collectives in Liverpool.

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