Countdown to Liverpool Biennial 2006

I like the phrase ‘a penumbra of smaller scale exhibitions’


Countdown to Liverpool Biennial 2006

It’s exactly four months to go until the Liverpool Biennial.

For 10 weeks every two years, several hundred of the world’s most exciting visual artists show their work in over 40 locations across Liverpool city centre, from major gallery spaces to unexpected temporary locations.

The fourth Liverpool Biennial launches on 16 September 2006 and continues until 26 November and promises some examples of “reverse colonialism” and to release the city’s energy channels, all through the power of art!

Paintings selected by Tracey Emin, pavements of shattered glass from Mexico City, work by the cream of Britain’s art school graduates, a football pitch designed as an obstacle course situated on banks of the Mersey, and Panamanian Bus Painters transforming the city’s public transport – just a taste of what can be expected throughout Liverpool this sutumn.

In 2006 the character of the Biennial is shaped by the rapid development of Liverpool’s centre, as this ‘city in transition’ gears up to its position as European Capital of Culture 2008.

These are the core programmes:

* Urban myths and the bittersweet success of regeneration are strong focal points in the International 06 exhibition. Inspired by Liverpool’s people, history and built environment, the exhibition promises 35 new commissions, half of which will be sited in the public realm, by some of the most current artists from across the world – a uniquely crafted ‘total experience’ of new art in a specific cultural context. The personality of the exhibition will be as lively, diverse and quick-witted as Liverpool itself. It will be an extraordinary opportunity to see art engaging with global issues through the specifics of its cultural context.
* John Moores 24 Exhibition of Contemporary Painting is the UK’s most prestigious and longest-running national open painting competition. Organised by National Museums Liverpool and supported by the John Moores Exhibition Trust and the aFoundation, the exhibition has been hosted by The Walker Art Gallery since 1957. Celebrating the vitality of contemporary British painting, it is open to artists living and working in the UK and offers a first prize of £25,000. This year’s jury comprises of artists Sir Peter Blake and Tracey Emin with former John Moores prizewinner Jason Brooks, curator Ann Bukantas and Director of Visual Art at the British Council, Andrea Rose.
* Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2006 is the annual exhibition by students and recent graduates of Fine Art colleges throughout the UK. Established in 1949, New Contemporaries is recognised for supporting new work and artists at the start of their professional careers. The selectors are artists Alison Wilding, Angus Fairhurst and Paul Noble.

In addition, there will be a penumbra of smaller scale exhibitions, some of them organised elsewhere and making use of the Biennial as an international platform, some organised specifically by local and regional artists in order to play their part in the exchange of shows and studio facilities that characterises artistic practice today.

This fringe contributes energy and unpredictability – and often a great deal of fun – to the pervasive and contagious buzz already created in the city. Liverpool Biennial’s 2006 programme is delivered in association with The Walker (National Museums Liverpool), New Contemporaries, as well as smaller city centre galleries and alternative spaces.

International 06 partners include Tate Liverpool, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), and Open Eye Gallery. The Bluecoat Arts Centre will be closed for development during the Biennial, but contribute through the Connect and Live Art programmes.