Liverpool Biennial 2010 – International 10 at FACT
18 September – 28 November 2010
FACT presents new commissions from artists including Yves Netzhammer and Minouk Lim, and the first European exhibition of acclaimed performance artist Tehching Hsieh, as part of the sixth Liverpool Biennial ‘Touched’.
Touched, the International exhibition for the 6th Liverpool Biennial of International Festival of Contemporary Art, celebrates a decade of bringing new art to the UK through curatorial collaboration for the International show.
FACT Galleries 1, 2, Media Lounge and Public Spaces
It will involve more artists than ever before, while continuing to place an emphasis on commissioning ambitious new work from leading and emerging artists based outside the UK.
Touched consists of new art that succeeds in affecting the viewer: art that moves us in mind, body and soul. At FACT, the theme is translated into the notion of “a mother’s touch”. The artworks examine ideas of separation and loss, questioning the notion of unconditional love and asking how, when more and more of us live dispersed in other cities and overseas, do we learn new virtualised ways to be touched and touch?
Tehching Hsieh – One Year Performance 1980 – 1981 (Time Clock Piece)
Tehching Hsieh is an artist who has been mythologized since retiring from making art in 2000. In 1970s and 1980s New York, he made an exceptional series of artworks: five separate one-year-long performances.
The exhibition will focus on documentation of his performance ‘life work’, One Year Performance 1980-1981 (Time Clock Piece).
For one year, the artist punched a worker’s time clock located in his studio, on the hour, every hour. Marking the occasion by taking a self-portrait on a single frame of 16mm film, the resulting reel documents a year in his life at approximately one second per day – a pace that is polar opposite of the enduring length of the original performance. The punch cards, witnessed by a third party for authenticity, and other ephemera, document Hsieh’s life restructured around this highly repetitive task.
This will be the first exhibition of the artist’s work in Europe.
Yves Netzhammer – Dialogical Abrasion (2010]
Yves Netzhammer (born 1970) is a Swiss artist who lives in Zurich, his work reflects on fundamental, even subconscious, aspects of the human condition. In his new commission for FACT, a three-dimensional animation focuses on characters who are struggling to remember situations that are lost or strangely misshapen by the memories of the collective consciousness. Using a highly simplified aesthetic, his animations create a wordless, dream-like universe where the viewer is challenged to interpret and associate the situations presented. In FACT’s Gallery 2, his animations are set in a highly surreal and immersive sculptural installation with a soundscape by collaborator and composer Bernd Schurer.
Kaarina Kaikkonen – Hanging On to Each Other (2010)
Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen creates site-specific installations in both interior and exterior spaces using items of used clothing or shoes collected from local donors. The garments carry personal memories of the owner, and with them, she makes large-scale architectural forms or sculptures. While the materials she uses represent a common experience of domestic life, they also often allude to the artists’ own parents – her deceased father’s jackets as well as her mother’s shoes.
In a new project, she collects second hand clothing from individuals of all ages around the Liverpool area, and installs them in FACT’s public Atrium. The work reflects on the maternal act of doing the laundry, which can be understood as a basic symbol of healing, care, and unconditional love.
Meiro Koizumi – My Voice Would Reach You (single channel version) (2009)
Dislocation and the fetishization of relationships underlie the work of Japanese artist Meiro Koizumi and no more so than in My Voice Would Reach You. In a video documenting a performance of sorts, a male protagonist makes an idealised telephone call that falls on deaf ears. The man pours out his thoughts and emotions to his mother, amidst a backdrop of a busy Tokyo street, but on the other end of the line a call centre employee is revealed to be desperately trying to make sense of what she is hearing.
Reflecting on both the estrangement of life in the city and the folly of modern familial relationships, Koizumi contrasts humour with heartfelt emotion to create an absurd scenario that is compounded by the lead actor’s own experience of losing a mother. Here and in his other work, he uses video in a way that documents performances, conversations and constructed scenarios to explore the psychology of urban relationships and modern living.
Minouk Lim – The Weight of Hands (2010)
South Korean artist Minouk Lim uses video and performance to construct poetic yet contentious scenarios that hijack the city.
In a combination of performance work and road trip movie, this single channel video projection tracks the journey of a strange tourist group in a restricted place. The project started as an attempt to use an infrared camera that picks up heat to penetrate the private, restricted sites of new developments that are carried out for public purposes. This heat-sensitive camera is usually used for surveillance or police purposes, and therefore the piece hijacks the agents of surveillance.
Set on the backdrop of a tourism-led development project in Korea – the Four Major Rivers Project, where public authorities violently restrict access to groups and individuals who resist it – the video is critical as well as experimental.