Tate Liverpool – Liverpool Biennial: Touched
18 September – 28 November 2010
Touched, the International exhibition for the 6th Liverpool Biennial, celebrates a decade of bringing new art to the UK through curatorial collaboration. Conceived as a sculptural happening, Tate Liverpool‘s exhibition features on-going live interventions and appearances by artists, performing objects, as well as installations and sculptures to be explored by visitors. Artists include Magdalena Abakanowicz, Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, Wannes Goetschalckx, Diango Hernandez, Jamie Isenstein, Eva Kotátková, Otto Muehl, Nina Canell, and Franz West.
The theme touched not only suggests the idea of being emotionally affected, but also suggests the kind of proximity, action and physical contact you would not expect to encounter in a museum or art gallery. Since the emergence of challenging and rebellious artistic strategies in the 1960s, international artists have questioned the idea that visual art should be static, sanctified, and presented on a wall or plinth to be viewed from a distance. The International exhibition at Tate Liverpool, curated by Peter Gorschlüter, makes reference to this period in art history to explore the ways in which contemporary artists continue to respond to and build upon these ideas today.
Presented are artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Otto Muehl, and Franz West who came to prominence in the 1960s/1970s and pioneered practices that explored the ways in which life could be unified with our experience of art. Magdalena Abakanowiczs Embryology 1978-80, which has recently been acquisitioned to the Tate Collection, will be displayed.
These pioneering figures are brought together with a younger generation of artists to reflect on the theme. Whilst the new commissions for the International exhibition share the spirit of being touched, they are equally concerned with challenging and subverting the physicality and torpor of the object. More importantly the artworks in the exhibition explore the relationship between the tangible and the intangible, as reflected through the coexistence of absence and presence (Jamie Isenstein); enclosure and exposure (Wannes Goetschalckx); structure and its disintegration (Eva Kot’átková); the physical and the metaphorical (Nina Canell); and through proximity and distance (Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, and Diango Hernández). Tate Liverpool looks at poetic, subversive, intimate and up front moments where these opponents touch each other in the realm of the arts.
Touched at Tate Liverpool aims to connect explicitly with the concept and mission of the Biennial as an exhibition situated in the public realm. For the first time, admission to Tate Liverpools exhibition is free of charge, and the gallery will host a Biennial visitor centre to facilitate visitors in gaining the most from the festival.