Biennial – Burning Flags on Duke Street

Photos © Minako Jackson

Biennial-touched-100It may be more than a week early but the flags are already out signalling the start of the Liverpool Biennial 2010. But when you look at these flags up close you see that they are all photographs of flags that were set on fire during political protests.

The installation of 36 banners is on the empty Scandinavian Hotel adjacent to the entrance to China Town and is the work of Hong Kong artist Will Kwan.

The title of the work, Flame Test, refers to a testing procedure used in chemistry experiments and indicates the unpredictable character of both political acts and their transmission through media channels. Flame Test foregrounds fractured and agonistic evocations of national identity, and reminds us of how the media spectacle reconfigures our most potent symbolic acts of protest, resistance and dissent.