The @liverpoolbiennial 2018 title is based on Schiller’s incantation “Beautiful world - where are you?” from his poem ‘Gods of Greece’ (1788), which Franz Schubert set in 1819. Between these dates Europe saw profound change from the French Revolution to the fall of the Napoleonic Empire. Framing the exhibition title today, the question continues to suggest a world similarly gripped by turmoil and uncertainty.
#AgnesVarda’s film Ulysses dwells on these parallels in time and the quicksand of memory, asking what was ‘really real’ about the day she took an enigmatic photograph, on May 9, 1954. Her portrait of three figures contains a quiet calamity, taken as it was after the Fête de La Victoire, marked by the French losing the battle at Dien Bien Phu and setting the stage for the eventual US involvement in Vietnam.
Varda’s film sets the tone for the biennial, wherein larger themes of war, the displacement of people, and the effects of global warming are juxtaposed through installation, painting, writing, sculpture, and a strong emphasis on video art.
#FrancisAlÿs, from Age Piece, (Tangier, 2008)
#RyanGander, From five minds of great vision (The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King disassembled and reassembled to conjure resting places in the public realm), 2018.
#MohamedBourouissa, Resilience Garden
#SukiSeokyeongKang, Land Sand Strand
#EiArakawa, Performance People
#MelanieSmith’s impressionistic Maria Elena (2018), named after a town in the Atacama Desert that is close to a Chilean salt mine once owned by the Guggenheims.
#NaeemMohaiemen, Two Meetings and a Funeral
#ReetuSattar, Harano Sur (Lost Tune)