The Liverpool Biennial 2010 has opened its 'doors' to the public as the 10 week-long arts festival takes place across the city. Organisers revealed they expect a repeat success of the 2008 festival, when more than 960,000 visitors came to Liverpool to view the public exhibitions.
The Biennial, first held in 1999 and running until November 28th 2010, specialises in showcasing new international artists. One of the recurring themes of the Biennial is the use of unusual venues for the presentation of works. These include a half-finished night club and the Anglican Cathedral's mausoleum. However, well over half of this year's artworks can be found in public spaces.
One of these pieces, and certainly one of the most eye-catching, can be found on Duke Street. It features a fully-built Korean house that appears to have fallen out of the sky and been jammed between two empty warehouses. The house, pictured above, is the work of Do Ho Suh, one of 900 different artists to have worked on this year's Biennial.
The main headquarters for the festival are in the old
Rapid Hardware store on the corner of Renshaw Street
and Berry Street, which claims to have the largest shop
front in Europe.
Despite being used as a visitor centre, the Renshaw
Street site still features artwork from, amongst others, the
highly respected Kamelo Bermejo, Rosa Barba and
The 2008 Biennial was the most successful to date,
coinciding as it did with the Capital of Culture year.
The most enduring artwork from that year's event are the
'Visible Virals', one of which is pictured above, that
featured telling questions being stencilled in huge letters
across the city centre. These pieces are an example of
the timeless nature of some of the artwork that is being added to our fair city with each passing Biennial.
The Biennial is funded by various governmental art projects. With public spending being cut radically, the 2012 edition may be a totally different event. Biennial artistic director Lewis Biggs said: "It's very difficult to do anything with no money, but creative people are good at doing surprising and wonderful things with not a lot of money.“
By Andrew Hill, Chief Sub-Editor
Two of the pieces from the Liverpool Biennial, 'Visible Virals' and 'Bridging Home' Pictures by Vegard Grott
The official promotional video for this year's event, titled 'Touched'