The artists gathered in this venue question what we consider a body to be and what it might mean to be human. Ostensibly, a straightforward notion – yet our answers are often drawn from an historical Western assumption of the body as that of a white heterosexual male.
‘Universal’ understandings such as this structurally shape the way we think of bodies, and humans – often in binary terms. For example, the body is often understood as a border between the internal self and the external world.
Dualisms such as mind/body are integrated into the fabric of Western thinking, making it difficult to imagine experience outside of these constraints. Another example is the opposition between male/female and associated stereotypes, where a female’s identity is often regarded as more entangled in her bodily existence – more biological and less rational. These characteristics are also attributed to colonised and racialised bodies. The fact is, however, that humans imagine and experience the nature, limits and capacities of the human body – and its relation to the self – in extremely diverse ways.
This exhibition will run until 27th June.
Liverpool Biennial 2021 explores notions of the body. Drawing on non-Western ways of thinking, the 11th edition challenges an understanding of the individual as a defined, self-sufficient entity. The body is instead seen as a fluid organism that is continuously shaped by and shaping its environment. A plethora of artistic practices inform this edition: many of the artworks include sound, shun direct representation, de-stabilise gender categories or look at intense forms of contact. Liverpool, and its maritime history as a point of global contact and circulation, provides the perfect ecosystem to situate these enquiries.
Audience: Specifically aimed at adults but is family friendly
Image credit: Kathleen Ryan, Mother of Pearl, 2019. Photo: Jack Spicer Adams
Take a taxi ride into an alternate world within the city of Liverpool, where the Cumbian beat of Latin American music intersects with primordial forces.
You can experience Erick Beltrán’s Superposition (2021) by booking a special ComCab Taxis on 0151 298 2222 (normal phone and taxi rates apply). Available throughout Liverpool Biennial, the full Superposition commission, combining lights and music alongside the graphic designs, can be experienced across 5 taxis, while on display across the tip-seats of an additional 30 taxis are Beltrán’s graphic designs, complete with QR codes providing access to the accompanying audio.
0151 709 7444