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21 November 2010

Liverpool Biennial top 10!

(above) image from Eva Kotatkova's 'Stories from the living room' -'Reminds me of Magritte, surrealism, the anime, 'Spirited away' and the whole imagination you have when you're a child (not so long ago for me).'

At last! Here it is. A little bit in retrospect, but finally I am pleased to share with you my top 10 things to see in this year's Liverpool Biennial!

(above) Sachiko Abe performing her piece 'Cut papers' in the Blade Factory
(above) Tehching Hsieh’s 'One year performance' at FACT in Liverpool

(above) Do Ho Suh's 'Bridging Home' commissioned for the 2010 biennial

In no particular order, and with links to web pages so you can see the work more clearly here we go...

1) Do Ho Suh - Bridging Home
Site specific commissioned installation for this year's biennial featuring a scale model of the artist's own Korean house from his childhood wedged between two buildings on Duke Street. A really interesting artist if you look at his other work, that is political and visually dynamic at the same time.

2)Eva Kotátková - Stories from the living room
Kotátková’s project for Touched brings together people from Liverpool at different stages of life whose experiences and personal histories have been informed by a variety of social environments. Over several weeks some school children and some adults met separately and together in order to share and record – with various devices and in different formats – their respective life stories. Her work is presented in the form of drawings and installation.

3)Sachiko Abe - Cut papers
Definitely one of the most talked about things at this year's biennial and rightly so. Put simply it is a performance piece in which the artist is cutting paper from atop the tower in the blade factory in which the cut slithers of paper are left to fall in a floating delicate trail down from where she's sitting. It says so much about childhood, meditation, elements of Japanese culture, repetition and so much more in such a beautifully simple way.

4) Tehching Hsieh -One year performance
Another performance artist, but this one is displayed as a visual record of thousands of photo portraits of the artist as he embarked on the original performance in which he took a photo of himself every hour for an entire year. Mind-numbingly brilliant when you see this work taking up the entire wall space of the FACT gallery.

5) George Gilbert Scott -Liverpool Cathedral bell tower
'Its art but not as we know it.' Whilst the breath-taking views from the top of the tower might not be an 'official' part of the biennial experience it is certainly is worth checking out and remains one of my highlights (no pun intended) of the biennial. Awesome.

6) Bloomberg new contemporaries - (its all good but one artist who I seem to be mentioning to a lot of people is Sam Knowles)
The whole collective group of artists in the Bloomberg new contemporaries is really interesting but if I had to mention one in particular it would be Sam Knowles. Check his work out and see...

7) Izumi Taro -Media Landscape Zone East
A video artist who exhibited with at least 20 other video artists from the East. This was a brilliant group show where you could look at videos in the way you look at paintings, there was something about it that held you're attention and made you curious to look.

8) Christina Lucas - Touch and go
Another excellent video displayed inside the now derelict and empty Scandinavian Hotel/ Europleasure building in which suspicious looking elderly people walk past and throw rocks through the windows of the same building that you're watching the film in. Funny, unexpected, subversive and in one heck of an amazing space.

9) Diago Hernandez - Homesick
An artist exploring themes of identity and culture through the medium of postcards! I'm right to be excited, as I have a bit of a love of using postcards in art and I really thought his simple cut postcard collages were really beautiful little pieces of work. Check him out in the Tate Liverpool if interested.

10) Nicholas Hlobo - Ndize
The winner of the best, most treacherous installation at this year's biennial! Picture the scene, an entire room full of coloured ribbons hanging the entire height from the ceiling to the floor, masses of it! You, the unsuspecting, slightly tentative viewer, battling with thoughts of whether, 'Am I allowed in? Am I supposed to walk in here?' and then when you do finally decide to enter you get completely lost and tangled up in the technicolour ribbon jungle that is this piece of work. Along the way you find people (also as stuck and confused as you) sculptures by the artist and the occasional window, door or wall. A great experience even though as far as what it means I haven't gone into, sometimes you just need to go in there amongst the ribbons!

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