Liverpool Biennial 2021

What Is the Body and How to Communicate With the World

The Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest contemporary art festival. The eleventh edition, The Stomach and the Port, was due to take place in 2020. Not only has it been postponed – like many other international exhibitions – but the curator Manuela Moscoso has decided to modify the program to match the new pandemic context. From May 2021 , works of art will inhabit the city and its institutions.

The next edition is titled The Stomach and the Port and explores the body and the ways it can connect with the world. Fifty international artists and two collectives will participate in the Biennale.

What does the Liverpool Biennale propose?

The participants in the exhibition create works that describe the importance of kinship ties in society. By creating new connections, they embark on paths that are about learning and improving potential. The artists question the concept of the individual as a defined and self-sufficient entity. In fact, they illustrate the osmosis that exists between the organism and the environment in which it lives. From the multisensory approach, works are born that include sound, avoiding direct representation. Liverpool and its port are the right ecosystem for the event.

The Event is also a Digital Experience

The Liverpool Biennial is also online with broadcasts, podcasts and other initiatives. The appointments just a click away are about the perspectives of the work of art curator and artificial intelligence. Some sessions will investigate the experts’ approach to the Biennale, in collaboration with LGBT + and asylum seekers and refugees. Workshops for schools and families are also scheduled with activities to be carried out together. The names of plants and the shape of the skeleton are learned through yoga. Resources are also available for professors and educators who intend to bring the Biennale into the classroom.

Since its inception, the Biennale has “invaded” public spaces, historic sites, art galleries and museums in an unexpected and surprising way, changing the city of Liverpool. This year ‘s program includes free access to exhibitions, performances, screenings and collateral events for twelve weeks, reactivating the cultural and vibrant fabric of the city of Liverpool.

Institutions involved in the project include Liverpool Central Library, Cotton Exchange Building, Exchange Flags, FACT, National Museums Liverpool, Open Eye Gallery and Tate Liverpool. For the first time this year, the Biennale will also enter the historic Lewis’s Building.

girl painting canvas

Public Events

This special edition begins on March 20, 2021 with a dense and vast educational program, the first “outside” chapter. This set of collateral events aims to involve families, schools and the whole community and will be accessible from the new Biennale portal.

The latter is also dedicated to the presentation of the artists and the dynamic program of public events, together with the new series of works scattered throughout the city, including sculptures and digital and audio-video installations.

With a particular focus on exploring the kinship bond – one of the Biennale’s three entry points, along with Stomach and Porosity – the educational program is inspired by connections, at the heart of the Liverpool community.

It includes a selection of virtual and physical documents and sources, along with several works commissioned from international artists. In this way, families and young people can explore and deepen each work and each artist.


The digital platform includes various activities for people of all ages. The biennial has commissioned a series of interactive tutorials and performances from the KeKeÇa Body Percussion Ensemble, which creates music with its own body.

Digital workshops held by the artists themselves will be offered for students between the ages of 14 and 19, which will have as their starting point the three themes of the Biennale, Kinship, Stomach and Porosity. Some of these sessions will investigate the curatorial approach to the Biennale, in collaboration with local organizations, including LGBT + and asylum seekers and refugees.

Online activities related to kinship will be dedicated to families, from finding the name of a wild plant to a time report, to learning the skeleton through yoga.

The family pack encourages young people to investigate their connections with the world, educating them to become art critics, creatives and storytellers. The package can be downloaded from the internet.

Online resources will also be available for professors and educators who wish to bring the Biennale into their classrooms.

From May, in line with government regulations, the second “inside” chapter of the Liverpool Biennale foresees the launch of the entire festival, hosted in locations of great historical and artistic value.