The Liverpool Biennial is the latest casualty in the 2020 cultural calendar. The highly regarded international event has been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Director Fatos Üstek has said:
“Together, we are facing a crisis: a slowly evolving tragedy that will require strength, adaptation and endurance to overcome. In these unprecedented times, our connections are amplified. The Biennial edition we have been working to deliver concentrates on the interconnected nature of all things – there is no divide between nature and man, but rather an ecosystem where we host and are hosted by other species.”
During this uncertain time, the wellbeing, health and safety of our staff, artists, partners, supporters and guests remain our highest priority. Following advice from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation around the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, we recognise it is neither possible nor responsible for us to deliver our programme for Liverpool Biennial: The Stomach and the Port as initially planned from 11 July – 25 October 2020.
It is for these reasons that we have decided to postpone the 11th edition of Liverpool Biennial until 2021.
At a time when our understanding of everyday life is constantly shifting, we believe postponing gives us the space and capacity to approach the edition with solidarity and care for our artists, colleagues and cultural community, in the city of Liverpool and throughout the world.
We recognise that this decision may come as a disappointment to those who have been working alongside our team on the Biennial this year. This new time frame will enable us to deliver our programme as intended – ensuring that our core values and responsibilities to our artists, freelancers, educational partners and audiences are not compromised.
After attending to this situation on a local and global scale, listening to our artists, partners, supporters and our community, we have decided to postpone the 11th edition of the Liverpool Biennial to 2021. We believe that it is time for heightened care, reflection and solidarity. Culture and creativity are integral parts of our lives – that will not wither away. During these uncertain days, while we continue to develop this edition, we will be honouring our commitment to all those we work with and for in Liverpool and beyond.”
Curator of the 11th edition, Manuela Moscoso, also offered a message of solidarity:
“It is through our body that we experience and connect with the world around us, and our understanding of these relationships is heightened in the face of a global pandemic. Now more than ever we see that our lives are interdependent. We are infinitely entangled with the world, and our relations are not only within human society, but also with the environment and the life-giving systems which sustain our existence. Our understanding of how we live in many overlapping worlds and experience the multifaceted effects of globalisation is intensified and is manifested in how we navigate our daily lives.”
At a time when to protect our loved ones we must do what feels counterintuitive and maintain physical distance, I want to send a message of solidarity and care for all those who are living and working through these difficulties.”
Myself and the Biennial team are working hard to deliver a festival which will be realised in 2021 and which will celebrate the body in all its manifestations, as a force of resilience, strength and a beacon of hope in uncertain tides.”
The Liverpool Biennial team are working towards establishing new dates and will share details as soon as we are able to. Until then, please stay home, stay safe and take time to reflect and recuperate whenever possible.