Liverpool Biennial Names Artists for 2023 Edition –

The Liverpool Biennial, one of the largest recurring contemporary art exhibitions in the U.K., has revealed the initial artist list for its 12th edition, running June 10 through September 17 in public spaces and cultural venues across the city. 

More than 30 artists and collectives including Nicholas Galanin, Eleng Luluan, Brook Andrew, Julien Creuzet, Raisa Kabir and Torkwase Dyson will respond to its theme, “uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things,” which takes its name from the iZulu word for spirit, breath, air, climate and wind. 

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Portrait of a Black woman with long locks. She is wearing a gray-and-white striped dressed and has a tattoo on her arm of a black line.

The theme draws on the history of the city of Liverpool, in particular how its environment has suffered under colonialism. uMoya, according to the release, is “a call for ancestral and indigenous forms of knowledge, wisdom and healing.”

“Wind often represents the fleeting and transient, the elusive and intangible, but I remember my first moment standing at the docks in Liverpool and feeling the wind in my bones,” Khanyisile Mbongwa, a Cape Town–based curator and organizer of the biennial, said in a statement. “The same wind that made Liverpool the epicenter for the trade of enslaved people and a city that built itself through each ‘merchant’ ship. And I wondered, how can this wind redraw the lines of cartography as pathways for a reckoning to occur?”

New commissions and existing artworks will be exhibited in Liverpool venues including the Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool, and the Victoria Gallery & Museum, and more spaces are expected to be announced in spring 2023.

Liverpool Biennial director Sam Lackey said in a statement: “At this moment of global instability, the vision and experience of our curator Khanyisile Mbongwa brings a perspective of historic acknowledgement that ultimately proposes alternative futures for our world.”

The current list of participating artists follows below.

Albert Ibokwe Khoza 

Antonio Obá 

Belinda Kazeem- Kamiński 

Benoît Piéron 

Binta Diaw

Brook Andrew 

Charmaine Watkiss

David Aguacheiro 

Eleng Luluan 

Fátima Rodrigo Gonzales

Francis Offman 

Gala Porras-Kim 

Isa do Rosário 

Julien Creuzet 

Katy’taya Catitu Tayassu 

Kent Chan

Lorin Sookool 

Lungiswa Gqunta 

Melanie Manchot 

Nicholas Galanin 

Nolan Oswald Dennis 

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum 

Rahima Gambo 

Rahmi Hamzi 

Raisa Kabir 

Ranti Bam

Rudy Loewe 

Sandra Suubi

Sepideh Rahaa 

Shannon Alonzo

Torkwase Dyson

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