Thinking Towards Biennial 2016: Narratives, Episodes and Characters

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Liverpool Biennial

Liverpool Biennial 2016's curatorial team. Photo: Pete Carr

Liverpool Biennial 2016's curatorial team. Photo: Pete Carr

With conversations about Liverpool Biennial 2016 already underway, a series of discussions open to the public reveal the initial stages of planning the 9th edition of the UK’s largest visual arts festival. Ahead of a free talk with artist and architect Céline Conderelli on Wednesday 3 June, we invite you to catch up on the thinking so far…

Back in February 2015, we joined Francesco Manacorda and Raimundas Malašauskas in investigating new ways of working in Liverpool. Both part of the Biennial’s curatorial team for 2016, they set the wheel in motion by considering how we can stray from a thematic model of curating to something less prescriptive, and more open to experimentation.


Using Family Guy as an example, Francesco and Raimundas interrogated the logic of back-to-back binge-watching. An unlikely starting point for any Biennial, after a while it begins to make perfect sense. As we are so willing to engage for hours at a time with popular TV series, the question is whether we could appropriate this box-set model and apply it to contemporary art.

Scriptwriter Colin Muir and curator Dominic Willsdon then probed deeper into the ideas of narrative intervention and episodic thinking. Focusing on formal elements of scriptwriting, they emphasised the importance of narrative structures, episodes and characters. The dialogue questioned how far the idea of curation can be stretched, and if the Biennial can be designed in an episodic way, similar to TV.


Coming up next: could an exhibition be a set? An object - a prop? The Biennial's Rosie Cooper discusses with artist Céline Condorelli at the Bluecoat. Free, booking required

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