Various LocationsInternational 2002

International 2002 explored the city as a cultural context, proposing a model for connection between art of internationally recognised quality and a particular place and context. Around 80% of the artworks were commissioned or completed especially for the exhibition. The curators invited the viewer – as they have the artists – into a dialogue with Liverpool.

Arising out of the curators’ view of the city’s culture of struggle, International 2002 suggested approaches to the contemporary urban environment through humour and celebration in the face of difficulty. The curatorial debate informing the selection of works focused on the human desire for control – and its frustration. The realities of natural and artificial environments, of political and social institutions, of misinformation, mischief and fantasy all frustrate the impulse to control. Control and passion are intimately connected: creativity itself is a play between the artist’s desire and the irreducibility of material and form, content and interpretation.

Some of the issues addressed by the artworks were: viral contamination, ‘spin’ and the propagation of misinformation; media obsession and celebrity culture; identity manipulation; fantasy and hedonism; totally designed environments; privatisation; terrorism and catastrophe anxiety.

International 2002 was conceived by a team of six Liverpool based curators: Lewis Biggs, Director of Liverpool Biennial; Eddie Berg, Director of FACT (Foundation for Art & Creative Technology); Bryan Biggs, Director of the Bluecoat Arts Centre; Catherine Gibson, Curator of Bluecoat Gallery; Christoph Grunenberg, Director of Tate Liverpool and Jo McGonigal, Commissions Manager for FACT.


Various Locations