Liverpool Biennial Plan to Launch Second Chapter

Opening Dates and Appointment of New Director 

Liverpool Biennial 2021 opens the second ‘inside’ chapter of exhibitions across the city on 19 May, bringing together the complete presentation of the 11th edition, The Stomach and the Port. In line with Government guidance, this final chapter will open the doors to the city, welcoming visitors from across the country to safely enjoy the UK’s largest free festival of contemporary art. Artists will take over new venues, including Lewis’s Building, Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building, Lush Building, Liverpool Central Library and Cotton Exchange. New commissions and existing works will be shown at partner venues Tate Liverpool, FACT, Bluecoat and Open Eye Gallery. In the lead up to the festival, Liverpool Biennial has appointed Dr Samantha Lackey as the new Director of the Biennial.

Dr. Samantha Lackey, Director, Liverpool Biennial: “It is an honour to accept this appointment and to be part of such a strong and dynamic team here in Liverpool. During these past four months as Interim Director, I have witnessed the power of this Biennial’s creative vision, developed by Manuela Moscoso and our artists. Together they have created a vital and thought-provoking edition with The Stomach and the Port, addressing some of the big questions of our times and overcoming significant challenges which the pandemic has presented along the way. We are profoundly grateful to our supporters and partner venues, in particular Arts Council England and the recent grant from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, this valuable contribution will enable us to open Liverpool Biennial 2021 safely and to play an active role in reigniting the cultural hub that is the city of Liverpool”. 


The Stomach and the Port, curated by Manuela Moscoso, presents a total of 50 artists from 30 countries around the world with 150 works of art, including 47 new commissions. It explores concepts of the body, drawing on non-Western thinking where the body is seen as fluid, being continuously shaped by, and actively shaping its environment. To navigate the breadth of the Biennial and to make connections between the artworks, a series of trails across the city will gather the exhibitions, outdoor sculptures and installations around the 3 curatorial entry points of The Stomach and the PortStomach, Porosity and Kinship.

The Stomach / Waterfront Trail highlights the role of the stomach, the bodily organ through which we engage with and digest the world. The stomach, similar to the port, is a place where the inside and outside meet and a process of transformation occurs. At the heart of this Biennial, is Liverpool’s history as a port city, an active agent in the process of modernisation, change, and colonialism. The Porosity / Business District Trail centres around the state of being porous; how our permeable skin reacts to the world around us, absorbing the history of our individual journeys. Finally, the Kinship / City Centre Trail revisits the bonds and social relationships which connect us to the world, from our loved ones to our wider community, to other species and beyond, including every aspect of our environment - be it natural, technological or synthetic - that produces and sustains life. 

New Public Artworks and Commissions 

To celebrate Liverpool’s iconic architecture and public spaces, the Biennial’s series of outdoor sculptures and installations will be completed on 23 April with the addition of Erick Beltrán’s sound and graphic works Superposition (2021), animating a fleet of ComCabs taxis driving throughout the city, and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s La Pensée Férale (2021) at Crown Street Park. Outdoor works already on display include Rashid Johnson’s Stacked Heads (2020) at Canning Dock Quayside; Teresa Solar’s Osteoclast (I do not know how I came to be on board this ship, this navel of my ark) (2021) at Exchange Flags; Linder’s Bower of Bliss (2021) at Liverpool ONE; Jorgge Menna Barreto’s mural Mauvais Alphabet (Liverpool) (2021) on the side of Bluecoat; and Larry Achiampong’s Pan African For the Relic Travellers’ Alliance (2017 - ongoing) which can be found at ten locations across the city centre.

Find visiting information here

Biennial Online Portal

The Biennial Online Portal,, underpins the physical festival, introducing each artist taking part alongside the public online programme Processes of Fermentation, bringing the Biennial into the home, the classroom and the community. It combines an inspiring line-up of live performances, artist interviews, curatorial videos, artist-led discussions and workshops, a film programme, and podcasts, hosted alongside rich and engaging multimedia content, enabling audiences to enjoy the Biennial from home. In addition, a vibrant selection of online and physical resources is available for children and young people. 


Upcoming events include the LB x a-n Artist Talk on 27 April, as part of The Artist Information Company’s 40th anniversary celebrations, featuring the artists Alice Channer and SHELL LIKE. On 21 May, as part of Liverpool’s Light NightHaroon Mirza will premiere his new digital performance The Three /\/\/\/’s. Combining soundwaves with patterns of movement, the performance fosters a sense of ritual and gathering informed by the Fibonacci sequence and golden ratio. This digital commission will accompany the existing series, featuring Transmission: A series of five Podcasts on Disease and Pandemics in a Distorted World (2021) by Ines Doujak, in collaboration with John Barker; B3(TNSCAM) (2021) by artists UBERMORGEN, digital humanist Leonardo Impett and curator Joasia Krysa; and free participative tutorials by KeKeÇa Body Percussion Ensemble.


Access the full press release here

For further information and images please contact:

Susie Gault, Press & PR Advisor, Liverpool Biennial at