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Liverpool Biennial: Beautiful World Where are you?


Tel: 0151 709 7444

Agnes-Varda,-Ulysse-(film-still),-1982 Liverpool Biennial


What do a glow-in-the-dark skate park, a lift exploding from the pavement, caged lions, a Korean house wedged haphazardly between two buildings, a red prefab pumping out Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ on a loop, and 100 iron men have in common?

The answer is Liverpool Biennial.

Over the past two decades the UK’s largest celebration of contemporary art has commissioned more than 300 new artworks of all shapes and sizes, and shown pieces by over 400 artists from across the globe. It has also won a reputation for being exciting, edgy and controversial, thanks to artists like Yoko Ono and Ai Weiwei. So we can’t wait to see what it has in store for its 10th edition in 2018. 

We now know that more than 40 artists from 22 countries will come together to participate in 2018's edition of the Liverpool Biennial. The programme invites artists and audiences to reflect on a world in social, political and economic turmoil. 

Specially-commissioned works from international artists are showcased for free across the city over 15 weeks – and not just in galleries. Two years ago, the Biennial took over a Victorian sandstone reservoir, a busy shopping street and a derelict former cinema among its exhibition locations. And paying heed to the digital present and future, art also appeared online.

For 2018, the 20th anniversary of the Biennial commissioning art in the city, the theme is ‘Beautiful world, where are you?’ – inspired by the line in a 230-year-old poem by Friedrich Schiller, set to music by Franz Schubert. The words suggest a world in turmoil – but also a chance to reconsider the past, and look at how we can build a more beautiful life for everyone in the future.

Also showing as part of Liverpool Biennial 2018 is the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize, an anonymous submissions competition with a £25,000 first prize, and whose previous winners include Peter Doig, Richard Hamilton and David Hockney.

Programme Highlights for 2018 include. 

  • Internationally acclaimed artist Ryan Gander will collaborate with local school on major new project
  • Oscar nominee Agnès Varda will create her first work in the UK
  • Large-scale public sculpture commissioned for Exchange Flags
  • Artist Mohamed Bourouissa will design and construct a new 'healing garden' in the heart of Toxteth
  • Pioneering artists from the world’s Indigenous communities will go on show for first time
  • Liverpool's great civic buildingd and public spaces will stage the Biennial 



Map & Directions

Opening Times

Liverpool Biennial 2018 (14 July 2018 - 28 October 2018)

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