The Liverpool Biennial has officially launched its 12th edition of contemporary art entitled “uMoya: The Sacred Return Of Lost Thing“. For this year, the UK’s largest contemporary visual art event will run until September 17, 2023, and tackles the history and driving atmosphere of the city of Liverpool. Curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa in collaboration with filmmaker Sam Lackey and the Liverpool Biennial team, this contemporary art presentation is an appeal to ancestral and indigenous forms of knowledge, wisdom and healing.
In the isiZulu language, “uMoya” means spirit, breath, air, climate, wind and facilitates breathing to be a passage for mourning. This theme was primarily chosen to remain in perfect communion with the spiritual, ancestral and intellectual side of the city, encouraging a path towards emancipation for the artists invited. The Liverpool Biennial 2023 invites more than 30 international artists and collectives to engage in this new artistic experience, with uMoya as channel of communication, divine intervention and compass.
The contemporary art festival explores the ways in which people and objects have the ability to reveal their power as they move through the world, while acknowledging the ongoing losses of the past. The ongoing catastrophes caused by colonialism are all but forgotten in order to refocus on the need to be truly alive.
The Biennial invests Liverpool’s unexpected places, historic buildings and art galleries to transform the city for a while into an overflowing artistic springboard. Various venues across Liverpool will be selected, including public spaces, historic sites and the city’s leading art spaces such as Bluecoat, FACT Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool, Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool and Victoria Gallery & Museum, to host the work of invited contemporary artists and performers. The exhibition venues and sites have not yet all been announced, but will be announced in spring 2023.
A dynamic and enriching program has been devised to satisfy lovers of contemporary visual art throughout the festival. Free immersive exhibitions, performances and screenings, as well as community activities, learning events and side events will be organized during the 14 weeks of exhibitions to highlight Liverpool’s vibrant cultural scene.
Artists who have confirmed their participation in this major contemporary art event include: Albert Ibokwe Khoza; Antonio Obá; Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński; Benoit Piéron; Binta Diaw; ruisseau Andrew; Charmaine Watkiss; David Aguacheiro; Eleng Luluan; Fatima Rodrigo Gonzales; Francis Offman; Gala Porras-Kim; Isa do Rosario; Julien Creuzet; Katy’taya Catitu Tayassu; Kent Chan; Lorin Sookool; Lungiswa Gqunta; Mélanie Manchot; Nicolas Galanin; Nolan Oswald Dennis; Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum; Rahima Gambo; Rahmi Hamzi; Raïssa Kabir; Ranti Bam; Rudy Loewe; Sandra Suubi; Sepideh Rahaa; Shannon Alonzo; Torkwase Dyson; reactivating dance theater.