Liverpool Biennial’s rhetoric forgets about the art
Who are biennials for? Recent examples suggest that these events put the intellectual and political desires of their organisers ahead of those of their audiences or host cities.
Documenta 15 reads like a series of creative workshops staged by corporate HR departments to boost loyalty at the lowest possible cost. Perhaps the next Documenta should be curated by an artist.
Kader Attia’s Still Present!, the 12th Berlin Biennale is an attempt to unpick the centuries-long threads of imperialism one by one in the hope that they can reconstitute a universe capable of averting its demise. But this is a vain hope.
This year’s Biennale is in denial of the circumstances that have forced the event to shift from odd to even years. To find artistic politics in Venice, one has to consider form and matter on their own terms: in the long term.
In the biennial, art could do all the things that we like to believe that art can do: deliver us from our concerns, transcend the limits of our imaginations, inspire us, give us hope. Art could do all those things. But often, it doesn’t.