25 July 2018, The Tablet

Beautiful dreams, bitter realities: the Liverpool Biennial

Beautiful dreams, bitter realities: the Liverpool Biennial

Mohamed Bourouissa with local children in the biennial’s community garden
Photo: Photo: Pete Carr


The theme of this year’s Liverpool Biennial (until 28 October) is phrased as a question. “Beautiful world, where are you?” is a line from Friedrich Schiller’s 1788 poem “The Gods of Greece”, set to music in 1819 by Franz Schubert. The poem is a lament for an animist view of nature and a thinly veiled protest against the religious monoculture of his day But the biennial’s Canadian curator Kitty Scott insists that, despite “a world in social, political and environmental turmoil”, her theme is not intended as a lament. “We’re not implying an escape from the world or a utopia, but an injunction to look at the world we have made in order to reshape it.”

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