This summer, Tate Liverpool is one of many venues across the city displaying new work as part of the Liverpool Biennial – the UK’s largest international contemporary art festival.

The 2016 edition of the Biennial draws on Liverpool’s past, present and future to take visitors on a series of voyages through time and space. These journeys take the form of six ‘episodes’, with the Tate’s contribution transforming its first floor galleries into Ancient Greece.

After walking through a portal, visitors are met with classical sculptures, borrowed from the National Museums Liverpool, displayed alongside a series of newly commissioned artworks. The exhibition imagines a world where artists from ancient and contemporary times have collaborated, merging the past with the present and future. This approach has been inspired by the city’s own history which saw architects such as John Foster and Harvey Lonsdale Elmes build Liverpool’s neoclassical cityscape as a second version of Ancient Greece in the 1800s.

The new commissions by artists Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Andreas Angelidakis, Jumana Manna, Betty Woodman, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Jason Dodge, Samson Kambalu and Sahej Rahal respond to and “activate” the objects from the National Museums Liverpool’s classical collection. “The boundaries between fiction and history was very, very interesting for a lot of the artists that we invited to respond,” explains Francesco Manacorda, Artistic Director at Tate Liverpool.

“Indian artist Sahej Rahal’s work, Undergod (2016), deals with that aspect of archaeology but also that aspect of animating a sculpture, bringing it to life… His dense display of clay sculptures imagine artefacts from the future; so they are like archaeological finds from a scene and historical happening that haven’t taken place yet.” Watch our full interview and exhibition tour with the Francesco Manacorda above.

Ancient Greece at Tate Liverpool as part of the ninth edition of Liverpool Biennial from 9 July – 30 October 2016. L-R Sahej Rahal's UNDERGOD (2016) and Saras (2012). ©

Tate Liverpool, Roger Sinek

Statue of Apollo Sauroktonos at Tate Liverpool
Statue of Apollo Sauroktonos 1st century AD on display in Ancient Greece at Tate Liverpool as part of the ninth edition of Liverpool Biennial from 9 July – 30 October 2016. ©

Tate Liverpool, Roger Sinek

Ancient Greece at Tate Liverpool as part of the ninth edition of Liverpool Biennial from 9 July – 30 October 2016. L-R Jumana Manna's Flower Press 2016, Vase with Festoon of Flowers and Dictionary 2016 and A Biblical Landscape 2016. ©

Tate Liverpool, Roger Sinek

 

Betty Woodman’s The Summer House 2015 on display in Ancient Greece at Tate Liverpool as part of the ninth edition of Liverpool Biennial from 9 July – 30 October 2016. ©

Tate Liverpool, Roger Sinek

Tate Liverpool is an art gallery located on the city’s famous Albert Dock. The gallery is part of the Tate franchise (along with Tate St Ives in Cornwall and Tate Britain and Tate Modern, London) and displays works from the UK’s national collection of modern and contemporary art.

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