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This needle walks into a haystack

Michael Nyman, James McNeil Whistler, Claude Parent in super-early Liverpool Biennial

Written by . Published on April 13th 2014.


This needle walks into a haystack
 

WORLD-famous composer Michael Nyman will showcase an emotional tribute to the Hillsborough victims and their families when he unveils a  Hillsborough memorial symphony at Liverpool Cathedral this summer. 

The work is part of Liverpool’s Biennial programme for 2014, which starts a good two months earlier than usual. 

The commission has been welcomed by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, who said: “Nyman’s music will be a moving and unforgettable tribute,” and a piece that will “help shine a light on the dignity and bravery of those who have strived for justice for the 96.” 

Michael NymanMichael NymanSymphony No 11: Hillsborough Memorial will be performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with Liverpool-born mezzo-soprano Kathryn Rudge who will sing the names of the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives, accompanied by music Nyman was recording on the afternoon of the Hillsborough tragedy.

Elsewhere, ‘A Needle Walks into a Haystack’, is the Biennial Exhibition’s big feature piece, featuring the work of some of today’s most interesting contemporary artists and is set take place in the premises of the former Trade Union Centre in Hardman Street, now owned by the people behind the Hope Street Hotel.

Other highlights will include an exhibition at the Bluecoat showing the work of trail-blazing American painter James McNeil Whistler. 

“Liverpool Biennial 2014 will activate and highlight our city’s diverse cultural ecology and host exciting artists and thinkers connecting the community with international fields,” said Biennial Director Sally Tallant. 

The Tate Gallery will also be playing a major role in the festival. Among other events, it will be hosting the legendary, avant-garde, 91 year-old French architect Claude Parent, who promises to totally transform perceptions of and within the building's’Wolfson Gallery. 

And over one weekend in September as part of a programme entitled The Companion artists will be popping up all over the city where least expected. It is just one of many ‘pop-up’ projects aiming to engage with people’s everyday lives. 

The John Moores Painting Prize – the biggest of its kind in the UK – has already been whittled down to 52 artists from an original subscription of over 2,500. An eclectic range of works will be on show at the Walker Art Gallery incorporating landscapes, portraits, abstract and sculptural mediums. 

“The judges have selected a show which highlights some of the very best of contemporary painting and gives a strong sense of current trends and themes,” said Sandra Penketh, Director of Art and Galleries at National Museum Liverpool. 

Since its inception in 1999, the event has exhibited the work of over 350 artists from all over the world, and in the last decade alone claims it has contributed nearly £100 million to the local economy. In 2012 it is said to have attracted over a half a million visitors.

Works by Adrian Henri, Andy Warhol and others will also be on show. “It’s a show full of ideas and possibilities,” says Tallant, “One that really seeks to engage with the city and its people.” 

Biennial 2014 runs from July 5th to October 26th. 

 

Famous Belgians and other artists

 

1993-Voyage-A-Paris

As part of A Needle Walks into a Haystack, an apartment will house the work of experimental Belgian television director Jef Cornelis

 

 Over the course of three decades (1963-1998), many Belgians tuned into VRT, the Dutch-language Belgian public broadcast, and encountered programmes conceived by Cornelis, introducing mass audiences to contemporary art and culture.

For the Biennial, art historians Koen Brams (Belgium) and Dirk Pültau (Belgium) have selected films by Cornelis for viewers to watch on television, not only introducing an audience to this important figure, but also serving as a place for conversations about what television can be and how this medium can be used to document and represent art.

Cornelis will be in the company of some stellar names from the international art world for the four month Biennial.

Namely Uri Aran (Israel), Marc Bauer (Switzerland), Bonnie Camplin (UK), Chris Evans (UK), Rana Hamadeh (Lebanon), Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet (France), Judith Hopf (Germany), Aaron Flint Jamison (US), Norma Jeane (US), Nicola L. (FR), William Leavitt (US), Christina Ramberg (US), Michael Stevenson (New Zealand), Josef Strau (Austria) with Stefan Tcherepnin (US), Peter Wächtler (Germany) and Amelie Von Wuffen.

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