Exhibitions Events

LightNight 2021: Play

21 May 2021

Exhibitions Main Exhibition

Liverpool Biennial 2021: The Stomach and the Port

19 May - 6 June 2021

Picturing England’s High Streets: Prescot

7 April 2021

Picturing England’s High Street: Chester

7 April 2021

Exhibitions

Reclaim The City: Suzanne St Clare

8 April 2021

Events

First Light Spotlight: Parallel Histories

11 May 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight: After Nature

27 April 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight: Unearthly Matter

13 April 2021

Exhibitions

Hanging out: Interviews

23 March - 5 April 2021

Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: Independents Biennial

18 March - 6 June 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight: Corrupted Archives

30 March 2021

Past Events

First Light Spotlight – Connecting new photography with writing

16 March 2021

Past Events

OPEN ROOMS #11: ON THE CORNERS OF ARGYLE AND GLENWOOD – PHOTOBOOK IN COLLABORATION

11 March 2021

Freelance Photographer in Residence Position

23 February 2021

Family Page

23 February 2021

About Alternative Lens

23 February 2021

Projects

Introducing Energy House

23 February 2021

Past Events

Open Rooms #10: All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go

25 February 2021

The Course

12 February 2021

Past Events

PLATFORM ISSUE 3: HOPE

12 February 2021

Events

OPEN CALL: THE STORY OF LIVERPOOL THROUGH ITS TREES

1 January - 30 April 2021

Events

OPEN CALL: HOMETOWNS

11 February - 31 March 2021

Events

WHAT WE DO IN LOCKDOWN

5 January 2021

HYPERTEXT: Books Beyond Bars – Felix McNulty in conversation with Sarah Jane Baker

28 November 2020

HYPERTEXT: Ruth White – The Role of the Photobook in Representing the British Working Classes

28 November 2020

HYPERTEXT: Yasmine Akim ‘Decolonise art schools & showcase the agency of marginalised people’

28 November 2020

HYPERTEXT: Jason Evans – Sound & Vision

28 November 2020

HYPERTEXT: ROOT-ed Zine – Our Experience of Navigating through Arts and Media as People of Colour

28 November 2020

HYPERTEXT: Present and Continuous Q&A with Liz Wewiora and the Many Hands Craft Collective

28 November 2020

HYPERTEXT: Rose Nordin of OOMK in conversation with Kerol Izwan of Musotrees

28 November 2020

HYPERTEXT: Jade Montserrat in conversation with Nikita Gill

28 November 2020

HYPERTEXT: Sam Hutchinson in conversation with Aram Sabbah of Skatepal

28 November 2020

Get Involved: The Story of Liverpool City Region Through Its Trees

24 November 2020

Past Events

Home Turf: Fans, Foodbanks and Photography

17 December 2020

Past Events

Scottie Press: Digital Residency

7 December - 11 December 2020

Past Events

Tell It Like It Is: Ian Clegg and Laura Robertson in Conversation

20 November 2020

Exhibitions

VR: L— A City Through Its People

5 November - 7 March 2020

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Peer to Peer HK/UK — Lee Wing Ki: Night Walk (an excerpt)

16 November - 30 November 2020

Past Exhibitions

Peer to Peer: UK / HK

11 November 2020

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Watch: Liverpool Slavery Virtual Tour

27 October 2020

A Message From Open Eye Gallery: Covid-19 Update

2 November 2020

Exhibitions

VR — The New West

30 October 2020

Past Exhibitions

TO BE FRANK

30 October - 15 November 2020

Past Exhibitions

THE LIVES WE LEAD

28 October - 11 November 2020

Past Events Past Exhibitions

Love Is An Action: Black History Panel

29 October 2020

Projects Past Exhibitions

VR — The Time We Call Our Own

3 September 2020

Past Exhibitions

Exhibition: L— A City Through Its People

5 November - 7 March 2021

Projects

Harold Offeh — When Was The Time I Could Call My Own?

15 October 2020

Projects

Mirjam Wirz — Sonidero City

8 October 2020

Projects

Open Rooms #9 Access to Art: Who is art for? (w/ Mike Pinnington and Larry Achiampong)

13 October 2020

Close
Close

Liverpool Biennial 2021: The Stomach and the Port

19 May - 6 June 2021

OPENING MAY 19 2021. SEE DISTANCING GUIDELINES HERE

Liverpool Biennial 2021: The Stomach and the Port draws on non-Western ways of thinking to explore notions of the body, challenging an understanding of the individual as a defined, self-sufficient entity. The Stomach and the Port develops through three entry points – stomach, porosity and kin. The stomach is viewed as a primary organ engaging with the world. Porosity is embraced as a way of responding to borders or the strict contours of the skin. The notion of kin is revisited as a social tissue that prepares us for abundant futures. Liverpool, and its maritime history as a point of global contact and circulation, provides the perfect ecosystem to situate these enquiries.

The Port of Liverpool is at the heart of this Biennial. The transatlantic movement of enslaved people haunts the city’s past while the repercussions of these experiences are still felt across the world today. This trade in commodified human beings and goods, such as sugar and cotton, was part of a global project of modernity dependent upon exploitation. The two artists showcased in our gallery, Zineb Sedira and Alberta Whittle, both engage with these long histories, showing us how different forms of the past exist in our present moment.

Zineb Sedira

null

Zineb Sedira’s works, from her Sugar Routes (2013) series, recount the history of transoceanic slavery and forced migration, the triangular trade routes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the continued trade of sugar across the Atlantic for mass consumption. Sedira’s photographic prints depict sugar extracted from different parts of the world housed in a modern warehouse in the French port city of Marseille. The mountainous piles of sugar present a landscape of extraction where multiple geographies convene and merge with one another; the warehouse becoming an in-between space of encounter before the sugar is processed for consumption. Juxtaposed with two sculptures of an anchor and propeller made from cane sugar found in the French silo, the works act as a metaphor for migration and diaspora.

Commissioned by Marseille Provence 2013, European Capital of Culture and The Port of Marseille.

Alberta Whittle

Alberta Whittle’s film, between a whisper and a cry (2019), also reflects upon these oceanic routes and worldview, hinging on memory, labour and the afterlives of colonialism in our contemporary world. The film is based on Barbadian poet and historian Kamau Brathwaite’s (1930–2020) idea of tidalectics, a way of thinking about the world and identity that draws on oceans and movement, rather than being fixed in a specific country or place. It brings together happenings and events, narrative texts and voices, using sound and oral histories as forms of knowledge. Weather is an important visual and audio element of the film, referencing the legacy of colonial extraction as the starting point for present-day climate instability in the Caribbean, while drawing parallels with the exploitation inherent within the contemporary tourist industry. For Whittle, understanding the past becomes the foundation for moving towards present-day healing and nurturing. Through the film, viewers are encouraged to synchronise their bodies to the rhythm of Whittle’s breathing and the conditions of ocean life, invoking a sense of compassion, kinship, groundedness and understanding within one’s own body.

Images: Zineb Sedira, Sugar Routes I, 2013

Alberta Whittle, between a whisper and a cry (film still), 2019

OPENING MAY 19 2021. SEE DISTANCING GUIDELINES HERE

Liverpool Biennial 2021: The Stomach and the Port draws on non-Western ways of thinking to explore notions of the body, challenging an understanding of the individual as a defined, self-sufficient entity. The Stomach and the Port develops through three entry points – stomach, porosity and kin. The stomach is viewed as a primary organ engaging with the world. Porosity is embraced as a way of responding to borders or the strict contours of the skin. The notion of kin is revisited as a social tissue that prepares us for abundant futures. Liverpool, and its maritime history as a point of global contact and circulation, provides the perfect ecosystem to situate these enquiries.

The Port of Liverpool is at the heart of this Biennial. The transatlantic movement of enslaved people haunts the city’s past while the repercussions of these experiences are still felt across the world today. This trade in commodified human beings and goods, such as sugar and cotton, was part of a global project of modernity dependent upon exploitation. The two artists showcased in our gallery, Zineb Sedira and Alberta Whittle, both engage with these long histories, showing us how different forms of the past exist in our present moment.

Zineb Sedira

null

Zineb Sedira’s works, from her Sugar Routes (2013) series, recount the history of transoceanic slavery and forced migration, the triangular trade routes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the continued trade of sugar across the Atlantic for mass consumption. Sedira’s photographic prints depict sugar extracted from different parts of the world housed in a modern warehouse in the French port city of Marseille. The mountainous piles of sugar present a landscape of extraction where multiple geographies convene and merge with one another; the warehouse becoming an in-between space of encounter before the sugar is processed for consumption. Juxtaposed with two sculptures of an anchor and propeller made from cane sugar found in the French silo, the works act as a metaphor for migration and diaspora.

Commissioned by Marseille Provence 2013, European Capital of Culture and The Port of Marseille.

Alberta Whittle

Alberta Whittle’s film, between a whisper and a cry (2019), also reflects upon these oceanic routes and worldview, hinging on memory, labour and the afterlives of colonialism in our contemporary world. The film is based on Barbadian poet and historian Kamau Brathwaite’s (1930–2020) idea of tidalectics, a way of thinking about the world and identity that draws on oceans and movement, rather than being fixed in a specific country or place. It brings together happenings and events, narrative texts and voices, using sound and oral histories as forms of knowledge. Weather is an important visual and audio element of the film, referencing the legacy of colonial extraction as the starting point for present-day climate instability in the Caribbean, while drawing parallels with the exploitation inherent within the contemporary tourist industry. For Whittle, understanding the past becomes the foundation for moving towards present-day healing and nurturing. Through the film, viewers are encouraged to synchronise their bodies to the rhythm of Whittle’s breathing and the conditions of ocean life, invoking a sense of compassion, kinship, groundedness and understanding within one’s own body.

Images: Zineb Sedira, Sugar Routes I, 2013

Alberta Whittle, between a whisper and a cry (film still), 2019

Get involved:
Volunteering

Find out more
Join our newsletter