The exhibition, which returns for its 12th outing next year, will be curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa
Liverpool Biennial – scheduled to run from 10 June to 17 September 2023, and curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa – has announced the theme, participating artists and venues for its 12th edition. Mbongwa is a Cape Town-based curator, artist and sociologist; in 2020, she served as chief curator of the Stellenbosch Triennale.
Titled uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things, the show promises to, in the words of its curator, draw ‘a line from the ongoing Catastrophes caused by colonialism towards an insistence on being truly Alive’, foregrounding ancestral and indigenous systems of knowledge. In isiZulu, ‘uMoya’ denotes ‘spirit, breath, air, climate and wind.’
The exhibition will draw on more than 30 artists and collectives including Albert Ibokwe Khoza, Brook Andrew, Eleng Luluan, Gala Porras-Kim, Julien Creuzet, Nicholas Galanin, Raisa Kabir and Torkwase Dyson, with works spread across the city’s art venues from Bluecoat, FACT Liverpool, Open Eye Gallery to Tate Liverpool and Victoria Gallery & Museum, with further galleries to be announced.
Mbongwa said in a statement: ‘Wind often represents the fleeting and transient, the elusive and intangible, but I remember my first moment standing at the docks in Liverpool and feeling the wind in my bones. The same wind that made Liverpool the epicentre for the trade of enslaved people and a city that built itself through each ‘merchant’ ship. And I wondered, how can this wind redraw the lines of cartography as pathways for a reckoning to occur? How can it gesture towards healing through implementing systems of care that would allow for a sacred return?’
‘A return to self that aligns the celestial and ancestral, a return where one is not denied access to themselves, a return where all that is lost or stolen is acknowledged, remembered, accounted for, ignited and returned.’
The participating artists so far confirmed are:
Albert Ibokwe Khoza
Fátima Rodrigo Gonzales
Isa do Rosário
Katy’taya Catitu Tayassu
Nolan Oswald Dennis
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
Unmute Dance Theatre