Next Lyon Biennale to tackle ‘Fragility’

The former Usines Fagor, one the Lyon Biennale’s customary venues. Photo: Blaise Adilon

Sixteenth edition to feature works spanning two millennia

The theme for the 16th edition of the Lyon Biennale, curated by duo Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, will be manifesto of fragility and features artworks spanning two millennia. Originally slated to open in 2021, the pandemic-postponed edition is now scheduled to run from 14 September to 31 December 2022. 

‘Whether in the bruised body of a protestor or the ashen skies over the earth’s inflamed surface, our awareness of our shared precariousness has rarely been more tangible or visible,’ reads the curatorial statement. Centring on collaboration as a form of resistance, this edition will seek to posit fragility not as a vulnerability but rather as a strength to ‘harness… as a foundation for empowerment’.

Building on Lyon’s layered history, the biennale will unfold across two ‘axes’: a ‘horizontal, geographical’ one, featuring work by 87 contemporary artists from 39 countries engaging with fragility today, and a ‘vertical, temporal’ one, exploring the theme through a selection of 100 historical artworks and objects, on loan from various institutions including New York’s Met Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and local and regional museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon and the Lugdunum Museum and Roman theatres. 

Another thematic display, conceived by the curators as a point of intersection between those two axes, will consider fragility in the context of the 1960s era of Beirut’s Golden Age, with an additional 230 artworks by 34 artists and more than 300 archival documents drawn from nearly 40 collections worldwide. This section will bring to light Lyon’s historical connection with Beirut through the nineteenth-century silk trade, and the subsequent establishment of the French Mandate in 1920.

The exhibitions will take place across the biennale’s two main venues, the contemporary art museum macLYON and the disused Fagor factories, as well as in various venues across the city. 

The biennale has also announced the list of the 87 contemporary artists taking part in this edition. They are:

Mohamad Abdouni
Gabriel Abrantes
Amina Agueznay
Remie Akl
Julio Anaya Cabanding
Giulia Andreani
Mali Arun
Dana Awartani
Clemens Behr
Nina Beier
Ailbhe Ní Bhriain
Lucile Boiron
Phoebe Boswell
Sarah Brahim
Leyla Cárdenas
Julian Charrière
Jean Claracq
Clément Cogitore
Nicolas Daubanes
Jose Dávila
Buck Ellison
Eva Fàbregas
Mohammed Al Faraj
Philipp Fleischmann
Léo Fourdrinier
Chafa Ghaddar
Olivier Goethals
Pedro Gómez-Egaña
Marta Górnicka
Nicki Green
Joana Hadjitomas & Khalil Joreige
Klára Hosnedlová
Nadia Kaabi-Linke
Néstor Jiménez
Annika Kahrs
Özgür Kar
Mohammed Kazem
Michelle & Noel Keserwany
Tarik Kiswanson
Nadine Labaki and Khaled Mouzanar
Hashel Al Lamki
Richard Learoyd
Hannah Levy
Randa Maroufi
Lucy McRae
Jesse Mockrin
Filwa Nazer
Eva Nielsen
Toyin Ojih Odutola
Hans Op de Beeck
Organon Art Cie
Daniel Otero Torres
Abdullah Al Othman
Daniel De Paula
Aurélie Pétrel
Sarah del Pino
Joanna Piotrowska
Christina Quarles
Omar Rajeh and Mia Habis
Erin M. Riley
Sara Sadik
Cemile Sahin
Ezster Salamon with the Jeune Ballet of the CNSMD Lyon (under the artistic direction of Kylie Walters)
Ugo Schiavi
Markus Schinwald
Sylvie Selig
Seher Shah
Jeremy Shaw
Muhannad Shono
Taryn Simon
Kim Simonsson
Valeska Soares
Studio Safar
Young-jun Tak
Lucia Tallova
Philipp Timischl
Salman Toor
Evita Vasiljeva
Puck Verkade
Munem Wasif
James Webb
Hannah Weinberger
Raed Yassin
Zhang Ruyi
Zhang Yunyao

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