Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art

Various Venues

Currently undergoing a notable cultural revitalization, the port of Liverpool was the hitherto unlikely venue for the latest addition to an increasingly—and, many would argue, unnecessarily—long list of biennial exhibitions of contemporary art around the world. The Liverpool Biennial comprised four separate shows: “TRACE,” an international exhibition curated by Australian Anthony Bond; a lively and extensive response to this show initiated by local artists and irreverently titled “Tracey”; the twenty-first John Moores painting prize, awarded biennially; and the similarly well-established annual “New Contemporaries” show of student work.

The catchall thematic of the “trace” was, according to the catalogue introduction, intended to suggest “materials or objects that allow us to reconstruct histories through our personal memories and associations.” This formulation was sufficiently vague to

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