The third Coventry Biennial: HYPER-POSSIBLE, a key visual arts event as part of Coventry UK City of Culture, opens today across Coventry and Warwickshire. Referencing the radical nature of Coventry’s history whilst also signifying a positive way forward out of the pandemic, more than 50 artists are presented across seven locations. As the UK’s social Biennial, Coventry Biennial presents socially, politically and critically engaged artistic practice.
Three historical art movements with key ties to Coventry and Warwickshire – Art & Language, The BLK Art Group and Cybernetic Culture Research Unit – act as starting points for curated displays and new commissions. At the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, examples from each historical art movement have been brought together including Art & Language, Jeremy Deller, Claudette Johnson, Denzil Forrester as well as local artists Ryan Christopher, Faye Claridge and Duncan Whitley, who present new commissions. The exhibition explores the legacies of artist-led networks, activisms and pedagogies that have emerged from and through the local area since the 1960s. Distinguishing Coventry as an outstanding exemplar of innovative, experimental and radical artistic practice.
At the iconic Coventry Cathedral designed by Basil Spence, the Biennial takes over the nave of the building with a new exhibition Listening to the Anthropocene. Focussing on the climate and areas affected by climate change, nine sound and moving image artworks by Sarah Badr (aka FRKTL), Department of Energy, Lamin Fofana, AM Kanngieser, KMRU, Rie Nakajima, Ben Rivers, Simon Scott and Jana Windere, play in hour long intervals throughout the day.
PROOF at The Old Grammar School, 12th century building in Coventry city centre, responds to the venue’s history as a school, and presents new and radical approaches to education, participation, co-creation, storytelling and narrative. In the courtyard of the building, Rob Hamp’s installation Art Can be Rubbish Too, a co-commission with UK City of Culture 2021 as part of Green Futures, finalises a project achieved with communities across Britain on the UK’s most littered beaches.
Across all the venues, themes known as HYPER-PATHS examine key approaches to artistic practice and similarities between the three starting points, including education, participation and co-creation, relationship to home, identity, politics and society.
Coventry Biennial: HYPER-POSSIBLE artist list:
…kruse, Ayo Akingbade, Art & Language, Terry Atkinson, Leilah Babirye, Sarah Badr (aka FRKTL), Nuotama Bodomo, Vanley Burke, Kate Carr, Ravi Deepres, Department of Energy, Roo Dhissou, Laura Dicken, Lamin Fofana, Laura Grace Ford, Rosa Francesca, Georgiou & Tolley, Rob Hamp, Russell Haswell, Amelia Hawk and Helen Kilby Nelson, Jeffery Charles Henry Peacock, AM Kanngieser, KMRU, Matthew Krishanu, Mamba Negra Collective, Mark Fisher and Justin Barton, Rie Nakajima, Grace Ndiritu, Helen Kilby Nelson, Chris Ofili, The Otolith Group, Keith Piper, Ben Rivers, Luke Routledge, Andy Sargent, Janek Schaefer, Simon Scott, sirenscrossing, Alan Van Wijgerden, melissandre varin, Sin Wai Kin, Paul Walde, Jana Windere and John Yeadon.