Art will officially take over Liverpool with a full fifteen weeks of extraordinary exhibitions and events across 20 sites across the city. From its favourite galleries and buildings to outdoor spaces. The 10th edition of Liverpool Biennial, ‘Beautiful world, where are you?’ invites artists and audiences to reflect on a world in social, political and economic turmoil.

The title for Beautiful world, where are you? derived from a poem written in 1788 by Friedrich Schiller, a German poet. Set to music by Austrian composer Franz Schubert in 1819. The years between the composition of Schiller’s poem and Schubert’s song saw great upheaval and profound change in Europe, from the French Revolution to the fall of the Napoleonic Empire. Today, the poem continues to reflect a world gripped by deep uncertainty. Interpreted as lament but also as an invitation to reconsider our past, advancing a new sense of beauty that can be shared in a more equitable way.

Over 40 artists from 22 countries are presenting work that responds to the call Beautiful world, where are you? The city of Liverpool provides the perfect setting with its public spaces, galleries, museums and civic buildings. As an additional strand, Worlds within worlds invites audiences to explore the rich histories and stories evoked by objects and artefacts from the city’s civic collections and architecture.

Presented in locations across Liverpool including public spaces, civic buildings and the city’s leading art venues: Blackburne House, Bluecoat, FACT, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool John Moore’s University’s Exhibition Research Lab, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, the Oratory, the Playhouse theatre, RIBA North – National Architecture Centre, St George’s Hall, Tate Liverpool, Victoria Gallery & Museum (University of Liverpool) many more public spaces and online.

Also showing as part of Liverpool Biennial 2018 are partner exhibitions John Moore’s Painting Prize 2018 at the Walker Art Gallery, Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018 at Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Art and Design, This is Shanghai and the Biennial Fringe.

If you travel to Liverpool to see only one at this year’s Biennial, then it simply must be Agnès Varda’s film Ulysse (1982) at FACT Picturehouse. A small masterpiece in which the great Varda presents, years after its taking, one of her photographs to those who posed for it, her subject here is the quicksand of memory – for which reason it is entirely appropriate that no sooner has it finished that you will want to see it straight away again.

In 2018, Liverpool Biennial is celebrating 20 years of presenting international art in the city and region. It is also part of Liverpool 2018, a year-long programme that proudly showcases the city’s culture and creativity a decade on from its year as European Capital of Culture.

There are a number of public artworks on display throughout the city, including Ryan Gander’s bench-like sculptures on the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral plateau, a large-scale installation by Holly Hendry at Exchange Flags and a mosaic by Paulina Olowska at Invisible Wind Factory.

Find an abundance of the quirky and peculiar, as the Biennial being created and hosted here in Liverpool, it makes sense that it features an art work made from the city’s unofficial national dress – trainers. Canadian artist Brian Jungen carves ‘feathers’ from the soles of Nike trainers to create sculptures resembling Cheyenne war bonnets.

You can find his work alongside pieces by a number of other international artists at Tate Liverpool throughout the Biennial.  You can book a facial within Moscow-born Taus Makhacheva‘s installation inside Blackburne House and you will be told stories about disappeared art works as a performer carries out your 30-minute treatment.

Film portraits of Bette Bright (Deaf School), Budgie (Siouxie and the Banshees), Ken Owen (Carcass) and Louisa Roach (She Drew The Gun) overlap on the Playhouse Theatre stage in a piece by Ari Benjamin Meyes. It tells of Liverpool’s musical history, while relating back to the city’s industrial past. Walking into the dark auditorium while the work is playing on stage is a surreal experience.

A remarkable 15 week experience and one not to be missed, right in the heart of Liverpool.

The artists featured in the Biennial exhibition are: Madiha Aijaz, Abbas Akhavan, Morehshin Allahyari, Francis Alÿs, Ei Arakawa, Kevin Beasley, Mohamed Bourouissa, Banu Cenneto?lu, Shannon Ebner, Paul Elliman, Inci Eviner, Aslan Gaisumov, Ryan Gander with Jamie Clark, Phoebe Edwards, Tianna Mehta, Maisie Williams and Joshua Yates, Joseph Grigely, Dale Harding, Holly Hendry, Lamia Joreige, Brian Jungen, Janice Kerbel, Duane Linklater, Mae-ling Lokko, Taus Makhacheva, Ari Benjamin Meyers, Naeem Mohaiemen, Paulina Olowska, George Osodi, Silke Otto-Knapp, Mathias Poledna, Annie Pootoogook, Reetu Sattar, Suki Seokyeong Kang, Iacopo Seri, Melanie Smith, The Serving Library, Agnès Varda, Joyce Wieland, Haegue Yang, Chou Yu-Cheng, Rehana Zaman