Next Lyon Biennale to tackle ‘Fragility’
Art Review, 26 January 2022
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:
Julio Anaya Cabanding
Ailbhe Ní Bhriain
Mohammed Al Faraj
Joana Hadjitomas & Khalil Joreige
Michelle & Noel Keserwany
Nadine Labaki and Khaled Mouzanar
Hashel Al Lamki
Toyin Ojih Odutola
Hans Op de Beeck
Organon Art Cie
Daniel Otero Torres
Abdullah Al Othman
Daniel De Paula
Sarah del Pino
Omar Rajeh and Mia Habis
Erin M. Riley
Ezster Salamon with the Jeune Ballet of the CNSMD Lyon (under the artistic direction of Kylie Walters)