Today I began my search for traces of the 2016 Liverpool Biennial, specifically its ‘episode’ on Ancient Greece. I started in the store of the Tate Liverpool, as I wanted to see if there were any publications from the Biennial that I could consult to aid me in my quest, but sadly they had undergone a recent restock which meant that no remains for the Biennial were to be found. (Nonetheless, tomorrow I will post about two encounters in store that did eventually direct me to the works of one of the 2016 Biennial artists, still remaining in the city). Undeterred I downloaded the pdf of the 2016 map onto my phone and went in search of the sites of the artworks, even if they were no longer there. I knew that one of the artist who played a major role in the Ancient Greece episode of the exhibition was Betty Woodman and while I would not be able to see the works she displayed in the Tate, surrounded by Classical sculptures (The Summer House, 2015 and Aztec vase and Carpet I, 2012), I had hoped to see her Liverpool Fountain, 2016 installed at George’s Dock Ventilation Tower Plaza. Here is how the work is described on the Biennial website:
Woodman’s commission for Liverpool Biennial 2016 is a large-scale public artwork, a bronze fountain, which refers to classical imagery and architectural decoration. This can be found next to George’s Dock Ventilation Tower, as part of Liverpool Biennial’s Ancient Greece episode. Her work refers to classical imagery and architectural decoration, combining sources that include Greek and Etruscan sculpture, Minoan and Egyptian art, Italian Baroque architecture and the paintings of Bonnard, Picasso and Matisse.
Of course, I had no way of knowing if it was still there as I wandered to the number 10 positioned tantalizingly on the map, but still, it seemed best to check for myself. (The anticipation was increased by the fact that I was taking members of my family along for the tour!) Then, after a short walk, there it was. Rather than post photographs here, it seemed more compelling to share with you a video of this work created for the Biennial a year ago, but still flowing a year later.