Thresholds, presented at Tate Liverpool as part of Liverpool Biennial 2012, is an exhibition which engages with timely and powerful themes including British identity, migration and the global effects of regional conflicts. Featuring artists such as Gilbert & George, Mark Wallinger, Simryn Gill, Thomas Hirshhorn and Kader Attia, Thresholds questions the uncertain boundaries of personal, geographical, political and cultural identities.
Based on key works from the Tate collection, a number of which will be displayed for the first time since acquisition, this thematic exhibition develops from the Biennial title The Unexpected Guest, which explores notions of hospitality. In addition to using hospitality as a metaphor for artistic creation and appreciation, Thresholds takes inspiration from the French philosopher Jacques Derrida’s concept of hospitality as an attitude and code of conduct fundamental to civilisation.
The first section of the exhibition, Stranger than the Self, explores how artists in the UK have responded to British identity in terms of its culture and history. Artists including Keith Arnatt and George Shaw raise questions about ‘quintessentially British’ notions of beauty and tranquillity, whilst Gilbert & George and Mark Wallinger address the political nature of images constructed and distributed by mainstream media. Works by artists such as Hurvin Anderson offer a wider context of contemporary Britain in its cultural expansion and inclusion.
Shifting Boundaries looks at the increasing mobility and migration of our globalising world. From tourism to shared tastes, the impact of worldwide travel and migration will be explored in works by Martin Parr, Eugenio Dittborn and Pak Sheung Chuen. The final section, Territories in the Making, addresses the political implications of regional conflicts and their global effects. It includes Yukonori Yanagi’s subtle critique of European imperialism, Pacific 1996; insights into a banal side of Palestinian daily life by Yael Bartana, Kings of the Hill 2003; and Kader Attia’s re-interpretation of colonial history in North Africa Untitled (Ghardaïa) 2009. The exhibition is curated by Dr Sook-Kyung Lee, Exhibitions & Displays Curator, Tate Liverpool.
As part of Liverpool Biennial 2012, Tate Liverpool will also present Sky Arts Ignition Series: Doug Aitken in partnership with Sky Arts (15 September 2012 – 13 January 2013). The work will be the LA based artist’s first public realm installation in the UK, showcasing his pioneering and ambitious approach to public art. The immersive installation will be comprised of a series of filmed conversations between Aitken and some of the most established creative individuals of our generation, grounded by two questions: where does the creative idea start and how is it realised? Aitken will collaborate with acclaimed British architect David Adjaye on a free-standing pavilion to house the work, which will be located next to Tate Liverpool on the Albert Dock.
For more information on Liverpool Biennial 2012, the UK Biennial of Contemporary Art, please visit www.biennial.com.