Beautiful world, where are you? at St George’s Hall

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Naeem Mohaiemen, Two Meetings and a Funeral, 2017. Beautiful world, where are you? at St George's Hall – Liverpool Biennial 2018
Courtesy of Liverpool Biennial

Beautiful world, where are you? at St George’s Hall, Liverpool, City Centre 14 July — 28 October 2018 Entrance is free

Liverpool Biennial is well known for the opportunities it often brings to step inside some of the city’s most unusual or rarely accessible spaces (such as the Toxteth Reservoir which provided the dramatic backdrop for Rita McBride’s atmospheric light installation in 2016). But this year it has surpassed itself, presenting a whole series of works in the former underground prison cells and original courtroom of the Grade I listed St George’s Hall. Fittingly, this section of the festival has a distinctly political flavour, dealing with issues of power, authority and social justice.

We’re especially looking forward to encountering Turner Prize 2018 nominee Naeem Mohaiemen’s powerful three-channel documentary Two Meetings and a Funeral (2017), which examines Cold War-era power struggles and chronicles the pivot of the Third World project from Socialism to its ideological counterpart Islamism. As well as a newly commissioned film by artist Inci Eviner, exploring ideas of heaven that oppose systems of patriarchal order and the long-established links between religion and power-wielding authority.

Elsewhere, Lamia Joreige’s three-channel video installation After the River (2016) uses the river Nahr in Beirut to reflect on the notion of borders. And Aslan Gaisumov’s moving film installation Keicheyuhea (2017) highlights a known but little-discussed chapter of history, following the journey of the artist’s grandmother as she returns to her lost homeland in North Caucasus (Southern Russia) for the first time since the displacement of her family during World War II as part of the forced-deportation of Chechen and Ingush nations.

Counterbalancing the many complex, highly-charged narratives that animate this section of the festival, Joyce Wieland’s 1967 classic piece of experimental cinema Sailboat should provide a welcome space for contemplation. Its pure, childlike image of a yacht bobbing on the distant horizon offers a stripped-back meditation on desire, loss and yearning for an ideal perfection, always just out of reach.

Beautiful world, where are you? at St. George’s Hall also features a work by Chou Yu-Cheng interrogating the act of protest, and Modest Livelihood – a collaboration between Brian Jurgen and Duane Linklater in response to both artists’ First Nations identity.

Check out the rest of our guide to Liverpool Biennial 2018 here.

Beautiful world, where are you? at St George’s Hall, Liverpool, City Centre 14 July — 28 October 2018 Entrance is free

Where to go near Beautiful world, where are you? at St George’s Hall

City Centre
Royal Court Theatre

The Royal Court Theatre stages mostly home-grown comedies, somewhat mannered and self-conscious reflections of an inward-looking city.

Liverpool Central Library
City Centre
Liverpool Central Library

The final building in the World Heritage Site of William Brown Street to be revamped, the wonderfully restored Central Library takes pride of place in Liverpool’s architecturally stunning Cultural Quarter alongside St George’s Hall, Walker Art Gallery and World Museum.

City Centre
Walker Art Gallery

The Walker Art Gallery is a small but perfectly formed traditional gallery. It houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art from 13th century to present day. 

City Centre
Liverpool Playhouse

The Liverpool Playhouse theatre retains much of its 1911 structure, and has a varied programme of events from a rock’n’roll panto, to live poetry and comedy.

O2 Academy music venue in Liverpool.
City Centre
Music venue
O2 Academy Liverpool

O2 Academy Liverpool (formerly the L2 and Carling Academy Liverpool) boasts two performance areas that host live music and clubnights.


Bacino pizza and cicchetti bring a slice of Naples cuisine to Liverpool. With tasty dishes and lots of drinks options.

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