News: Liverpool Biennial Announces 2025 Curator

Marie-Anne McQuay. Photo by Zak Grant_web

Marie-Anne McQuay is to curate the 2025 edition of Liverpool Biennial it was announced yesterday.

The appointment breaks with recent tradition, which has tended to see curators living and operating away from the city that the organisation calls home, favoured.

Based in Liverpool, McQuay – currently director of projects at Arts&Heritage – has in the recent past served as Head of Programme at the Bluecoat (2015 – 2022), overseeing the commissioning and exhibition of artists including Larissa Sansour, Grace Ndiritu and Deborah Roberts. In 2019, meanwhile, she was Guest International Curator for Wales in Venice, with artist Sean Edwards and Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham.

She will no doubt draw on such national and international experience and expertise in curating the UK’s largest festival of contemporary art. But for the first time in a number of editions, hopes will be raised for the potential involvement of artists closer to home. Indeed, the curator has long worked closely with and shown artists based in Liverpool; Sumuyya Khader and Frances Disley among them.

“I feel honoured to be curating Liverpool Biennial with and for the city where I live”

About her appointment, McQuay said: “I feel honoured to be curating the 13th edition of Liverpool Biennial with and for the city where I live. I am so looking forward to reflecting on civic life, researching international exchanges, and collaborating with the wider team on Liverpool Biennial 2025.”

The theme for the next Biennial isn’t expected to be announced until later this year, but its director, Dr Samantha Lackey, hinted at a possible interplay between the city and its new curator when she said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming Marie-Anne to the team. Her longstanding relationship with the city of Liverpool will bring insight and intention to every part of the next festival, re-thinking the city’s changing relationships to the rest of the world.”

Liverpool Biennial 2025 will take place 7 June – 14 September 2025. As usual, it will do so across a range of sites and venues in the city. These have previously included Tate Liverpool (which this time will be closed for refurbishment), FACT, Open Eye, the Bluecoat and the Victoria Gallery & Museum, alongside so called found sites, such as the Tobacco Warehouse, Liverpool 1 and the Cotton Exchange.

Mike Pinnington

Portrait by Zak Grant

Posted on 24/01/2024 by thedoublenegative