More than 30 years after its inception in 1991, the Lyon Biennale is established as the premier contemporary-art event in France and a highlight in the global calendar of the discipline’s biggest occasions.
Conceived by curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath as a “manifesto of fragility”, the Biennale positions fragility at the heart of a generative form of resistance that is emboldened by the past, responsive to the present, and primed for the future.
manifesto of fragility is structured along two distinct axes that function as complimentary conduits for the Biennale’s consideration of fragility. A vertical, temporal line will deliver more than 100 historical artworks and objects spanning two millennia on loan from several diverse collections in Lyon and abroad. A horizontal, geographical line carries the contributions of more than 80 contemporary artists from 39 countries engaging with the topic of fragility in a wide range of artistic practices.
The Biennale posits a point of intersection between the two axes to initiate a focused exploration of fragility within the context of the dazzling yet tumultuous 1960s era of Beirut’s so-called Golden Age, featuring 230 artworks by 34 artists and more than 300 archival documents from nearly 40 collections worldwide. This section of the Biennale acquires added poignance in Lyon, given the city’s historical entanglements with Beirut centred around the 19th century silk trade, and the establishment of the French Mandate in 1920.
The entire Biennale program: labiennaledelyon.com
1 ticket = 6 exhibition's venues
The entry ticket gives one-time access to all the exhibition venues included in the Biennale de Lyon. It is valid for the duration of the exhibition, from Sept. 14 to Dec. 31. 2022.
Full: 20€ on site, 18€ online
Concessions: 12€ on site, 10€ online
Free for under 15. See details of reductions and free admission here. Possibility to take a permanent pass.
On site, the ticket office closes one hour before the closing of the exhibitions.
In macLYON :
Tuesday - Friday: 11am - 6pm
Saturday - Sunday: 11am - 7pm
Close at 5pm on 24th & 31st December
Closed on 25 December
The 6 venues of the Biennale: Usines Fagor, macLYON, Musée Guimet, IAC - Institut d'Art Contemporain - Villeurbanne, Musée d'Histoire de Lyon - Gadagne, Lugdunum - Musée & Théâtres romains.
The Biennale in macLYON :
The many lives and deaths of Louise Brunet, on view on the 3rd floor at the macLYON, is a fictionalized retelling of the obscure life of Louise Brunet, a young woman who was sent to prison for her role in the 1834 revolt of the Lyon silk weavers, only to find herself a few years later on a perilous journey from Lyon to the silk factories of Mount Lebanon.
Beirut and the Golden Sixties, on view on the 1st and 2nd floors at the macLYON, highlights collisions between art and political ideologies during a romanticized era of global influence in Beirut – the city where Louise Brunet landed around a century earlier, beginning with the 1958 Lebanon crisis and ending with the 1975 outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War.
Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility is curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath. The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Gropius Bau, Berlin.
And also in the entrance hall:
The seeds for A world of endless promise are planted in the fertile terrain of conversations and gestures of empowerment that have been taking place in a period of great uncertainty. From the mortality of our bodies, exasperated by an ongoing pandemic, to the restlessness of our communities, strained by increasing civil unrest in the face of age-old injustices, our fragility is vividly felt. 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. Yet, in many unexpected ways, so is our resilience.
This part of manifesto of fragility brings 88 artists from 39 countries whose myriad of approaches to the focal theme of fragility represents varied understandings of our current state of anxiety, while proposing new ways of thinking about generative paths of resistance. In that sense, A world of endless promise is at once a bid for contemplation and a call for action: an invitation to harness the fragility of the underdogs and misfits of our rigged world and share the burden of pushing forward. Along with the contemporary works, of which many are specifically commissioned to respond to the historical and architectural contexts in which they are displayed, are creations from different periods and places. They impart enduring accounts of vulnerability and perseverance through the scars that they bare, and the accounts of turmoil they convey, as they draw attention to the indelible traces of time. In this confrontation between new and old we can witness the ebbs and flows of prosperity and decline that make up the cycles of our universal fragility. It is at the heart of this very divide that the promise of a changed world begins.