See the Highlights of the 2017 Lyon Biennale, From a Futuristic Rainforest to a Giant Hole in the Ground

This year's biennial also features masterpieces from the collection of the Centre Pompidou to mark the institution's 40th anniversary.

Jill Magid, Tapete de flores (Flower carpet) (2017). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon, courtesy the artist, the 2017 Lyon Biennale, and SODIF.

The 14th edition of the Lyon Biennale is here! Between September 20, 2017 and January 7, 2018, the French city opens up the famous Sucrière building in the old docks and its contemporary art museum macLYON for the sprawling exhibition.

Since its inception in 1991, Lyon’s artistic director Thierry Raspail has asked guest curators to come up with a key word that will anchor three future editions of the show. This year, Emma Lavigne, who has been director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz since 2008, is the curator of the second consecutive iteration of the Biennale to center around the keyword “moderne.”

After heavy cycles devoted to the terms History (1991-1995), Global (1997-2001) and Transmission (2009-2013), the 2015-19 cycle theme was determined by Hayward Gallery director Ralph Rugoff two years ago, who titled his biennial “La vie moderne.” Lavigne, who has previously curated the French pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, titled the second volume “Floating worlds.”

The exhibition showcases the work of over 80 artists, including Doug Aitken, Bruce Conner, Laurie Anderson, and Jill Magid, alongside masterpieces by the likes of Alexander Calder and Lucio Fontana borrowed from the Centre Pompidou to celebrate its 40th anniversary. 

Divided into six “trails” with titles relating to water—like Ebb and Flow, Ocean of Sound, and an Archipelago of Sensation—the biennial interprets the theme of modernity through the notion of accelerated mobility and fluidity.

“The works featured in these Floating worlds are underpinned by the awareness that imagination, poetry and art are all instruments that reveal, as well as being antidotes to, the instability of the present time,” the curator said in a statement. “I would like people who visit the Biennale to do so as if they were going through an experimental, sensory landscape,” she added.

See Some of the photo highlights of the 2017 Lyon Biennale below:

David Tudor & Composers Inside Electronics, Rainforest V (variation 2) (2015). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon, courtesy the artist, the 2017 Lyon Biennale and acquired with funds sponsored by the Generali Foundation.

Cerith Wyn Evans, A=P=P=A=R=I=T=I=O=N (2008). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon, courtesy the artist, the 2017 Lyon Biennale, Collection Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle.

Lygia Pape, Divisor (1969-2017). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon, courtesy the artist, the 2017 Lyon Biennale and the Brazilian embassy.

Ari Benjamin Meyers, The Art (2016). Courtesy of the artist, the Biennale de Lyon 2017, and Ester Schipper. Copyright ©Blaise Adilon

Ernesto Neto, Two columns for one bubble light (2007) and Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale, La fine di Dio (Spatial concept, The end of God) (1963). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon ©Adagp, courtesy the artists, the 2017 Lyon Biennale, Max Hetzler, Collection Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle.

Ernesto Neto, Two columns for one bubble light ; Minimal Surface of a Body Evolution on a Field (2007). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon, courtesy the artist, the 2017 Lyon Biennale, Max Hetzler.

Richard Buckminster Fuller, Don de Essco, Electronic Space Systemes Corp. en 1997 n° inv. : AM 1997-2-232 (1957). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon, courtesy the artist, the 2017 Lyon Biennale, Buckminster Fuller Institute, Collection Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle.

Doug Aitken, Sonic Fountain II (2013-17). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon, ©Doug Aitken, courtesy the artist, the 2017 Lyon Biennale, 303 Gallery, New York ; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich ; Victoria Miro Gallery, London ; and Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

Susanna Fritscher, Helices soniques / Flüegel, Klingen (2017). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon, courtesy the artist, the 2017 Lyon Biennale.

Marcel Duchamp, De ou par Marcel Duchamp ou Rose Selavy (Boite en valise) (1966). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon ©Adagp, courtesy the artist, the 2017 Lyon Biennale, macLYON Collection.

Alexander Calder, 31 janvier (1950). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon, Work: © 2017 Calder Foundation, New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Dominique Blais, De la lumière, le silence interrompu (2016). Photo: ©Blaise Adilon ©Adagp, courtesy the artist, the 2017 Lyon Biennale and Xippas.

Lee Mingwei reading Bedtime Stories (2017). Photo: ©Blandine Soulage-Rocca.


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