Feeling fragile? Lyon Biennale returns after a three-year break and forges ties to the city and its past

Philippe Regnier, The Art Newspaper, 4 Nov 2022

Works by more than 200 artists are on show across French city, in sites that range from Renaissance courtyards to a former household appliance factory. 


The Lyon Biennale has returned after a three-year hiatus in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The two curators—Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, co-directors of the Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Berlin—organised the show mainly via Zoom. The title of the biennale, Manifesto of Fragility (until 31 December), is directly derived from these sessions, drawing on the feelings of the curators and participants.

For this edition, Bardaouil and Fellrath not only wanted to welcome artists but also to focus on local aspects of the city. Alongside the exhibitions, the curators have identified a number of places of interest in Lyon that they hope visitors will discover, including Rue de la Quarantaine, Poste Antonin Poncet and the Loyasse cemetery. It is therefore not surprising that the event ventures this year as far as the hill of Fourvière, in the shadow of the famous Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.


The journey through the city continues via the history museum of Lyon-Gadagne, forging further links with the city’s past. Hannah Weinberger presents a sound work in the museum’s Renaissance courtyard, the largest in Lyon, while other artists—Léo Fourdrinier, Kim Simonsson, Zhang Yunyao—exhibit in the small rooms dating from the 16th century. Jean Claracq and Giulia Andreani have scattered their paintings in the Gallo-Roman Museum's 1975 Brutalist building, designed by Bernard Zehrfuss. 



Lyon Biennale: Manifesto of Fragility, various locations, Lyon, France, until 31 December 



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