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Seher Shah

Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, the 16th Lyon Biennale manifesto of fragility proceeds with the announcement of its curatorial framework, participating artists and institutional partners that will come together to realize the Biennale’s multifaceted exhibitions and programs. Seeking opportunities for dialogue across historical, geographical and socio-political distances, manifesto of fragility will facilitate innovative, multidirectional possibilities for creative cooperation. These collaborative processes, which will already begin to unfold in the months leading up to the Biennale’s September 2022 opening in Lyon, will yield 50 new artistic commissions and productions within a decentralized program that will materialize across numerous sites. Many works will be adapted to the unique architectural contexts in which they will be shown, including several large-scale immersive installations. The Biennale will expand beyond its customary venues in Lyon into locations throughout the city in order to welcome the participation of the broadest possible public.

manifesto of fragility is structured along two distinct axes that function as complimentary conduits for the Biennale’s consideration of fragility: A horizontal, geographical line carries the contributions of 87 contemporary artists from 39 countries engaging with the topic of fragility in a wide range of artistic practices. 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. 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.

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