Liverpool Biennial celebrates the art of noise

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The Independent Culture

Art is being given a voice at the Liverpool Biennial. Forget the factual commentaries of an average gallery audio guide – a narrated tour of conceptual artworks around the city is a work of art in its own right.

Liverpool's live-literature specialists Mercy have curated an audio guide with a script penned by 20 of the UK's most exciting young poets, including performance poets Ross Sutherland and Byron Vincent, Forward Prize nominee Luke Kennard and Faber signing Jack Underwood.

The tour blurs the line between visual and literary arts, carrying its own lyrical view of the city and its art, as in Eleanor Rees' "The Orchard": "A city with a river, a port and a village embroidered in fine silks... outlines of warehouses tied in with knots. The sunlight is your needle, it has sewn you right in." Elsewhere, the site-specific artwork Fire Hose Reel, by Donald Hoyles in St John's Market, is interpreted by Mark Greenwood as an "obdurate and ever-attendant identity... between the scent of butchered animals and the clatter of shopping trolleys. Its presiding, embossed red eye and swollen retina silently scans patterns of movements that inhabit and pass through a permanent gaze, as ambivalent shoppers shop."

Michael Egan responds to Kengo Okazaki's False Sun, describing "a ball of iron weighing down on the Metropolitan Cathedral, we see it all day; we can't fail to see it.."

The creative director of Mercy, Nathan Jones, says: "Some poets have approached it with a cynical view of arts criticism, some as an opportunity for pastiche, some have put forward a concept or lyrical piece; some are funny, some delicate, some serious."

To 28 November. Tours from www.mercyonline.co.uk or The Cooperative, 28-32 Renshaw Street, Liverpool. Michael Glover's review of the Liverpool Biennial is on page 16 of the Viewspaper

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