16th Lyon Biennale

Studio International

September 2022

Manifesto of Fragility, Biennale de Lyon 2022. Kim Simonsson, Moss People. Ceramic flocked with a layer of nylon fibre. 16th edition of the Biennale de Lyon, Usines Fagor. Courtesy of the artist. With the support of Frame Contemporary Art FinlanD. © Amande Dionne.

Not everything in this exhibition is so sombre. At Usines Fagor, Phoebe Boswell’s intimate film Dwelling (2022) captures pairs of black British people as they learn to swim. Kim Simonsson has peppered various venues with Moss People, green fairy-like sculptures that seem drawn from manga. But such things are only light relief from the more explicitly political ones. One of the most striking exhibits, Sylvie Selig’s Stateless (2017-19), is a 50-metre-long canvas that unstintingly depicts the life and death of a doomed young refugee, aided in her plight by an anthropomorphic hare. Selig’s Weird Family (2006-22), an altogether scarier set of humanoid sculptures than Simonsson’s series, stand vigil over it. A World of Endless Promise, which includes all the artworks discussed thus far, aims to explore “moments of resilience in the face of social, political and environmental upheaval”. Often that resilience is overrun by events.

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