Youth Training Scheme Protest, Liverpool, 25 April 1985. Photo courtesy of Dave Sinclair
Koki Tanaka: Liverpool Biennial 2016 (Open Eye Gallery, UK)
7.9 – 10.16, 2016
Festival of Contemporary Art
July 9–October 16, 2016
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / #Biennial2016
Entrance to all exhibitions is free.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Jordan/UK/Lebanon), Andreas Angelidakis (Greece/Norway), Alisa Baremboym (USA), Lucy Beech (UK), Mariana Castillo Deball (Mexico), Yin-Ju Chen (Taiwan), Ian Cheng (USA), Céline Condorelli (Italy/Switzerland/France), Audrey Cottin (France/Belgium), Koenraad Dedobbeleer (Belgium), Jason Dodge (USA), Lara Favaretto (Italy), Danielle Freakley (Australia), Coco Fusco (USA), Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (Australia/UK), Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni (France), Hato (UK), Ana Jotta (Portugal), Samson Kambalu (Malawi/UK), Oliver Laric (Austria), Mark Leckey (UK), Adam Linder (Australia), Marcos Lutyens (UK), Jumana Manna (Palestine), Rita McBride (USA), Dennis McNulty (Ireland), Elena Narbutaite (Lithuania), Lu Pingyuan (China), Michael Portnoy (USA), Sahej Rahal (India), Hesam Rahmanian, Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh (Iran), Koki Tanaka (Japan), Villa Design Group (UK/USA), Krzysztof Wodiczko (Poland), Betty Woodman (USA), Arseny Zhilyaev (Russia)
Liverpool Biennial 2016 explores fictions, stories and histories, taking viewers on a series of voyages through time and space, drawing on Liverpool’s past, present and future. These journeys take the form of six ‘episodes’: Ancient Greece, Chinatown, Children’s Episode, Software, Monuments from the Future and Flashback. They are sited in galleries, public spaces, unused buildings, through live performance and online. Many of the artists have made work for more than one episode, some works are repeated across different episodes, and some venues host more than one episode.
Koki Tanaka Location:
Open Eye Gallery
19 Mann Island
Open: daily 10am – 6pm
Collaborating Curator: Thomas Dukes.
When Koki Tanaka visited Liverpool for the first time, he came across a book, Liverpool in the 1980s, by photographer Dave Sinclair. The book contains images of a mass protest against the Conservative Government’s Youth Training Scheme, criticised as a means of providing cheap labour with no guarantee of a job at the end.
In Liverpool, where youth unemployment was as high as 80 percent in some areas, 10,000 young people took to the streets in opposition to the initiative. The march, which took place on 25 April 1985, began outside St George’s Hall and moved quickly down Dale Street, past the Town Hall, ending at the Pier Head. This wasn’t the route the organisers had planned, but the sheer enthusiasm of the students meant that the crowd moved fast and was hard to contain. For Tanaka, Sinclair’s photographs show an unusual combination of energy, optimism, joy and anger.
In June 2016, Tanaka revisited the scene of the protest, inviting original participants to share their memories of the event. They were joined by young people in order to reflect on the way in which the future that the students fought for in 1985 relates to the present political situation. This walk has been documented, and the resulting film is presented as part of the Children’s Episode and the Flashback episode, alongside photographs by Dave Sinclair.