Liverpool Biennial 2016:
Epic Hotel.

"It seems to me there's so much more to the world than the average eye is allowed to see. I believe, if you look hard, there are more wonders in this universe than you could ever have dreamt of."
-- Vincent Van Gogh, "Vincent and the Doctor"

TV I'm standing outside the Epic Hotel glaring at a sign.

 With no visible way of entering the property, I'm now trying to discover where exactly the Biennial piece might be.

There's a direction on the front of the property to visit Seel Street for access, and yet the map very clearly states that the visitor needs to be on Duke Street.

Just as I'm about to pull away, a smartly dressed woman with long dark hair approaches carrying a Biennial booklet.

Now she's glaring at the sign too.

We agree that we should probably walk to Seel Street and see if we can get any help there.

As we begin to stroll up Duke Street, she decides to stop and photograph some fly posters and graffiti, so I continue but go completely off course, turn back into Wolstenholme Square instead of walking further up Slater Street and turning onto actual Seel Street.

If you're from Liverpool, you'll know this is entirely foolish.

Ironically, it's here that Nation used to be and I would have visited anyway if the fire hadn't led to the Mark Leckey video being moved to the Blade Factory.

Realising my error, I begin stepping backwards up towards Slater Street.

My one off companion for this adventure is coming towards me, so I hold my hands up in a "hold on" gesture.

I begin rifling through the Biennial booklet looking for the office's telephone number.

My companion waits nearby fiddling with her phone as I'm connected to the office.

After one voice I'm passed to another, who at first doesn't seem to know which piece I'm talking about.

So I turn to the relevant page in the Biennial booklet and begin reading.

See if you can spot the moment when the penny drops.

"Lu Pingyuan has written a series of stories that can be encountered across episodes, and in the Biennial’s book. One describes a two-sided lake that a diver uses to swim between continents, and another tells the tale of little Kiki whose origami figure comes to life as a disgruntled artist. A third, which can be seen painted on the side of the Epic Hotel ..."

There is more text but I didn't need it.

Thanks, I say, so that's what it is.

I tell my companion.

She says as I did, "Oh that!"

So we walk back down into the Wolstenholme Square, stopping for more photographs, this time of Jorge Pardo's Penelope sculpture, originally created for the 2006 Biennial, then cutting through a car park and back on to Duke Street.

There it is on the side of the building, this Lu Pingyan piece which describes some business about Vincent Van Gogh and cloning.

The Biennial website has a photograph with a tree obscuring some of the text so you'll have to visit if you want to read the rest of it.

We'd both noticed it on the way down to the hotel but thought it was some form of derelict advertising which can often be seen on old buildings so didn't pay it any mind.

With a tree obscuring some of the text we crossed the road so we could read the rest of it.

After that my companion offers some thanks for my help.

"I don't think I was much help" I tell her, before offering directions up to FACT.

Luckily she has the map in the Biennial booklet so doesn't have to rely on my directions.

Sometimes I wish I read the Biennial booklet before seeing a piece.

But I like surprises.

After taking the above illustrative photo in the kitchen catering supply shop opposite, I'm off to my ...

Next Destination:
Derby Square

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