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Dazzle Ship Commission for Liverpool Biennial

Liverpool Biennial with Tate Liverpool and 14-18 NOW, the official cultural programme for the First World War Centenary Commemorations, are co-commissioning one of the major figures of contemporary art, Carlos Cruz-Diez, to paint a version of a ‘Dazzle Ship’ in partnership with National Museums Liverpool.

Liverpool Biennial’s dazzle ship is part of Monuments from the Future: a new commissioning initiative between Tate Liverpool and the Biennial which invites artists and architects to bring large-scale imaginary monuments from the future into the present. In order to fulfill this paradoxical task, artists will collaborate with professional futurologists (social scientists who predict possible future scenarios) to determine possible future circumstances and set of events for which a new monument can be imagined and produced. This project will slowly turn Liverpool into a sci-fi sculpture park making use of Liverpool’s industrial archaeology to celebrate its possible new futures.

Unlike other forms of camouflage, dazzle works not by concealing but by making it difficult to estimate a target’s range, speed and direction. Artist Norman Wilkinson, credited with inventing the technique, explained that dazzle was intended primarily to mislead the enemy: each ship’s dazzle pattern was unique in order to avoid making classes of ships instantly recognisable to the opposition.

The “Edmund Gardner” vessel is conserved by Merseyside Maritime Museum and will be “dazzled” by Carlos Cruz-Diez in dry Dock adjacent to Albert Dock Liverpool. The artwork will be inaugurated June 12th.

© Photo Mark McNulty

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