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Liverpool Biennial 2018: Artists Showing at Bluecoat

published by The Bluecoat

Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest international visual arts festival taking place over 15 weeks at Bluecoat and across ...

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Who is Franko B?

Next week, we welcome legendary performance artist Franko B, returning to Bluecoat to perform his new work, Milk and Blood. Ahead of his performance, we take a look at his influences, and previous work.

Born in Milan in 1960, Franko B moved to London in the late 1970s, studying art at Camberwell College of Arts, Chelsea College of Art and the Byam Shaw School of Art. Influenced by the non-conformist scene of S&M, tattoos, drugs and hard techno, Franko’s anarchic and anti-establishment art is ground-breaking and memorable.

The artist’s earlier work is both shocking and pioneering; often using graphic techniques to create an impact. For his 2003 performance at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, I Miss You, the artist displayed himself on a catwalk, naked and bleeding – a challenging image that, in his own words, asserted ‘we are all bleeding inside.’

Whilst many of Franko B’s works are controversial in the way they depict the artist’s violation of his own body, he has also explored other media. Recent pieces include sculpture and video, as well as works in neon, and images stitched into fabric. Whatever medium Franko works in however, his art is powerful, challenging his audience to think beyond conventional boundaries, and confronting them with images they might not usually see.

In his latest performance, Milk & Blood, the artist uses the setting of a boxing ring, pitting himself against the constraints of human capability for thirteen two minute rounds. Through physical and mental endurance, the artist explores themes of pain, eroticism, revulsion, ecstasy and masculinity –the act of boxing becomes a metaphor for social struggle, as well as our human ability to overcome.

Bluecoat artistic director Bryan Biggs said of Franko’s return to Bluecoat: "We are delighted to welcome back Franko B to Bluecoat. His live art practice continues to engage and challenge audiences and we are looking forward to the return of one of the UK's most vital artists working in this field of performance."

 Franko B’s raw and visceral live art demands from us that we see things most would choose to ignore; the vulnerability of society, isolation, and human struggle. In his own words, “I want to make work that matters; this is the only dignified reason to live.”

Join us on Wed 27 Jul to hear Franko B deliver an artist talk, in which he will discuss he career over the decades, and see the revolutionary artist perform on Thu 28 Jul in his latest piece of live art, Milk & Blood.

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About the Bluecoat

Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, Bluecoat showcases talent across visual art, music, dance, live art and literature. As the most ...

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