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The 2019 Biennale

The 15th edition of the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale:
an exceptional landscape

A high point in the international art calendar,
the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale is gaining fresh impetus in 2019.

Thanks to the exceptional Fagor Factory site being made available – a complex of more than 29,000 sqm in central Lyon – the 15th edition is unprecedented in scale. This huge disused facility, together with all the macLYON space and interventions throughout greater Lyon and in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, make up an outsized field of experimentation that is ripe for the artists’ taking and giving the event a new dimension.

Where Water Comes Together with Other Water


This 15th edition of the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale is devised as an ecosystem at the intersection of biological, economic and cosmogonic landscapes. It bears witness to the shifting relationships between human beings, other living species, the mineral kingdom, technological artefacts and the stories that unite them.


Around fifty artists of all generations and many nationalities, with gender parity, have been invited to make site-specific works.

Stephen Powers. Where Water Comes Together With Other Water © Raymond Carver 1985, Tess Gallagher 1989, used by permission of The Wylie Agency (UK) Limited

The visual identity of this 15th edition

The visual identity of this 15th edition of the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale is based on a poster specially created by the artist Stephen Powers.

 It plays on the contrast between the poetic scope of the title, borrowed from a Raymond Carver poem, and its graphic treatment, akin to a corporate slogan reproduced on cardboard packaging. Although the blue wave evokes moving water, the typeface refers to the former logo of the Sears department-store chain, which was omnipresent in North America until its recent bankruptcy.
The cardboard and the shipping labels evoke not only the Fagor Factory’s industrial past but also, and especially, the shifting of the material goods that define today’s global economic landscape. From a flood of water to the flows of capital, goods and people that define our age, the damaged box in this poster also underscores humans’ fragility and precariousness in the globalised, neo-liberal economic landscape that they themselves have fashioned.