Sahej Rahal at the Liverpool Biennial

Liverpool Biennial is a free festival of newly commissioned contemporary art from around the world.

It takes place over 14 weeks every two years across this major city in the north west of England. This year, Liverpool Biennial explores fictions, stories and histories, taking viewers on a series of voyages through time and space, drawing on the city’s past, present and future. These ‘episodes’ are scattered across the city, in galleries, public spaces and disused buildings, presenting installations, exhibitions and live performance as well as an exciting online programme. 

Running from 9 July – 16 October 2016, the Biennial features the work of Mumbai-based artist and sculptor Sahej Rahal (b. 1988, Mumbai, India). His installations, which bring together sculptures and video works, can be found in multiple locations across Liverpool, including sites such Exchange Flags, the historic square behind the Old Town Hall, Tate Liverpool and the former Cains brewery. 

During his residency in Liverpool the artist collected materials from scrapyards and from across the city to assemble the “bones” for his sculptures. The finished works evoke fossilised artefacts from science fiction and popular culture thousands of years into an imagined future. Rahal creates his own cast of mythological characters in his work, drawing on influences from local legend and religious iconography to dystopian visions of the future and contemporary science fiction references. The artist brings these characters and narratives into dialogue with each other, mashing past, present and future, and creating scenarios where indeterminate beings and objects emerge into our everyday lives, as if from the cracks of our civilization.

We headed to Liverpool to meet Sahej Rahal and find out more about his creative process and the ideas for his Liverpool Biennial commission.

Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial 2016 in partnership with Metal

Sahej Rahal: video works

Take a look at two video works that feature in Rahal’s installation at the Liverpool Biennial, Forerunner (2013) and Raktchandra (2016).

Sahej Rahal, Forerunner, 2013. Liverpool Biennial 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Chatterjee & Lal Gallery