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The title of the next Biennale de Lyon, 'A Terrible Beauty Is Born', is a verse from the poem Easter 1916 written by W.B. Yeats in September of that year about the general uprising by which the Irish claimed emancipation from the British. At first sight, the poem could be read as celebrating the martyrs who gave their life for the cause of independence. Yet upon further scrutiny, it becomes clear that the attitude of the speaker is one of perplexity and doubt. The poem shifts uneasily between affirmation, question and negation. It is, fundamentally, at war with itself. As such, the title is more a methodological tool than a theme per se. It enables the project to explore the force of paradox and contradiction, tension and ambivalence, and to address the state of urgency in the world and in the arts today. Articulated through a series of parcours or narratives, the exhibition intends to address the density of the present as well as the power of the imaginary, the visionary and the hallucinatory. The 11th Biennale de Lyon will comprise around 60 artists in the 150.000 square feet across four venues: La Sucriere, the Fondation Bullukian, the Musee d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, and the T.A.S.E factory.