A giant mouth silently repeating shoppers’ dark secrets and billboard animations from contributors including artists David Shrigley and Gerhard Richter will feature in a series of four artworks in Liverpool city centre from Monday 18 January.
As bargain hunters catch the last of the January sales, they will become an unwitting part of art. The featured artists will make vivid statements on consumption, money and value. Ovr a week, Liverpool Provocations sees art and commerce come face-to-face, with intimate one-to-one street performances and a giant, illuminated mouth silently repeating people’s intimate secrets amongst the high street interventions.
Curated by Metal Liverpool, in partnership with 67 Projects, the series features a re-appropriation of Europe’s largest full-motion advertising hoarding, directly opposite Lime Street Station. Usually used for commercial animations, the video wall will instead deliver messages of just four words from contributors including internationally-renowned artists Gerhard Richter and David Shrigley, author Douglas Coupland and bizarrely former Liverpool FC striker, David Fairclough.
Liverpool Provocations has been developed to urge the public to stop and ponder questions surrounding commercialism and its effect on them and the world around them, at a time when persuasive forces aim to lure them into spending money after Christmas. Four artists, Alan Dunn, Julieann O’Malley, Forest Swords and MeYouandUs have created distinct, immersive, transitory yet engaging experiences, which comment on capitalism and material desire within society.
Metal Liverpool's Director Shaun Curtis says: “’It is easier to imagine the end of the world than an alternative to capitalism’ is a quote that has been well used by theorists and cultural critics, but we thought it could make an equally interesting provocation for artists. By asking four Liverpool artists to make their presence felt at a time when people are propelled to chase consumer goods so soon after the indulgences of Christmas, there is a purposeful interruption of the flow of advertising messages. It is a challenge to commerce as the dominant force in the city and a sanctuary for anybody feeling overwhelmed by the rush.”
The featured works in Liverpool Provocations are:
FOUR WORDS - Alan Dunn, Artist/Curator
The Media Wall outside Lime Street Station will host an alternative stream of provocative, 10 second animations of just four words. Alan Dunn, a Liverpool Art Prize 2012 nominee, has collaborated with, or appropriated existing texts from, 108 individuals, including world-famous (artist, Gerhard Richter) to lesser known contributors (Captain Pengelly, a retired seafarer). Each set of FOUR WORDS will act as a counterpoint to the sales season and the invisible pressures of this time of year, with ruminations on value, money and exchange.
VERACITY - Julieann O’Malley, Artist
Julieann will be encouraging passers-by to indulge in a moving and intimate one-to-one performance, incorporating the themes of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and sci-fi films with a dystopian vision of the future. O’Malley is an interdisciplinary artist, whose practice both for galleries and public space is fundamentally live durational performance, combining installations, video work, sound and photography. In Veracity she will invite viewers to meet in a secret location where they will be guided through a unique interview-based narrative.
SHRINE - Forest Swords, Musician/Composer/Producer
Forest Swords is an award-winning music producer and artist. Shrine will explore breathing as live musical performance, offering respite from the physical indulgence of the festive period. The piece, performed live at the atmospheric Black-E venue, aims for a re-alignment and focus on the self as a means of countering forces of consumer-focused excess and narcissism. Swords' previous commissions include Ground Rhythms, a reflection on locations that no longer physically exist, with the resulting music pressed onto delicate X-Ray film that instantly degrades in the act of being played.
BIG MOUTH – MEYOUANDUS, Digital Artists
An illuminated orb will appear in central Liverpool, within which a human mouth appears to silently repeat and absorb the deepest thoughts and secrets of the public. Big Mouth, a mobile installation, aims to tempt participants to speak in confidence away from the superficial veneer of social dialogue. The thoughts are then displayed on the 360° projection, before being transformed into demons, carrying the negative burden of harboured truths away into another world. MEYOUANDUS specialise in technically complex public arts projects using state of the art technologies to enhance artistic and human exchange in public spaces.
Liverpool Provocations events take place between Monday 18 – Saturday 23 January 2016. They are FREE to attend, but booking is necessary for some events. For full information on locations and times visit: www.metalculture.com