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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, February 23, 2007
    Centre of the Creative Universe: Liverpool's new canon
    Bill's been posting these all over town as his contribution to the new Tate exhibition, Centre of the Creative Universe: Liverpool and the Avant-Garde.

    There's one on the stairwell below the Second Floor of the Tate, and there's a few stuck around what The Culture Company and others like to call the city's Creative Quarter. Because I think a so-called 'capital of culture' must have four creative quarters, I hope Bill has got out to the sticks with some of his posters too - like round here where people say "Capital of Culture - nothing in that for us" (despite our area's rich cultural heritage), or in the boarded-up streets of L4, which have been shut down by stealth by a multinational Soccer Franchise and complicit City Council set on razing a famous area of the city to the ground (in the exhibition Jeremy Deller and Paul Ryan remind us that the fated Anfield Road is the childhood home of Brian Epstein, possibly the most influential figure in modern Liverpool history and one of the most marginalised).

    It's a good exhibition and the catalogue probably the best thing that's been published so far in anticipation of 2008; because it tries to map out some alternative histories of the city and gives exposure to some artists "who have continued to find their way to Liverpool outside the 'official' channels". Of course the very act of doing this creates another canon of acceptable Liverpool cultural history, and the very engrossing map of Liverpool's people, venues and movements (which covers the large exhibition entrance wall) will be worth spending a long, long time with to study the integrity of this new canon. However, at first look it's one I relate to with warm fascination. Cropped extract below; available for download in its entirety here.