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

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007
    The Old Guard or the Avant-Garde
    It came before Christmas but today's the first chance I've had to have a proper look at the spring term brochure for the University of Liverpool's Centre for Lifelong Learning. I try to get to a short course each year, keeps the ageing brain going. Turns out that post-Easter Wednesday lunchtimes this year are hot.

    Top of the pops will be the free lunchtime lectures at Liverpool Cathedral on 800 years of Liverpool History. Covering medieval Liverpool, Liverpool as viewed from the rest of Lancashire, the city's philanthropists and voluntary sector, its contribution to public health, its cathedrals, and Cosmopolitan Liverpool, it's a tie-in with John Belchem's doorstopper Liverpool 800: Culture, Character and History.

    And it'll be good - some of the best lecturers on Liverpool history and in a fine venue, it'll attract a lot of lunchtime punters; but if you read this blog often then you'll easily suss that I'm looking forward all the more to the series that's due to take place half a mile down the hill and an hour beforehand: Art Lectures: Liverpool and the Avant-Garde - From Modern to Contemporary at the Tate.

    That's a tie-in, too, with the exhibition Centre of the Creative Universe: Liverpool and the Avant-Garde. Five speakers will explore aspects of Liverpool's culture from 1945 to the present day, especially Liverpool's avant-garde tendencies, which, as will be revealed, are pretty radical and internationally influential.

    So there we go: filmic Liverpool, photographic Liverpool, the city's role in Art Politics, the city’s status as a work of art in the mind of the artist, and investigations in the work of Adrian Henri, Yoko Ono, Martin Parr, and many others I don't yet have the pleasure to know.

    In the wonderful choice of whether to go for Wednesdays with the Old Guard or the Avant-Garde, I think you'll guess which series I'll be attending.