Future Visions of History

Call for submissions for a free one-day newspaper exploring regeneration, decay, the role of the artist, and the repetition of history in the context of Liverpool as European Capital of Culture.

In 1984 Liverpool was host to an International Garden Festival, a pioneering and aspirational investment into leisure, internationalism, culture and tourism for the purpose of social and economic regeneration. Despite attracting more than 3 million visitors, the festival has had little sustained impact on the deprivation of its locality. The festival site, which was intended to endure as a functioning public space was sold to private developers and over the past twenty years has declined into dereliction, generating on-going debate about its future.

In 2008, as the hopes for the future of Liverpool, like many cities internationally, rest once again on culturally driven regeneration, the overgrown and forgotten Festival Gardens - privatised, derelict and fiercely guarded by 24 hour security - provide an alternative perspective from which to explore elements of the current discourse surrounding culture, capitalism and regeneration.

The newspaper will feature contributions from local, national and international practitioners representing a range of disciplines including visual art, activism, architecture, cultural theory and social geography. Images and text relating specifically to the International Garden Festival will provide a context for a selection of more open-ended responses.

The newspaper will be distributed over the course of a day during the Liverpool Biennial, via a series of mapped routes that will take in relevant aspects of the city’s landscape, culture and communities, including regeneration areas, affluent and deprived suburbs, cultural and commercial quarters, shopping centres, government buildings, art institutions and artist-run spaces. A public discussion will take place in a Liverpool pub following the distribution of the newspaper, date and venue TBC.

Suggested themes for contributions could include Capitals of Culture, past present and future, regeneration/degeneration, cultural hegemony, cultural tourism, utopia/dystopia, London 2012 Olympics, Liverpool, globalisation, biennialism and the role and position of the artist. Contributions could take the form of any printable media: pre-existing or new artwork, essays, images, text, maps, architectural drawings and plans, diagrams, posters, etc.

Deadline for submissions: Fri 29 Aug 2008, 5pm.
Feel free to contact us before this date if you wish to discuss the project further. All submissions and enquiries should be sent to danieljsimpkins@googlemail.com or visit danielsimpkins.net for further information.

This is a collaborative curatorial project by Penny Whitehead and Daniel Simpkins, commissioned by Open Eye Projects and selected by Rebecca Lennon.

Open Eye Projects is a programme of exhibitions, projects and professional development activities involving emerging artists and taking place in experimental formats, contexts and locations around Liverpool.

Top image caption: Nelson Guzmán, Welcome to Festival Park, 2008
Bottom image caption: Nelson Guzmán, Cilla Black, Liverpool walk of fame, 2008
Future Visions of History

What: Future Visions of History
Further Details:
- Visit danielsimpkins.net
- Visit the Open Eye Gallery website
Contact: danieljsimpkins@googlemail.com
Deadline: Fri 29 Aug 2008, 5pm