Future Visions of History - 30.10.08

As Liverpool approaches the end of its greatly anticipated term as European Capital of Culture, a free, one-day newspaper will explore some of the issues, themes and locations that do not feature in the official 2008 programme. The hidden, the neglected, the absurd, the contentious.

In 1984 Liverpool was host to the UK’s first 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.

To coincide with the Long Night of the Biennial, over the course of Thu 30 Oct 2008 this project will spread, like a virus throughout the streets of the city. Local, national and international practitioners representing a range of disciplines including visual art, activism, photography, cultural theory and social geography have contributed varied and engaging responses to issues surrounding Liverpool, its recent history and its future, providing an antidote to the city’s hegemonic literature, art and culture.

To receive a free copy (within UK only) send a S.A.E. with £2 paid postage to:
Daniel Simpkins and Penny Whitehead
19A Waverley Rd,
Sefton Park,
L17 8TZ

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.