Static Noodle Bar

In June 2008, Static took out a number of adverts in Seoul, South Korea that advertised a UNIQUE JOB OPPORTUNITY for a family to run a small Noodle Bar at Static, Liverpool. This was the beginning of a process in which the Noodle Bar was to become a vehicle to explore specifically the human desire or need to migrate, the inner workings of the UK Border Agency (Immigration) and latterly the vagaries of Planning Control.

Static saw the source of the biggest threat to the longevity of project as either the Border Agency or Planning Control, however, the initial threat to the project came from within. In an extraordinary 3 week period beginning on the 15 September 2008 when the 2 recruited Korean personnel arrived on British soil, a chain of events that began with an initial honeymoon period, quickly descended into a series of irreconcilable conflicts fuelled by competing egos, unrealistic expectations, control of space, gender politics and significant cultural differences. Static sought new staff and found a Korean family based in Liverpool to run the Noodle Bar.

On the day that Static Noodle Bar reopened as a Liverpool Biennial public artwork, Liverpool City Council Planning Control issued a communiqué stating that the Noodle Bar project "requires the benefit of Planning Permission.... although you (Static) have the right to make a retrospective application, I (Planning Control) could not recommend that it be granted. I (Planning Control) base this view on the following grounds: The appearance of the development has a DETRIMENTAL effect within the conservation area ... Initially I (Planning Control) would ask you (to) demolish the structure or cease the unauthorised use, whichever is relevant..."

The key question that this particular instruction raises is one of TASTE and what is or what is not an acceptable appearance in a conservation area and who indeed are the harbingers of taste. The Noodle Bar project also raises the fundamental questions of human rights by examining what you can and cannot do on your own land, with your own money and with your own initiative. Equally, the project shines a light into the recesses of the so-called 'snitch' culture, in that the initial approach by Liverpool Planning Control was triggered by a 'query' from an unknown source.

The project also questions the definition of an artwork, in that Planning Control see this installation as a commercial unit whereas Liverpool Biennial see it as an artwork as is testified by its inclusion in the Liverpool Biennial guide and programme. Perhaps more importantly, Static Architecture sees this project as an active device that will challenge the professions of both Architecture and Town and Country Planning to engage in a dialogue about the current state of their respective education systems and the impacts on society of what can be easily be described as the yearly conveyor belt of mediocre graduates who are systematically deployed into both the architecture and planning professions.

In the context of Liverpool, it could be argued that a small scale art installation may contravene state planning directives, but it can equally be argued that Liverpool Planning Department has been responsible for the large scale systematic destruction of much of the cities 'conservation' stock over the last 60 years.

To learn more about this project or become involved in the forthcoming debates around the current state of Architecture and Planning Control which will take place at Static early in 2009, please contact or visit Static Noodle Bar.
Static Noodle Bar


Event Title: Static Noodle Bar
Postcode: UK, L1 9JD
Further Details:
-Visit the Static website" target="_blank"> -Visit the Static website