Liverpool, 2015. The time is ripe for sabotage and refusal. A city that professionally doubles for New York and Chicago, selling an American dream for celluloid; a tried and tested exercise in being just convincing enough. Use this slippage, and learn from this masquerade. As social structures begin to crumble, what are your tactics? What will you become next – the hermit or the magician?
With the card of Judgement, landing reversed, you can return at last to Justice, who presided over the site of your specific goal with a certain, boring mystery. Judgement sits askew in the place of The Questioner, that is you, and suggests that judgement and the fear of it, is simply not your bag. You yearn, perhaps, to get beyond value, and value judgements. The Sun announces in his bald way that this is eminently possible, and the climate positive for your intent.
On Coping: A Reading for Liverpool is a project by Auto Italia in collaboration with Lauren Barnes and The Royal Standard, bringing together artists from around the world to create a shared space for exchange and support. Part residency, part research, and part public programme – the project takes its starting point from the emotional alliances and collective strategies that enable our artistic work to take place in the face of increasingly unforgiving social and economic pressures.
It’s time to work together and find new strategies. What can we learn through empathy, prophecies, tarot and speculation? What systems are available to us to hijack and redirect value? As the elite closes in, let’s create our own spaces for autonomy and creative production.
From July 17th-19th, collaborating artists shared ideas and proposals through workshops, performances, discussion groups, works in progress and more, alongside a display of installed work until August 2nd.
On Coping: A Reading for Liverpool featured contributions from: Marleen Boschen & Charles Pryor, CUSS Group, Ruth Angel Edwards, Louisa Martin, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Emily Pope, Billy Howard Price and Erica Scourti.
Events as part of On Coping: A Reading for Liverpool:
With a performance of Blue Sun by Marleen Boschen and Charles Pryor and a live DJ set from Ruth Angel Edwards.
Hobby Point, Jaakko Pallasvuo
Once you had a hobby. Hobbies are affordable therapy. Hobbies make survival fun. Hobbies mitigate boredom. Art was a hobby that you enjoyed. Art became a profession, by definition less joyful. Perhaps art became a source of anxiety for you.
In Pallasvuo’s workshop participants will handle clay while viewing a video. There will be a discussion about the themes introduced in the video while the clay gets worked. We can think about what’s fun, what’s unprofessional and what’s worth doing.
The unfired clay objects will remain in the space (unless you want to take them somewhere else) and will be destroyed at the end of the show. This will give the participants a chance to practice anonymity and letting-go. All feels welcome.
when everything’s clean, we can start again, Erica Scourti
Delete, restart, regret, change, fight, feel, hope: in this workshop of clearing, sharing and reflecting on how to care for ourselves and others, embroidered micro-fibre cloths act as both electronic device cleaning aids, and as prompts for a conversation about the ongoing labour of self-maintenance and survival. Responses to each prompt take the form of a screenshot, shared with the group if desired, and printed out afterwards for displaying in the exhibition.
Sister, Louisa Martin
Louisa Martin will combine astrological interpretation with pataphysics to create individual personalised readings of current pressures, absences, and loopholes, pointing to invisible routes available where material resources and support might be missing. To receive a personal reading, please provide Louisa with your exact time, date and place (nearest town) of birth, your email address and your most urgent concern or question.
Got 2 B…, Ruth Angel Edwards & Emily Pope (listen here)
Got 2 B… responds to, and challenges current events and trends, in an ongoing dialogue with popular consciousness. The artists will produce a special edition of their monthly Resonance FM radio show responding to On Coping: A Reading for Liverpool and using the exhibition space to produce it. Got 2 B…. is a programme in series, presented by Emily Pope and Ruth Angel Edwards, artists who explore the over-proliferation of populist conversation and music through collaborative sound-work. Alongside utilising the banalities of daily conversation and epiphanic moments of transit to create spoken word pieces (which cut from satirical to earnest in their observation) the programme collages soundbites from news bulletins and adverts, re-contexualising selected songs, which the artists insert into this built environment, to provide the listener with an interpretation of specific neo-liberal landscapes. The programme has so far responded to targeted advertising, and in its second outing; the act of protest, considering the potential of this collective gathering, whilst recognising that protest is inherently un-cool.
A closing event and discussion led by Auto Italia, Lauren Barnes and Lotte Johnsson to discuss the conditions of being an artist in the city that is the site for this project. With a focus on generating shared conversations and ideas, this discussion seeks to create new links and serve as the starting point for future exchanges.
Image © Auto Italia and the artists.