Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool
Until 25th March 2018
Reviewed by new contributor Leslie Salome Soto Santillan
(Photograph of Jacob Epstein’s Genesis, when it was first exhibited at the Bluecoat in 1931)
An exhibition of dialogues and resonances.
The first impression is that of an environment inviting to be part of a historical tour. The Bluecoat presents itself not only through architecture and urban presence, but as a living organism through which different meanings have been present.
Concluding the 300th anniversary of the Bluecoat, In the Peaceful Dome becomes a rich exhibition of historical archives and works of art, whose objective is to show the genuine commitment, almost legendary, both with the community of which it is part, and with the different artistic manifestations which have taken place there over time.
Through the different works of art and historical archives it is possible to understand how the Bluecoat manifests itself as a connecting presence of territories and identities. Social, political and educational territories that have been reinterpreted and expressed through different artistic discourses.
From the origins of this building as an educational institution (1716) to the present, we are offered a tour that encourages us to consider not only the most traditional art manifestations (paintings, engravings, sculptures and drawings) or documentary archive, but also the modern and contemporary manifestations (videos, installations, performances, interventions etc.) as the thread of the dialogues that have been given many times in a tone of reflection, criticism and confrontation throughout its history.
The artists have left their mark and are an essential part of the Bluecoat. It is In the Pacific Dome, where the layers of various interpretations that they have established overlap and interact.
The artists swell their hooks in topics such as education, slavery, globalization, European colonialism, diasporas of communities in Europe, political power, identity, gender, war, geopolitical context, militarism, feminine presence, literature, artistic avant-garde, decorative arts and contemporary reflections.
This is an excellent and remarkable exhibition in which the artists of yesteryear and present times converge in dialogues and resonances.