)Bracket THIS(

Presented by Mercy and Fiction
Arena Gallery 6 - 28 November, 12.00am -7.00pm every day except Monday

Reviewed by Kenn Taylor

One of the last exhibitions to open as part of the 2004 Biennial )Bracket THIS( is a show dedicated to artists working in the city whose ideas have been inspired by the city. “Exploring the inter-connections, juxtapositions kisses and hisses that exist between artists in Liverpool”.

The exhibition is an expansion of the mercy project, originally founded by a group of skint John Moores graphic arts graduates as a means to get the work into the public eye “by any means necessary”, and produces the mercy magazine, a monthly fanzine style satirical magazine full of new design, underground listings and irreverent writing. They were also responsible for the “I AM CULTURE” badges seen everywhere.

The group has expanded to include artists of all kinds, writers, performers, musicians and promoters and has come to national attention warranting a mention in Dazed and Confused amongst others. Having been largely left out at the last biennial they decided to stage their own exhibition this time.

The small space at the Arena gallery is absolutely crammed floor-to-ceiling with works so that your eye is darting around trying to take it all in, but it does provide an antidote to the usual blank white wall space in art galleries. There is the usual mix of different media you expect in any exhibition these days from the paintings of Julie Jones to the constantly updated sound installation, different everyday of the exhibition.

There was no set theme for the exhibition, only the artists be inspired by Liverpool, one of the most obvious examples of this is Nick Kendall’s photography of some of the more tatty areas of the city, something that will be increasingly hard to find as it is “regenerated”.

Other stand out works include Jonathan Greenbank’s collage of notes from prostitutes he found on the street and Nigel Christs junk robots which are soon to be used in a new animated film from the team that make the music video’s for the coral and the zutons.

This exhibition does what it supposed to, show that there is plenty of independent artistic talent in Liverpool, doing it’s own thing with an admirable lack of pretentiousness.

Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday there are events at the gallery to coincide with the exhibition including music and readings and the organiser’s encourage visitors to bring there own works to the gallery as they are constructing the next issue of mercy as the exhibition goes on.