Living It Up

Museum of Liverpool Life, Albert Dock
12th February - 14th June 2005

Reviewed by Adam Ford

I suppose this shouldn't really be called an 'exhibition', because that label implies some sort of artistic input. Instead, this is more of an advert, 'supported' by Liverpool Housing Action Trust, who coincidentally happen to be the subject of the display. Why not just call it ‘The High Life’ and be done with it?

Living It Up gives a fairytale makeover to the privatisation of social housing, without a trace of dissent to be seen. Everyone loves their flat in this universe, and the rent is really easy to afford, no matter what your circumstances. We get to see a model of a 'real living room', like we've never seen one before. Then there's a mock-up housing rep's office, which seems to be just like any other office, maybe a bit more soulless and cramped. Finally, there's a timeline of the sell-off and resulting developments, along with a computer showing innocuous short films by Tenantspin – the Liverpool high rise internet TV channel.

The prize for most inane comment goes to John Pettitt, who informs us that the only people who moan about tower blocks are "those who've never lived in them." So next time you hear a high-rise resident complaining about their accommodation be sure to head off down to your (BUPA) psychiatrist, because you must be imagining things!

So if ever you were worried about how those unfortunate poor people manage in their social housing, go down to the Albert Dock, put your mind at rest and live happily ever after...