Photo by Sumer ErekThe Newspaper House

Sumer Erek
The Blackie, Great George Street
19th September - 5th October 2008

Reviewed by Ruth Dillon

"We are discussing no small matter on how we are meant to live". Socrates observed the importance of how we live and one of the most interesting art installations of the Biennial 2008 to address this was Sumer Erek's Newspaper House.

The temporary home of the Newspaper House was The Blackie, Great George Street, the oldest community arts organisation in Great Britain.

Sumer Erek proceeded to use the Blackie as a studio, workspace and exhibition space and to engage the participants into the creative process engendering a sense of belonging.

From the moment the shelllike structure arrived the public participation was vital. Via local networks and regional press, individuals and community groups were invited to bring along newspapers and to roll them into stick and brick like structures to aid the construction process.

The rolling of the newspaper somehow returns them to their origin whilst also bringing people together with an ambitious program developing a temporary community. It is interesting to note the project recaptures the almost extinct communal process of building homes together as community.

Karen Janody, producer and co-founder of creative cities was instrumental in bringing the art to Liverpool and pro active in engaging the public and local schools to think about recycling whilst inviting them into the normally private realm of the artistic process, giving all new insights into art, its aesthetics, its process and its capacity to convey multiple ideas.

In today's society we have access to more information than at any other point in history. The House is not only a work of art but also serves as an archeological snapshot of our community. The newspapers serve as an indicator to what, in a time of mass global consumerism, we chose to read. And also highlights the diversity - or lack thereof - of what is available to us.

Whether intentional or not, the Newspaper House addresses issues of transient knowledge, disposable culture, pulp information dressed as news and the recycleability of our culture and the part we surreptitiously play each day as consumers.

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