M.USE, Duke Street
27th November – 5th December 2008

Reviewed by John Owen

Volunteers strut their stuff and show off at M.USE, the former Arena gallery on Duke Street. But back to their response to the outside world and its hangers on, or to put it correctly “from and by my cold dead snot covered be sleeved hand shall ye grasp this review.”

All of these works on show comprised the collective but individual approach of each artist involved in the biennial to the shows, they had helmed on behalf of the Biennial 08 festival. As their trusty invigilators, out to shoot renegade replicants, well no, just cajole members of the peeps into the vast tracts of unchateaued turf or open air known as public realm artwork. They struck pay dirt in the fashionable sense of the word. In the fiscal sense they were credibility crunched breakfast cereal killer style.

The works covered many media forms pictures of pictures art on art statement overloaded with esoteric meanings and then ore statement one could detect the subliminal anger surfacing at the cheese on display at this year’s biennial expressing itself in biting satirical form or deadpan narcissistic ravings oh sorry that’s just me wrong blog/back to the review.

A rather joyous and bumptious event fun frolics dancing performances by Nathania choreographed mayhem organized craziness and free wine and nibbles what more could ye ask on a chilly night? My first sight of the candlelit entrance was greetings from the volunteers there and a well-produced catalogue of their achievement.

Words are sometimes too easy to write down a banal bald description of a happening, gentle featherlike strokes of the pen can sometimes obscure the subject or the view so a light early snowflake of Xmas, to shape and delineate highlight and silhouette figures allows them to speak for themselves.

Faces of people were genuinely amazed and excited, from my own perspective a once empty building had been transformed by the creative combined efforts of talented and thoughtful artistes capturing aspects of Liverpool viewed through the prism of the Biennial. A city in transition, its madness and maniacs and moods, but above all its energetic but warm, fighting yet artistic spirit, whose very soil and buildings are steeped in action and heroics. As well as per functionary good vibes. Like with all tales: tall, short or funny or they depend on the persons telling the tales or retelling, hackneyed phrases or rehashing means they lose the punch or meaning after the clichéd 1000th outing.

Retold however hints at other versions of myth, different angles or a totally new cadaver, hagiographic skills required to perform live surgery on the body culture and electric charge to reinvigorate the routine view of the world to jolt the collective unconscious of people and attempt to paraphrase a cliché: “If only you could see what I’ve seen through your eyes”.

Having worked closely with most of the exhibiting artist over the past three months from our original meeting speed dating style at the Tate where two days of undiluted concentrate culture was inducted into us, over the proceeding weeks I dropped my normal relaxed outsider remote utopianistic day dreaming mode put down the remotest controls and attempted to bite off more than Chewbacca could smoke. I danced sung swum somersaulted and freefall dived headlong into the moshpit process with my eyes open but my ears wide shut.

They were generous in an age where people are known from their mobile tune assigned to their name and the smoothed tarmac highway of life is steamrolling out of existence the individual foibles eccentricities that make us human or artist. As a view from an insider, I witnessed the soul of this amorphous collective mushroom in the dark, but grew to glory in the light. So in concussion:
eat it, free your mind, let art be your mirror after all symmetry like alliteration is not all its cracked down.
Le tit be.

This written article is dedicated to:- Taneesha, Adele, kKat, Fernando (abba), Giorgia, Phil(deadhead), Leah, Mago, Frances, Robert, Kelvin, Ruth, Zoe, And Graham, John.G,Kate, Nathania(Bergman), Bernie, Vicki, Heather, Emma, Julie, Joel, Hannah, Alexandra, Betty, Vanessa, Sam and Adele W. All proceeds go to a worthy cause like war plague or the creation of the reformed fifth Reich. Good times!

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