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Liverpool cathedral

Last saturday, I was in Liverpool to give a paper on Margaret Atwood at a conference on the urban gothic. It was the first ‘real’ conference I was going to and I really enjoyed it. It was a great day with very friendly people. I heard great papers and I also discovered two artists.

Gerry Gapinski, an artist born in New York and currently living in Edinburgh, gave a talk on what he is working on at the moment: a graphic novel entitled Three Colours: Black. It is actually a trilogy, each part representing a city: Edinburgh, Glasgow and New York. During his address, he showed us films and pictures of his work. Although his earlier work is not really my cup of tea, I must say that I find his later work admirable. His representations of the city are quite amazing and full of details. Someone to keep an eye on…

The other artist I discovered is Nicholas Royle, a writer from Manchester, who read us one of his short stories. To date, he has published five novels and a collection of short stories, Mortality. There is something nice about being read a story and I really enjoyed the one he read to us. ‘Weird’ is what I would say about it. It also had that typical effect of a good short story: the minute it is over, you want to read it again. I’ll definitely check out his collection.

I also had some time to visit a bit the city of Liverpool and I was agreably surprised. I thought it would be a grey city but I found a vibrant city with a good atmosphere and many beautiful or intriguing buildings.

Here are some photos:

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You might have heard of that story about a stray dog being starved to death in the name of art. The artist, Guillermo Vargas, is accused of having captured a stray dog, tied it by a rope in his exhibition under the name of the exhibition written with dog food. Whether the dog died or escaped is not clear… Anyway, this is art in our century!

Another exhibition presents seven German artists, who are playing with the idea of ‘hosts and guests’, hosting lice in their hair for a period of three weeks while they are themselves guests in the museum.

I don’t know what you think about it, but that type of art leaves me cold, artistically anyway…

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