liverpool biennial independents 2004

Independent Districtindependent dist Georgian Quartergeorgian quarter City Centralcity central Docklandsdocklands Artistsartists

Archived 2008, another new folder

  Feeding the 5000  

Feed the 5000
Biennial opening night
Independent District


  Dave White, Liverpool Biennial 2004  

Dave White
Independent District
Liverpool Biennial 2004


  Gillian Davis, Babycream  

Gillian Davis
Liverpool Biennial 2004

  Transparent Eyeball

Lauren Cornell and Astria Suparak

Transparent Eyeball

Independent District

55 New Bird Street


Film programme curated by Lauren Cornell and Astria Suparak.

In its Report, the 9/11 Commission points to four kinds of failure - 'imagination, policy, capabilities and management' - as causes for the government¹s inept handling of terrorist threats to the U.S. and the drastic oversights that lead to the events of September 11, 2001. This, coming from a nation so excessively confident of its socio-economic edge and sovereign destiny, marks a moment in which American myths are being forcibly dispelled, not just for those on the Left (who knew it all along, right) but across the political spectrum in the U.S.

At the same time, American pop culture persists in its optimism and its upward and outward (global) mobility. The media landscape assumes a pretense of responsibility and inclusion. However, this pose of post-liberated glory is just a fresh set of injustices coated with spin. Programs such as Reality TV and Fox News present illusions of difference, information and participation while, in actuality, these democratic principles are increasingly threatened. If one wonders why the cultural and political happenings of the Œ60s so haunt the present, it could be because this was an earlier moment of widespread dissent and questioning in the U.S., whose goals and legacies have yet to be fulfilled. In response to this dubious state of progress, some artists have taken to visualizing what is so aggressively covered up, namely the acute realities of economic, cultural and everyday failure.

'Elusive Quality', the video program curated by Astria Suparak and myself, affirms the position of failure in relation to American-bred fantasies of athletic, sexual and political mastery. The works included, a few of which are discussed below, are formally and conceptually diverse. Some originated as site-specific performances not necessarily meant for single screen exhibition. In the program however, they are all linked temporarily through their shared consideration of how an embrace of failure can re-imagine the terms for success.

In a political climate where the buck is consistently passed, these works, and all those included in 'Elusive Quality', demonstrate how failure can be an engine for creative thought and a catalyst for personal reflection and social action. Each work is imbued with a sense of hope and urgency that accompanies such processes of realization and reclamation.

Lauren Cornell, August 2004

Elusive Quality first screened at Participant, Inc in New York, in conjunction with the release of 'Practice More Failure', the third edition of feminist journal LTTR. Thanks to Astria Suparak for her collaboration, and support of this essay, and to Michael Connor.


Artists represented at White Diamond:

Cory Arcangel
Peter Coffin
Ara Peterson
Paper Rad
Lauren Cornell
Astria Suparak
Kendra Gaeta
Michael Connor
Meredith Danluck
Amy Globus

Jeremy Laing
Will Munro
Rohesia Hamilton
Chadwick Rantanen
Seth Price
Scott Thomas
Gerard Holthuis
Saki Satom
Paul Slocum
Kent Lambert
Rebekah Rutkoff
Kelly Oliver
Abbey Williams
Andrew Jeffrey Wright
Clare Rojas
Bryan Boyce
Dara Greenwald
Jim Finn


Archived February 2008, another new folder