If you’re visiting Liverpool, I think the only place to go now is Liverpool One. Not only a shopping experience, not even just a fine example of Enclosure, 21st-century style, it’s a mountain range of retail, complete with vertiginous perspectives and horrifying canyons of commerce. You can reflect on the fact that it’s built over the filled-in Pool, the tidal creek that was Liverpool’s first harbour and then the site of the world’s first wet dock, the city’s raison d’être and the source of its wealth, all that money skimmed off trade and slavery. From shipping to shopping. There’s a little porthole in the pavement where you can look down at an old dock wall disappearing into the darkness.

Yesterday there was a bouncy castle on the grass, only it was attended by soldiers. And it wasn’t a bouncy castle, it was an inflatable child-friendly assault course decorated with camouflage patterns and a huge regimental crest. At the far end, a military Land Rover with a military canvas awning over its back and a combat-ready trestle table looked ready for signing recruitment papers.

I'm coming back

It’s been a few years since I showed any artwork in public, almost a decade since I showed any photographs. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it, though, the whys and hows, and then there was a what – photos I took when I was living in Melville, in South Africa, in 2008 – and now there’s a when, two of them in fact.

It seems that every few years I have to go through the cycle of thinking through the following thoughts about doing art and documentaries, in no particular order: Continue reading I'm coming back

On memories and cameras

I’ve written two more CultureLab posts. The first one troubled me a bit because, although I didn’t much like the artwork, the people were really nice. Ah, but your duty to your public, I began to tell myself, but that voice was quickly told to shut up and stop being a pompous arse. What public? What careful selection process permitted me to post my opinions on a site of a respectable magazine? What careful editorial oversight ensured that this was a fair and reasonable thing to write?

And who’s got their stuff in Gimpel Fils, and who’s hoping for the basement of a bookshop on the Lower Clapton Road?

Julian Richards' blog