Every element in an exhibition of work by Peter Liversidge begins at the artist’s kitchen table with Liversidge sitting alone writing proposals on an old manual typewriter. These hand-typed pages, present an array of possible and impossible ideas for performances and artworks in almost every conceivable medium. In a sense the first realisation of every work is in Liversidge’s head, then on the page, then in the mind of the reader, and finally (perhaps) as a physical object or happening. In every case, the first ‘artwork’ from any series of proposals is the bookwork that presents the collected ideas.
As Liversidge has said: “… the process is also about the notion of creativity: it’s important that some of the proposals are actually realized, but no more so that the others that remain only as text on a piece of A4 paper. In a sense they are all possible and the bookwork that collates the proposals allows the reader to curate their own show, and because of its size and scale the bookwork allows an individual to interact with each of the proposals on their own terms, one to one”.
Over the past few years Liversidge has worked in this way with an increasingly diverse body of institutions and places including: Proposals for Liverpool (Tate Gallery, 2008), Proposals for Barcelona (Centre d’art Santa Monica, 2007), Proposals for Brussels (with the British Council for the Europalia Festival, 2007), Proposals for Miami (Art Basel Miami, 2009) and Jupiter Proposals (the newly opened sculpture park Jupiter Artland, 2009). Forthcoming projects include fifty Proposals to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (which will be presented at the 2010 Edinburgh Art Festival) and a major new work to be unveiled at Jupiter Artland in May 2010.
Liversidge was also one of 8 artists selected to be part of a major research project and exhibition by the Architectural Association, London and the city of Venice, which was unveiled at the Venice Biennale in 2011.