July 11, 2024

Reading Room: Liverpool ESEA Network

October 4 – November 4, 2022
Monday – Friday
11:00am – 04:00pm

During downtime in the public programme between installation periods the ERL will be transformed into a pedagogical resource, providing freely accessible and distributed excerpts of reading material within two distinct categories: curatorial and exhibitionary knowledge, and curated reading lists relating to upcoming public programme projects. This resource will be the only one of its kind in Liverpool, which will be freely accessible to the general public.

Between physical projects in the space the iterant reading room will serve as a base for self-directed interaction with key themes in the upcoming programme, alongside broader concerns of exhibition-making. The curated reading lists will be compiled by staff, researchers and invited practitioners either participating in, or responding to, the upcoming programme and current discourses within contemporary art.

From this dynamic library space public events and reading groups will be organised both online/offline; allowing the ERL to continue fulfilling its remit of knowledge production and dissemination, developing regional, national and international relationships, and providing critically engaged outreach to the local arts community.

The texts and items selected for this installation by Liverpool ESEA Network aim to decolonise gallery spaces by representing East and South East Asian (ESEA) arts and culture in a genuine way. They largely focus on the ESEA experience in the UK; however, some texts reference the Asian American experience which has strong parallels. In both countries, this demographic faces many of the same institutional issues surrounding assimilation, stereotypes and being overlooked as a community. The items that accompany the texts also belong to the members of Liverpool ESEA Network – here, the act of selecting pieces that belong to people of ESEA heritage is a step forward in decolonising gallery spaces by reappropriating the white gaze, and visually extends the reach of the texts. Liverpool ESEA Network is focused on the key importance of authentic ESEA representation in the arts, and wider society, as this community’s intersectional experiences are often misrepresented or disregarded.

Curated by Dan Chan, with text suggestions and loan of items contributed by Emily Beswick, Michelle Houlston, Mun Carmen Lee and Vera Chok.