Did the Capital of Culture make it even harder for emerging artists to get a foothold in the city? Has the commercialisation of our core spelt curtains for creativity? Jürgen Cyranek is a graduate, born in the former East Germany, who’s attempting to find out.
As the International Biennial unfurls across the galleries and warehouses of the city again, Jürgen will be hot-footing it around town filming a documentary exploring whether our hosting of the European Capital of Culture and its associated investments have had a negative effect on our independent art scene and, as a consequence, whether it’s prevented an artist led regeneration of our run-down areas.
“Now, you can’t find many of these areas in Berlin anymore because money has started flowing into these once-neglected areas, and creativity has been priced out. But still artists, designers and students need these inspiring, affordable locations if they’re to continue to contribute to the city. I can see that Liverpool is inventing itself anew by focusing on art and culture, but it’s at a crossroads,” he says.
According to Jürgen, Liverpool has an advantage over Berlin. We have the space.
“Berlin never has been a shrinking city, but Liverpool still has lots of space for creative pioneers, if they’re allowed to use it. It’s a well-known fact that artists, who tend to settle down in run-down areas because of cheap rents and enough space they find, can be an enormous contributing factor to the process of regeneration,” Jürgen says.
It’s here, and it’s happening now. Of that there can be no doubt. We can still punch above our weight when it comes to creativity.
“We see cities as the sum of the people who live in them and changes as a welcome and essential part of their development. Our ambition is to uncover the hidden potentials and we want the city to tell the story. What will the outcome be? We don’t know. We’ll have to see what kind of story it will be when the filming is done…”
Jürgen’s keen for us to have our say. He’s hoping to stage a discussion at a city centre location in the next couple of weeks. More details will be revealed on www.citypicture.co.uk.
“Last but not least, we’re still looking for some music which we can use as a soundtrack for the documentary. Maybe there is a band based in Liverpool who wants to share its music with us? Just contact us!”
Thanks to Nerve Magazine for the final image.