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Liverpool Biennial

Remy-Toledo was invited by the Liverpool Biennial to produce one of the main projects for the 2010 arts festival. He brought the concept of No Longer Empty, the group he co-founded in New York, to the Biennial by launching No Longer Empty on the Road as a means of addressing some of the socio-economic challenges of Liverpool. He partnered with The Arts Organization (T.A.O.), a Liverpool-based squatters group that transformed abandoned buildings into livable art studios. Under the umbrella name SQUAT, the two organizations worked to address different issues throughout the course of the Biennial. Remy-Toledo then worked with three large, vacated buildings to house fourteen sound installations, four of which were created by local artists. FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) provided the technical equipment at no cost and served as an important anchor for the project.

The selected sound artists produced a diverse range of work. For example, Marina Rosenfeld placed speakers in the overhead space of a parking garage to play altered field recordings of Liverpool’s soundscape, shifting the ambiance and redirecting the listeners’ attention. Ted Riederer took over a site—formerly a club space and later a sound studio—and converted it into an imaginary record store called “Never Records,” which originally debuted at the former iconic Tower Records store in Manhattan. The store featured posters and album art by New York and Liverpool artists by Liverpool-based bands, as well as live performances by local musicians, which were recorded, cut on vinyl, and sold on site.

Participating Artists:

England: Imogen Stidworthy, Philip Jeck, Ray Lee and Juan Cruz

New York/ US: Marina Rosenfeld, Ted Riederer and Joe Diebes

Colombia: Clemencia Echeverri

Mexico/ US: Miguel Angel Rios

Holland: Wouter & Snoei

Finland: Kaarina Kaikonen and Jani Ruscica

Italy: Giuseppe Stampone

"Murmur" by Ray Lee

"Pool of Voices" by Phil Jeck

"Pool of Voices" by Phil Jeck

"Never Records" by Ted Riederer

"Public Address No.2" by Marina Rosenfeld

"Play" by Giuseppe Stampone

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In the work Play presented by the Italian artist Giuseppe Stampone for this exhibition, Remy-Toledo commissioned the artist to create a sound installation that represented his style of sarcastic criticism and the economic crisis going on at that time in Europe.  This installation was presented as part of No Longer Empty on the Road. The artist created this installation of  5 coffin-shaped speakers. Each of the coffins represented each of the countries in Europe who was in economic turmoil  (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain and Ireland) . When the viewer inserted a coin in the slot the installation turns on and thanks to a software that operated the 5 soundtracks, each speaker reproduced the sound of each of the national anthems.  Some times the coin intentionally did not active the speakers, this was a prank that the artist created to imply that it didn't matter how much money someone put into it, the economy would still be dead.  The exhibition, was later acquired by the Contemporary Art Museum Liuigi Pecci in Prato, Italy. For this new installation in this art center, the artist changed the original 5 anthems presented at the Liverpool Biennial, and created a new version which played different musical instruments but all to the Italian anthem alone. 

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