Well, not really business as usual though is it because we don’t have an Artistic Director now.
Sue Woodward, the Managing Director of the Culture Company went on to say that there will be no dramatic changes, they are very happy with the fantastic artistic team led by Fiona Gasper that Robyn Archer has left behind.
At present they will not be appointing a replacement for Archer but in line with many other European cities there may at some point in the future be a new Artistic Director post to be filled.
The Director of Tate Liverpool, Christoph Grunenberg announced the (already leaked) news that the Turner Prize will be held here in 2007 as part of the lead up to 08 and cited this as just one of many examples of the commitment of major arts institutions to be a part of the Capital of Culture.
Jason Harborow expanded on this theme to say that negotiations are ongoing with many big names, some of which will be announced in November, others later next year.
I thought the format of the press conference was a bit odd. Instead of announcing the outcome of the two and a half hour meeting they immediately opened it up to questions from the floor. So, naturally, the weasels (sorry, er, ‘reporters’) from the Echo, BBC etc. launched into their usual negative, antagonistic questioning. All these people who I’ve never seen at a single grassroots artistic event in this city going on about the perception of the people as if they actually ever talk to ‘the people’.
One of them asked if Robyn Archer had been sacked, Sue Woodward said ‘No, she wasn’t sacked’ So then the reporter asked ‘Are you sure?’ At this point if I’d been in Sue Woodward’s seat I would have said ‘Ah no, actually, now you come to ask me a second time. I’m not so sure. Perhaps she was sacked, I’ll check and get back to you ok?’ or maybe I’d have just put two fingers up.