Port City at A Foundation


Port City: on mobility and exchange
Exhibition 26 June – 24 August 2008
at A Foundation

Yto Barrada, Ursula Biemann, Meschac Gaba, Melanie Jackson, Erik van Lieshout, Zineb Sedira, Mary Evans and William Pope.
Port City is an international cross-artform touring project, addressing issues of global migration, trade and contemporary slavery.

A good exhibition.
Meschac Gaba’s ‘Sweetness’ – the model of a port city made out of sugar has grabbed the headlines and it is good but my own favourite is Melanie Jackson’s ‘The Undesirables’.
This an installation of paper models based on media accounts of the wrecking of the container ship MSC Napoli off the coast of Devon. We’re used to seeing the oil slicks from stricken tankers but being a huge container ship there was a vast array of consumer goods washed up on the shore, such as motorbikes, spectacles, computers, face-cream, books, footballs etc. etc.
The whole thing is beautifully made from paper and illuminated to good effect.

‘Sweetness’ is massive with many of the most instantly recognisable buildings from around the world, you can have fun trying to pick them all out. Still plenty of room for more though and you have the opportunity to vote for Liverpool’s ‘sweetest’ building to be added. Voting closes on 23rd July and the new building will be added to the work at a special ceremony on 2nd August 14-16.00.

William Pope has painted a pile of onions black and white. As the exhibition progresses some of the onions will probably shrivel up and rot, others will sprout – some from the white end others from the black end.


There’s a few videos, one of which is inside a giant cardboard box. If you are supple enough you can go inside and sit on a pill-shaped seat to watch the dvd about Erik Van Lieshout’s trip to Ghana to create a rap video about Lariam – one of the most widely taken antimalarial drugs in Africa.

There will also be a symposium on 23 August 14-16.00 (Slavery Remembrance Day).

A Foundation