Flags for Edinburgh
1 August – 1 September 2013
At first glance, Peter Liversidge’s practice can seem quite diverse – encompassing, at any given time, sculpture, drawing, installation and performance. But all of his work begins in the same way, with a proposal typed by the artist on his typewriter. Presented exactly as it has emerged in the first attempt (complete with spelling mistakes) the distinctly analogue quality of the proposal’s presentation instills a sense of fragility or vulnerability in the sharing of the artist’s idea. Many of Liversidge’s ideas have been realised; many are so ambitious, outlandish or whimsical, it is unlikely they ever will be. But in proposing them, Liversidge reveals a generosity of spirit, a willingness to make private thoughts public and a readiness to fail.
The artist’s proposal for the Edinburgh Art Festival will, we hope, be realised. The artist has invited anyone in the city with a flag pole to fly a white flag which bears the text: HELLO. According to its dictionary definition, ‘Hello’ is ‘used to express a greeting, answer a telephone, or attract attention an exclamation of surprise, wonder, elation, etc…’. The project stems from a desire to remind us that in its simplest sense, the flag too is a form of hello, “a greeting, an indication of intent be that benevolent or with malice”.
In a city which doubles in size in August, Liversidge’s proposal invites Edinburgh, visitors and residents alike, to join in a collective and universal greeting. In the artist’s own words, “a simple welcome across the rooftops. A buoyant, floating ‘hello’”.
Mon–Sun, 24 hours a day