Echo in Time, Ciarán Wood, 2021
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Ciarán Wood’s film revisits and relinks video footage from Coopers Town House in Liverpool filmed by his father in 2000, the photographer Tom Wood. Coopers Town House, previously The Sefton, is situated on Cases Street in Liverpool City Centre, dwarfed next to the entrance of Clayton Square shopping centre. Up until the 1960s, Cases Street lay between St. Johns Shopping Market and the old Central Station, which have since been demolished – Two examples of the wholesale destruction of squares and streets in Liverpool city centre over the 1960s and 1970s. In 1986 the 180,000 square ft Clayton Square shopping centre was built, one of its entrances coming right up to Coopers’ exterior wall on Cases Street.
The soul of the footage is a sense of familiarity, community and togetherness, and a joy of physicality and connection with a space – something absent in Britain at the time of writing, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The continuity throughout scenes inside Coopers is the singing – with or without microphone – interweaving class, race, trade and desire – keeping up the very concept of a pub as a place that crosses social boundaries as a refuge from the structures and systems outside of it. The pub and Coopers are entry points to both Wood’s work and the oral histories in Liverpool, something embodied “unconsciously within the carpet tiles and tired patterns”. Although rooted in the specificity of Liverpool, Echo in time speaks to larger, universal concerns about community and the erasure and marginalisation of working people and spaces they inhabit.
1.Watch Echo in Time, Ciarán Wood, 2021. Colour video with sound 18 minutes. Available for 24 hours only.
This is part of a programme of events that respond to Today’s gift is tomorrow’s commodity. Yesterday’s commodity is tomorrow’s found art object. Today’s art object is tomorrow’s junk. And yesterday’s junk is tomorrow’s heirloom by Lloyd Corporation.