Touch and Go, the video directed by Spanish artist Cristina Lucas, is a tailored production for Liverpool; to fully understand its premises, it is necessary to recall the political and social history of one of those city that were dramatically weakened by the economical revolution of the last thirty years.
In the 80s Liverpool was the great scapegoat of Margaret Tatcher's policy; where the workers' rights were the central corcern of unionists' fights, she used violent and severe measures to deal with them. The consequences of some of her policies severely affected the lives of many Britons, both in terms of high unemployment and lack of representation for workers. Between the 60s and the 90s Liverpool population halved, the economical crisis was inescapable, the middle class vanisched, most of the factories and shops closed, the entire economy buried.
By now Liverpool is striving to find a new renaissance through the entertainment and leasure industry but it is not rare to bump into entire deserted neighbourhood and abandoned buildings that stand out as memorials of a faiied economy. Among those "ghosts", the Europleasure International LTD resists at the corner between Duke Street and Berry Street, in the face of the magnificent entrance of the local China Town. This building grabbed Cristina Lucas's attention.
Starting from the literal meaning of revolution - a term that find a perfect translation in the gloomy, almost clownish barrel organ version of the homonymous Beatles'song that serves as the soundtrack of the video - Lucas reflects on "the fate of humankind and the built environment as it is caught in the eddies and flows of an unpredictable globalised economy". She ironically comments on the intersection between the economical history of the city and the global social vulnerability linked to the economical cycles.
The video shows a group of retired workers and unionists throwing stones to the windows of the Europleasure LTD building. What seems to be a vandalistic act that reminds the riots they used to be at the forefront of, is a political statement instead, inscribed on the broken windows and reading TOUCH an GO.
What does "touch and go" mean? What's the political value of rage and revolution today? How can art ethically face the current economical and social issues? That is what we ask Lucas.
The music that comes with the interview is the original video soundtrack composed by Patrick Dineen. You may also recognize some extracts of a live version of The Beatles' Revolution song.