The Taxi Project
The Turner Prize consistently provokes discussion and debate on modern and contemporary art. Whilst the Prize is in Liverpool, this debate is being played out in the public and private spaces of the city, not least in that hybrid of public-private space the taxi cab.
Since June 2007, Tate Liverpool has been working closely with taxi drivers from across Merseyside on The Taxi Project. Drivers participated in weekly discussion sessions in the galleries, engaging in heated debate on modern and contemporary art works in the Tate Collection. In the weeks leading up to the opening of Turner Prize 2007, sessions concentrated on the history of the Turner Prize, on the controversy it is sometimes known to provoke and the nominees in this year’s exhibition.
Armed with an invigorated knowledge of art and a thirst for questioning the very nature of the Turner Prize, the drivers then took to the road, cameras installed in their cabs, to initiate conversations about the Prize with their passengers. These exchanges, screened here in a fully working hackney cab, offer a snap shot of opinion and feeling in the city about the Prize, and about art and life in general as European Capital of Culture 2008 approaches. Passengers include members of the public, this year’s nominees, curators, the press and others.
Filming in the cabs began pre-opening and will continue until the Turner Prize 2007 winner is announced. If you’re hailing a cab in Liverpool between now and then, it might be one of ours!
With thanks to Brian Bretherton and Stan Hicklin. Thanks also to James Edgar and Graham Flood, and to Bill Kelly of W A Kelly Taxis on the Lockerby Road for their loan of the taxi cab here.
Sponsored by Metquarter with additional support from Arts & Business.