Paul Rooney The Futurist 2008 Production still

Paul Rooney
The Futurist 2008
Production still
© Paul Rooney

Internationally renowned Liverpool artist Paul Rooney is creating a new film informed by the city’s aspiring stand-up comics. It is inspired by Gumshoe, the Steven Frears film of 1971 which follows the fortunes of Ed Ginley, a bingo-caller who also aspires to be a professional comedian, crime-writer and rock ‘n’ roll star. Ginley’s character occupies a bizarre self-made fantasy universe. Even on the film’s release, he seemed to represent an archetypal Liverpudlian figure.

Rooney’s work operates in the flux between documentary and fiction, and often deploys fantasy, historical detail, and multiple narrative threads in its complex examination of the way in which identity can be constructed or invented. Often imbued with a sense of futility or melancholy, his work reveals how our memory of the past can become destabilised or flawed when recollected in the present.

Stand-up comedy events will accompany the film presentation in the exhibition.