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The oubliettes of Wolstenholme

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with: Oreet Ashery, Ron Athey, Vanessa Bartlett, Ann Course, Camille Henrot, Seulgi Lee, Tony Chestnut Brown people's poet of Liverpool, Eric Rosoman, David Sherry, Jamie Torode, Markus Vater, Adam Vaughan

curated by the Centre of Attention

Wolstenholme Projects
11 Wolstenholme Square, Liverpool L1 4JJ
Opening party:
Friday 7 September 2007, 6 to 9pm
Opening times: Thursdays to Sundays, noon to 6pm, to 23 September


williamson tunnels Edgar Poe



It had begun as a retreat from the world, brought about by an inability to bear the conventional ingredients of reality. And a fear of the wind of the wing of madness...
I sat in anticipation of a blinding vision at once revelation and destruction…

Something materialized, from without, that soon engulfed me. The smoke and dust cleared and I found myself in what appeared to be a system of underground tunnels. However it was my belief that I contained them as much as I was contained by them. How could this be?

An eerie half light pervaded as I followed along the walls of this prison. The tunnels seemed to head nowhere but to dead ends, dark recesses and walled-up doorways, like some subterranean folly. Who had built these stone oubliettes, an obsessive construction leading nowhere but back in on itself? Artists! came the answer.

Ah, I saw it: A Sisyphean activity to give them employment... But what Overseer had provided this pointless labour for labour's sake?

Alas, I was buried alive in this world of subterranean tunnels. But I did not seem to be alone! Configurations of Phenomena, Apparitions of Ideas, one felt, manifested themselves just out of sight - in the shadows or on the periphery- and could not seem to bear the morbid light, like an inspiration trying to formulate itself under the examination of the mind's eye.

Wandering through the maze of dark passageways, at once anxious and desirous of a conclusion, I sensed at last that a connection would be made, that something would become apparent. Such anticipation was not without a haunting, persistent feeling of terror. And then, I felt with a visceral fear and compulsive desire, the horrifying truth about to be revealed... but suddenly all vanished into air,
and I stayed forgotten in the oubliettes of Wolstenholme...

Oubliette - prison tunnel accessible only from a hatch in a high ceiling
Sisyphus - mythological figure punished with pointless labour
Curator - Overseer


The Centre of Attention, August 2007


For further information contact Pierre/Gary at the Centre of Attention on 07792 582 386

with thanks to Gordon Culshaw, John O'Hare and all at Wolstenholme Projects. Wolstenholme Projects is an artist-led not-for-profit project space run by a group of 11 artists, based in Liverpool city centre at 11 Wolstenholme Square. Also thanks to and criticalnetwork.

Wolstenholme Image by John O'Hare