Noodle Bar

Noodle Bar

Static recently made a film of the Noodle Bar project that we carried out between 2008-2009. The film was shown at BAK Gallery, Utrecht 18/10 – 03/11 2013.

Using Manet’s ‘A bar at the Folies-Bergere’ as a departure point, Noodle Bar re-examined the strategy of using an artwork as a device to mirror or reflect the human condition.

In June 2008, Static visited Seoul, South Korea, placed an advert in one newspaper, two recruitment websites and posted flyers in key areas of the city. The advert contained a number of enticements and copied the three key images that Liverpool City Council use to promote the city: The Beatles, Liverpool Football Club and The Liver Building.

The key question for Static was why anyone would want to leave Korea to move to Liverpool to run a Noodle Bar. The advert and the interviews therefore became key devices in understanding peoples desire to travel to another country to work.

Fifteen candidates applied and Static recruited two people to be employed as chefs and co-manage the Noodle Bar. The act of employing someone from Korea triggered the requirement to obtain work permits for the foreign workers and therefore the project explores and unravels the vagaries and nuances of UK immigration policy.

From August to September 2008, the Noodle Bar was constructed on the parking area at the front of Static Gallery in a 20ft shipping container that was linked to the gallery through a new opening.

Static did not seek planning permission for this installation. The result was a nine month legal dispute with Liverpool City Council Planning Control.

Who won? who lost? What tactics did Static employ in order to keep the Noodle Bar going? In turn what tactics did the City Council Planning Control Office employ throughout this period?

In September 2008, two Korean citizens arrived in Liverpool to undertake the job of running the Noodle Bar. After one day of operation, the chef and assistant wanted to leave. It took another three weeks before the chef and assistant left Liverpool for London.

The Noodle Bar Film explores enticement, migration, immigration, adventure, planning, exploitation, betrayal, voyeurism, food, trade and globalisation.

Project sponsors:

SUSD

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Static Trading Ltd, Roscoe Lane, Liverpool, L1 9JD