Debt Machine (The Battle for Static)
13 – 28 Sept

Laundry Men Drawing 6. Ink on Film, Paul Sullivan 2012

Debt Machine (The Battle for Static)

13 – 28 September 2012

Static Gallery, 23 Roscoe Lane, Liverpool, L1 9JD

Opening times 11am – 5pm Monday to Friday

Douglas Gordon and a crashed plane, two Gangsters discussing a hit to the tune of Fame at a Dublin diner and was Danny DeVito’s 1996 film version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda anti-Semitic? Debt Machine shows these works; but also asks, has there been an orchestrated campaign by elements within Liverpool City Council to destabilize Static Gallery since its 2008 Noodle Bar project which directly challenged the authority of the city council’s Planning Department? The stakes are high, the debt is high, will Static Gallery win or lose? Debt Machine starts 11am Thursday 13 September and finishes 8pm Friday 28 September 2012.


By situating a car park style control point at the entrance of the gallery, Debt Machine offers the public a range of price variable stays in the gallery and therefore asks, how much do you want to pay to see the exhibition and how long will you stay?

Static will use a range of tactics to keep the audience in the venue as long as possible in order to pay off as much debt as possible. The majority of the debt in question was incurred as a result of funding shortfalls for the infamous projects Noodle Bar (Static Gallery 2008/9) and Terminal Convention that took place in an abandoned airport in Cork in March 2011.

After paying for their stay in the gallery, the public will then enter the official Debt Machine Shop which will offer opportunities to purchase unique Static Gallery artworks and technical equipment and thus further reduce the gallery’s debt.

The current debt has been compounded by a Liverpool City Council decision to issue Static Gallery with a Noise Abatement Notice (Nov 2011) banning any loud amplified music at the venue and thus severely cutting its ability to generate income leading to a cut in the artistic programme and job losses, and the more recent decision (August 2012) to refuse to grant the gallery discretionary rates relief (which the gallery has successfully applied for and received since 2003 as a not-for-profit organisation that delivers an art programme to a local, national and international audience).

The Debt Machine project is part exhibition, part investigation area and part shop.


Featuring Douglas Gordon’s relationship with a crashed plane in Cork, Paul Sullivan’s Laundry Men series, a new video of two Dublin Gangsters shot at Eddie Rockets and a work that raises the question: Was Danny DeVito’s 1996 film version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda anti-Semitic? Other works include Leo Fitzmaurice, Damien Hirst, Frederic Pradeau and Nam June Paik. The exhibition space will also host a series of discussions and meetings related to the key issues of the project: namely debt (how to pay it off, how to move it, how to sell it) and what is the future of Static Gallery?

Investigation Area:

A WIRE mock-up to try to get to the bottom of the decisions that have been made against Static Gallery by Liverpool City Council since the Noodle Bar project of 2008, in particular 2 x Planning Enforcement Notices, 1 x Noise Abatement Notice, 1 x 10 fold rates hike and the ‘special conditions’ to comply with Planning Regulations and city council rules that are applied to all grants awarded to Static Gallery by Liverpool City Council’s Culture Department since Static started to receive funding in 2009.

Debt Machine Shop:

Static Shop will sell artworks and technical equipment relating to Laundry Men, Noodle Bar, Terminal Convention and the Australian Residency Incursion.


Paul Sullivan

Static receives funding from:

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