February 2023
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The Liver Pool

The Liver Pool project evolved out of the artist’s visit to Liverpool, exploring its many different areas and history and hearing about C. G. Jung’s description of the city as ‘the pool of life’. The installation at Tate Liverpool consisted of a large, ‘fully automatic inflatable/deflatable pool in the shape of a liver’ in a ‘beautiful purple brown liver colour’ (Rhoades looked at calf and lamb livers and also had his own liver scanned as a possible model). The idea for The Liver Pool is for an original ‘Half-Finished Above Ground Dry Liver Pool’ with thick walls featuring viewing holes at different heights for public use. The Liver Pool will host Grand PeaRoe Actions or PeaRoeFormances, in which ‘PeaRoeFoam is mixed together to create volume. It is a kind of a positive form of the negative Liver Pool. Then the pool deflates and you are left with a PeaRoeFoam Pool.’ The Liver Pool creates multi-layered visual allegories of productive and sexual processes permeated with autobiographical, historical, literary and pop-cultural allusions. It displays Rhoades’ overarching preoccupation with processes of creation, fabrication and construction which is pursued with a compulsive obsession that contests the dominant logic of efficiency and supplants it with a personal vision of how reality operates: ‘All pieces of mine are kind of models or metaphors for the physical world,’ Rhoades has stated, ‘It is a strange kind of system, which I wanted to create by "orchestrating" a construction. I wanted to build a system, like a Lego system.’ The Liver Pool embodies perfectly the ‘in-between’ state of a process that the artist has been trying to capture in his oeuvre – it is simultaneously a stage for action, theatre and sculpture. The Liver Pool exists in a state of continuous incompletion, also reflecting the underlying ‘out of control’ theme of the International 2002. Mutating and changing over the course of the show, ‘it’s a kind of perfect control/uncontrolled dysfunctional readymade ... a do-it-yourself backyard kit.’ Christoph Grunenberg

Project Credits Courtesy the artist Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art International Exhibition 2002 with support from Galerie Hauser and Wirth, Zurich and David Zwirner, New York With support from: Galerie Hauser and Wirth, Zurich; David Zwirner, New York; The Henry Moore Foundation. With thanks to: Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich and David Zwirner, New York and to Erik Black, Angela Choon, Regina Fiorito, Hanna Schouwink, Lukas Willen and David Zwirner.


14 September – 24 November 2002