Service Provider – The Royal Standard

In its first year as an official partner to the Liverpool Biennial, The Royal Standard will explore the festival’s core theme of hospitality by initiating Service Provideras part of The Unexpected Guest. This ten week project invites five artist groups to examine the boundaries of hospitality and the provision of resources.

The groups, Tether, Generator Projects, FormContent and Laura Mansfield and Sovay Berriman, will occupy The Royal Standard’s galleries, with their every move viewable through the ‘Foyer’, a purpose built observation zone. Each group will control methods of entrance and exit, managing interactions and access to the provision of services.

There will also be a web-based manifestation of Service Provider, in which The Royal Standard invites to take over their website, again ceding control of their virtual space to artists under the implicit set of expectations that exist between host and guest.

The unique environment of an international biennial gives The Royal Standard an opportunity to examine the role it plays as an autonomous organisation in a regional and national arts ecology built on individuals, collectives, organisations and institutions. By exploring the broad notion of the service sector as anything that does not produce tangible products, The Royal Standard hopes to open up a dialogue around the artist led space as a location that facilitates cultural production and the dynamics of the relationships formed during this process.

Through a process of outsourcing to selected organisations, The Royal Standard becomes immersed as a guest within its own territory. They are able to experience firsthand the interface between the public encounter and the provision of experience and observe how these movements are affected by the imposition of borders, values and procedures.

The Royal Standard will act as an observer, monitoring the shifts in responsibility between the hosts and guests, responding to the power dynamics within the relationships of both. Through this process we will question the permanence of experience and the legacy of hospitality in an increasingly inhospitable age.

Click below for more information on the groups in Service Provider:

Tether (Nottingham)
Sovay Berriman (London) and Laura Mansfield (Manchester)
Generator Projects (Dundee)
FormContent (London)
BubbleByte (London)

Open Wednesday to Sunday, 12 – 6pm.

Curated by Frances Disley, Dave Evans, Madeline Hall and Elisabeth Murphy.