Present Tense (2019) // Paperback // £14.99


Present Tense

A decade since Liverpool EU Capital of Culture… What now? 

Edited by Laura Robertson and Mike Pinnington

ISBN 978-1-5272-4281-4

Published August 2019. Very limited edition run of 250 copies. Paperback, 96 pages, undersize A5, matt finish

Price: £14.99. We’ll deliver to anywhere in the world.


Eight new essays on the city’s past, present and future from indie publisher The Double Negative – featuring daring new voices from the North-West, alongside acclaimed writers from the world’s biggest art magazines.

Talking about artists, collectives and venues including The Bluecoat, Between the Borders, Mohammad Bourouissa, Camp and Furnace, Banu Cennetoğlu, FACT, Barbara Hepworth, Homotopia, The Kazimier, Liverpool Biennial, Manifesta Biennial, MODEL Liverpool, OUTPUT Gallery, Queen of The Track, ROOT-ed, The Royal Standard, Tate and Tate Collective, Wu Tsang, John Walter and Richard Wilson.

Featuring new writing from Stephanie Bailey, Oliver Basciano, Jacob Bolton, Denise Courcoux, Mike Pinnington, Laura Robertson, Ellen Mara De Wachter and Eleanor Wiseman – produced under The Double Negative Fellowship 2018-19.

“The book contains writing that is upbeat, realistic, and honest about processes that bring positive and negative outcomes, provide opportunities but create divisions, and involve forces we should be wary of. This is like a beacon for those of us facing similar confusion and contradiction.” – Jill Howitt, editorial, The Critical Fish (Issue 2, November 2019)

“Can’t put it down or recommend it enough to anyone involved in the arts, especially NW… An emotive & informative little book cleverly composed by a diverse selection of contributors. I can’t imagine anywhere has my heart as an artist more than Liverpool.” – Jayne Simpson, artist and lecturer

“Present Tense – the title says it all. For anyone interested in the City of Culture phenomenon this publication is an essential read. It is the grass-root artist and curator speaking about their roles and experiences before, during and after Liverpool’s 2008 tenure as European Capital of Culture.” – Paul Collinson, artist

“Anyone who wants to know about the central role of art and culture in the fraught era of regeneration needs to read this astute, timely, entertaining publication. The Double Negative’s collection of lively essays give you vital insight into what’s changed and is still changing in Liverpool. And it all chimes in with what’s going on in many another post-industrial British cities.” – Bob Dickinson, freelance writer and radio producer (BBC)

“For a city famous for punching above its weight, a book with a reach far beyond its 100 pages: Present Tense is a purposeful collection of voices that care…. about Liverpool, about art, and about cities of culture everywhere.” – Mark Sheerin, writer (Hyperallergic, The Arts Desk). Full review on Mark’s blog here

“This book is really very good! I love how it looks as well as the thoughtfulness of what it says. I’ve been telling everyone about it and I hope it gets a lot of recognition. It’s an unusually successful combination of art theory and deep rootedness in place, community and history.” – Dr Diana Jeater, Senior Lecturer in African History, University of Liverpool

Scroll down for a preview of the stories.

Read more about the book, and the authors’ journey through The Double Negative Fellowship.

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Present Tense. Publish by The Double Negative, 2019.

Present Tense. Publish by The Double Negative, 2019.

Present Tense. Publish by The Double Negative, 2019.

Present Tense. Publish by The Double Negative, 2019.

Present Tense. Publish by The Double Negative, 2019.

Posted on 05/09/2019 by thedoublenegative