ANNE: The weekend is now a week! What made you make the leap — and what shift do you think it’ll make, besides having more days?
Liam Slevin: A bit obvious to say, but time. A lot of energy and labour and financial resources goes into producing the festival. The weekender has served us very well establishing ourselves, building a sense of energy and excitement around a single intense weekend. We’ve been having conversations around its length for a long time, whether to move to a biennial model, or even triennial — or just a much longer run similar to Liverpool Biennial. In the end the week won out. We also run Sonic Arts Week and have seen the benefit of letting programmes sit for longer. People might walk by a space a few days in a row and then ask what’s going on!
ANNE: Is there anything in particular that you’re looking forward to at the Art Week this year — and why?
LS: Saeborg’s work Pigpen (in the exhibition Measure, 29 September – 7 October, and performance on Friday 7 October, 7 – 10pm) has been on my radar for a few years now and to finally be bringing it to MAW is definitely a personal highlight. I’m really intrigued by the type of audience it’s going to attract. Having started life in the BDSM scene and moved into more of a gallery context, I’m hoping we can bring those two worlds together. It reminds me of something you would have found in Bizarre magainze and been totally blown away. Thematically I was nervous about positioning it next to Sarah Maple’s Labour of Love piece, a monumental homage to motherhood and unseen labour. Pigpen may have seem a crass counterpoint but I think it works. I’m delighted with it.