||HOST|| a collaboration between artist Sovay Berriman and curator Laura Mansfield.

As part of Service Provider at The Royal Standard for Liverpool Biennial 2012.

Open for public viewing between 12noon and 4pm and, for use by Biennial workers between 4 and 7pm until Sunday 4th November.

Having been invited to respond to the theme of Service Provider by The Royal Standard Berriman and Mansfield have developed a ‘relaxation booth’ for Biennial workers, providing a service for the service provider and allowing the host to become the hosted.

The development of a relaxation booth aims to draw attention to the central role hosting plays within the visual arts, highlighting its importance across institutional and sectoral hierarchies. In providing a service for Biennial workers, the project, by means of example, offers room for thought on the priority of hosting within the practices of large arts organisations and individual practitioners alike.

Occurring mid-way through the Biennial, ||HOST|| is open for a seven day period during which Biennial workers, from curators to volunteers, can be refreshed, relaxed and revived. A selection of relaxing services, including audio recordings, holistic massages and herbal teas, will be available for Biennial workers to sample.

Biennial workers are invited to use the relaxation facilities between 4pm and 7pm. Prior to 4pm the booth will be open for the public to view. The public are invited to walk around the space and observe the relaxation environment. Once the booth is open for Biennial staff, the public can view the activity of the space from the Service Provider foyer.

Alongside celebrating a pleasure of hosting, ||HOST|| seeks to raise questions around the divisions between the host and the hosted, the audience and the public, and the service provider and the serviced.  Lucy Byatt, Director of Hospitalfield and Megan Wakefield, PhD candidate, UWE/Spike Island have been invited by Berriman and Mansfield to write texts in response to the ||HOST|| project. The resulting texts present discussions around the theme of hospitality and considerations of hosting within the visual arts.