I’m frequently out and about in the city but even I’ve been agog at the transformative events occurring in this fabulous city.
Let’s take HOME first.
“HOME is for curiosity seekers, for lovers of the dramatic, the digital and the deeply engaging; for radicals and reciprocators.”
I love that statement for if there were a statement for how a new venue should take the city by the horns and want to produce an acclaimed production of film, theatre and artistic ventures then surely this is the mission statement we would all strive to claim for our own.
Formed by the merger of two former arts organisations, the Cornerhouse and Library Theatre, the new high-tech steel and glass building occupies a great spot located right near to busy Oxford Road, and very close to my haunt, Castlefield Gallery.
Venturing inside there’s everything you would expect from a theatre venue and it was also good to see such a big gallery space for visual arts. Quite a few things took my interest particularly the futuristic C-Prints by Basim Magdy (even the title is spectacular) ‘The Hollow Desire to Populate Imaginary Cities’.
There are several new commissions including Jeremy Bailey’s ‘inLoop’ combining iPhones and metal extensions signifying manual labour – an interesting proposition for us to ponder. Ragnar Kjartansson’s ‘Scandanavian Pain’ instantly fuses to your memory by its electric eleven-metre long pink neon installation, sat near to my personal favourite ‘Slogans for the 21st Century’ by Douglas Coupland. 148 fantastic prints showcasing short but sweet slogans that quite aptly represent 21st century communication. Not forgetting upstairs next to the stunning restaurant, is local artist, Magda Archer’s crazy fusion of graphical prints and surreal conundrums in #givemeeverythingandnothingbaby.
The same day I visited HOME was also the very same day I gave a presentation to 70 people. I had 5 minutes to speak about my artistic practise which resulted in a very nerve-racking experience for me! As part of Manifest Festival and organised by a trio of Manchester-based artists who wanted to provide a platform for the grass-roots art scene in Manchester during the mammoth Manchester International Festival.
Taking place over 2 weeks this month, MIF is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events. I had the opportunity to see several productions and events including the fantastical ‘Wonderland’ with music by Damon Albarn and the simply mesmerising contemporary ballet ‘Tree of Codes’. All I can say is that the quality and standard of these events were astounding and I have never quite enjoyed anything as much in my life. They were up there in terms of ingenuity, artistic excellence and wit. I also went to their 2-day arts symposium ‘Interdependence’ which had a vibrant and informative line-up of speakers especially keynote speaker Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson (I adore his work!!) Check out his work at www.olafureliasson.net/.
It also would have been great to go see Bjork and many more of the theatre productions they were putting on but I guess I’ll just have to wait until next time now. Hurry up 2017.
And by 2019 they might be in their new £110m dedicated venue on the current Granada Studios site.
Happy (mon) Days!