Manchester Art Catch Up – June 2009

We had an excellent day in Manchester yesterday. Starting off at the Cornerhouse where a live rabbit (Bob the Bunny) is spending the month in a pen with loudpseakers above relaying sounds from the rest of the building. This is by Richard Charnock and is one of the works in ‘POI : Moving, Mapping, Memory‘ which runs to 28 June 2009. I liked Yukari Yoshikawa’s ‘Colour and Colours’ which is an archway that you can stand under whilst various visuals are displayed and fibre optic lights change colour along with some very nice music. Also ‘Ar Dievu’ by Rob Strongitharm is interesting as it has two film sequences projecting onto a series of lace curtains so the images bleed into one another, you can also walk between the curtains so you are immersed in the artwork.

Called into Manchester Art Gallery briefly and saw their recent acquisition, a sculpture by Antony Gormley (yes, another life-size male figure) which is hanging from the ceiling of the atrium.

Then up to the Northern Quarter via Magma for some magazines and Blyth art shop where the Pendlebury‘s (Nathan and Antony) currently have an exhibition in the first floor gallery.

In Urbis there’s the ‘Videogame Nation‘ exhibition, we didn’t bother with that but we enjoyed the ‘State of the Art: New York‘  on the 2nd floor which is a great space for large installations put to very good use with some weird and wonderful pieces such as the Holy Ghost by Carolyn Salas and Adam Parker Smith.

Now, one of the highlights of the day was ‘Memento’ by Ed Pien in the Chinese Arts Centre. Its a walk-through installation consisting of ropes, cut silhouettes, sound and video. the ropes look like fishing nets and some of the video projects onto slowly turning mirrors so the images reflect onto the walls. We sat on the bench at the end of the room for quite a while resting and watching, very nice.

We then headed South again, walking all the way (via a few shops) to Castlefield Gallery only to find it was closed for the day due to staff shortage. Its bad enough that it doesn’t open until 13.00, if it opened earlier we could have gone there straight after Cornerhouse. I think that’s my third failed attempt to gain entry to this place – maybe next time. We did manage to see some of the exhibition ‘The Social Lives of Objects‘ through the window – looks interesting.

Finally we went to Rogue Studios and Project Space which is in a big old warehouse behind Picaddily station (yes, another long walk – by the way there’s no trams running in the city centre for a while). we were able to look round all the studios, there’s about 60 artists in there now so we saw some pretty good stuff. Its a good space too, they’re lucky to have it. Then in the evening the exhibition ‘All Change‘ opened in the project space. This is curated by 2 Rogue artists, Karen Gaskill and Hilary Jack and features 8 artists from Liverpool’s Royal Standard studios. I quite enjoyed the show but was quite worn out by this time and wondered why none of the RS artists were there for the opening of their own show!