Art in Manchester this week has some fantastic new exhibtions from The Whitworth, Manchester Art Gallery, Rogue Artsists Studios, neo:artists, HOME , Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art and Warrington Museum and Art Gallery
Li Yuan-chia – Unique Photographs – The Whitworth
18 May – 15 December 2019
In his lifetime, Li Yuan-chia (1929-1994) had been part of progressive art movements in Taiwan, Bologna and London but found his home in a house that he bought in 1972 from artist Winifred Nicholson in Banks at the far north of Cumbria on Hadrian’s Wall. Now regarded as China’s first conceptual artist, Li Yuan-chia made this house into the LYC Museum and Art Gallery – a place for showing innovative international art alongside children’s workshops and his own experimental work.
Li Yuan-chia’s art encompasses sculpture, painting and poetry but the focus of this exhibition is photography. A group of Li’s lyrical hand coloured photographs of himself, his sculpture and garden at Banks is shown alongside the artist’s own collection of film cameras. Mostly set in the quiet of autumn and winter, these photographs convey a melancholy beauty from the last years of the artist’s life.
The LYC Museum was a place where friendship and creativity were central to everything, with artists from near and far showing work and local people making art in Li’s workshops. The LYC lasted for ten years, closing in 1982, with Li Yuan-chia concentrating on his own work from then on.
In the last two years of his life Li took black and white photographs of the garden that he had planted, including his sculpture, bricks and logs, flowers and stones – all close to hand and of the everyday. Then he added two things – himself as faceless protagonist, weighed down with thought, and intense washes of colour making all that we see hi-vis, unearthly, Apocalyptic and full of beauty and meaning.
Fourteen of these photographs are shown here, alongside his large collection of cameras from small 35mm compacts to the medium-format Rolleiflex. They are joined by several paintings by his great friend Winifred Nicholson. It was Nicholson who had helped this cosmopolitan artist and migrant find a home in the North of England. Their friendship grew and they spent time discussing each other’s art and her investigations into colour through painting overlap with many of Li Yuan-chia’s subjects.
In View Of… Air Gallery
Rufus Biddle, Gwen Evans, Shahram Farrokhnejad and Freda Wilken
Opening Night: 23rd May 6-9pm Exhibition Continues: 24 May- 15 June 2019
Art in Manchester this week has Altrincham’s AIR Gallery presenting their new exhibition In View Of featuring the four winners of last year’s AIR Open 2018. The exhibition showcases a selection of new and recent works by these award winning artists across the mediums of sculpture, painting, installation and video.
In View Of takes into consideration the diverse themes between each of the pieces in the show and opens up new dialogues and conversations through subtle links and juxtaposition between each artist and the resulting works.
e pieces in the show and opens up new dialogues and conversations through subtle links and juxtaposition between each artist and the resulting works.
404:Resistance in the Digital Age – Rage Collective – Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA)
24 May to 21 July 2019
Art in Manchester: RAGE:404 is the latest exhibition from Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and follows last weeks launch of HE Xiangyu’s Lemon Project.
In 1989 seismic events took place globally, most notably the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Tiananmen Square protests and the invention of the World Wide Web. Thirty years on, the impact of these events seem to be as relevant as ever. This exhibition uses these events as an entry point to explore the changes over the last thirty years in methods of resistance, looking at how digital platforms have been adopted as the primary means of organising and protesting.
404: Resistance in the Digital Age is a new exhibition concept developed for CFCCA by RAGE collective that looks at the ways in which civilians attempt to take back power from restrictive government in light of growing censorship and surveillance online. It explores the dynamics of online power relationships and the ways resistance movements now use the internet to counter restrictions such as hacktivist movements, revolutions organised through social media and the widespread use of memes.
Inspired by the censorship method of oversaturation of information online, this new work is an immersive film and sound installation. It uses archival footage from 1989 alongside new contemporary material, allowing audiences to reflect on the parallels between 1989 and today.
RAGE is an artist collective with a fluid approach to membership. The new work for CFCCA is conceived by five of its members. RAGE was established in 2016 by a group of international students who met while studying at the Royal College of Art. It was formed under artist Peter Kennard’s guidance. Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester. Free Entry.
BINGE – HOME Manchester
FRIDAY 24 MAY – SUNDAY 26 MAY 2019
Art in Manchester: HOME has an performance piece from artist Brian Lobel, who is on a mission – his goal, using the very 21st century phenomenon that is binge-watching TV series, is to create a space in which people slow down, connect with strangers, experience some strange intimacy, and through the act of silently watching, try to deal with some of the systemic terror and trauma that are so pervasive today.
This is BINGE, a performance installation consisting of a collection of one-to-one and intimate drop-in performances over the Spring Bank Holiday Weekend based around your favourite box-sets.
Brian has drawn together eight artists – “a who’s who of Manchester performers including a range of artistic practices, with a delicious diverse series of televisual expertise,” he says. They are: Qasim Riza Shaheen, Jenny Gaskell, Eva Serration/David Chu, Tammy Reynolds, Andy Pilkington, Léonie Higgins, Ali
Rome, and Cheddar Gorgeous. Brian – born in New York but now based in London – names Sex and the City as his chosen binge-watch.
Creating a space to slow down, disconnecting from the noise of everyday life, and reconnecting with the comfort of a duvet – the artists will be wearing either pyjamas or bathrobes. Audience-members, who will be greeted by gallery invigilators in nightwear, are encouraged to do the same.
Existing somewhere between radical self-care and playful self-indulgence, BINGE is based on the artist’s world-renowned performance You Have to Forgive Me – about which Sarah Jessica Parker said “Wait, what?” – which Lobel has performed everywhere from youth hostel bedrooms in Lisbon to the Sydney Opera House.
BINGE blurs the distinction between the high-brow, the low-brow, and the freshlyplucked brow. Leave your own drama behind, and insert yourself into a world where whatever the drama it’ll probably be solved in under 30 minutes.
The performers and audience-members are invited to wear a pyjama/bathrobetype covering so that everyone eventually looks somewhat similar, making it difficult to tell who is performing and who are audience-members.
“I’m thrilled to be curating BINGE,” says Brian. “We received applications from over 30 local artists and I think we’ve found a killer crew of artists, professional, emerging, emerged and everything in between.
“We have people with a wide range of televisual knowledge, From A Different World to Green Wing, from Coronation Street to Doctor Who and Crazy ExGirlfriend and beyond. Our artists/fan-fanatics have an epic amount of quotes to share, and expertise to deploy.”
PERFORMANCE CALENDAR Fri 24 May 2019, 12:00 – 20:00 Sat 25 May 2019, 12:00 – 20:00 Sun 26 May 2019, 12:00 – 18:00
TICKETS Free, drop-in – please bring night-wear!
UCEN Manchester Collective Visual Arts HE Graduate Show
Rogue Artists’ Studios, 4 Barrass St, Manchester M11 1PU
Preview Thursday 23rd May 6-9pm
Open Friday 24th & Saturday 25th May 10-5pm
Open Sunday 25th May 11am-3pm
Art in Manchester: Rogue Artists Studios have already had a number of exhibitions in their great new project space in Gorton. The latest is from UCEN Manchester Collective Visual Arts Graduates who are ‘Launching the artists, fashionistas & designer makers of the future.’
Whether you’re looking for new talent or simply an art & design fan, indulge in UCEN student’s innovative new work. Comprising of a wealth of materials, techniques and processes and inspired from a variety of sources, this show will fascinate, inspire and challenge any viewer’s senses.
Undercurrent 818 Artists – neo:artists
Saturday May 25th – Sunday June 30th
neo:artists Studios CIC are hosting a show featuring the work of Hannah Bolsher, Stephanie Fry, Richard Brown, Jane Flanagan, Jo Andrew, Bryn Richards, Tracy Calderbank and Brittany Bird, students of the Fine Art Masters class of 2019 from the University of Bolton School of Arts, known as 818 Artists.
The 818 artists explain the title: “Undercurrent: an underlying feeling or influence, especially one that is contrary to the prevailing atmosphere and is not expressed openly. This definition has allowed us to approach our own underlying feelings and influences in our personal narrative, through mediums of our choice. These influences can be contrary to themes present in our society and culture, or simply ones that are ignored by the masses.”
Thursdays – Sundays 11am – 5pm
Get Together and Get Things Done – Manchester Art Gallery
17 May – 29 September 2019
Art in Manchester: As art of a city-wide programme in 2019 and to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, this exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery looks at the crowd: what brings people together, from protest to partying, how power and control operate globally and historically, and how history, media and art shape and inform collective action.
Get Together and Get Things Done features works from the gallery’s own collection as well as national and international loans from the 18th to the 21st century. Together, they examine the importance of the crowd over the past two centuries in relationship to topics such as empire, trade, and economics, as well as the role of public protest. The exhibition sits within a wider discussion of art’s role in society and the civic role of the gallery.
On 16 August 1819, in a period of widespread protest and unrest, the area around what is now St Peter’s Square, Manchester (now adjacent to the gallery) was the site of a violent assault on 60,000+ peaceful pro-democracy and anti-poverty protesters, now known as the Peterloo Massacre. 18 people were killed and nearly 700 people were seriously injured. Peterloo was hugely influential: ordinary people eventually won the right to vote, the Chartist Movement grew into trade unions and the Manchester Guardian newspaper was established. The 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre is being marked by a programme of events taking place across Greater Manchester between June and August – all of which can be found at www.Peterloo1819.co.uk
Get Together and Get Things Done will begin a process of changing how Manchester Art Gallery is used creatively as a public, civic space and how it can encourage people to congregate and affect positive social change now and in the future. From satirical prints by William Hogarth to Suffragette photographs by Christina Broom, film by Black Audio Film Collective and Larissa Sansour to a Peterloo commemorative handkerchief, the exhibition will form a tool kit to prompt discussion and action.
Now/Fear of the Unknown – Warrington Museum and Art Gallery
Students’ exhibition explores pressures they face at turning point in life A group exhibition by final year students explores the pressures they face at an important turning point in life. Now / Fear of the Unknown, created by students at Warrington & Vale Royal College (WVRC) and on display now at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, takes Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror as a starting point.
Inspired by the cult TV series which examines techno-paranoia and unease about the modern world, the work explores the pressures put on students by society and themselves at this point in their artistic and academic careers. The group of budding artists have worked as a professional collective for the project, gaining valuable work-based learning alongside their academic studies at college.
Each of them has approached the project with their own ideas, concepts and beliefs about what is the next stage of their lives.
Subjects explored include self-identity and social conformity while the work on display combines traditional and non-traditional media including interactive installations.
Rebecca Rogers, WVRC’s senior practitioner for art and design, said: “As a department we are exceptionally proud of our students and what they have achieved.
“They have worked to professional standards and time frames, and demonstrated maturity and management skills when liaising with the curator. “They have gained valuable work-based learning experience as professional artists and received an insight into the creative world they will be progressing into after higher education and apprenticeships.”
The exhibition is on display at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery until Saturday 15 June.