In this weeks blog:
John Walter’s major solo exhibition CAPSID starts at HOME. and Altrincham’s Air Gallery have timely and poignant solo exhibition from artist Carole Evans commemorating the 29 dead and the further 20 who died from their wounds, who all came from one street in Altrincham and which was awarded a roll of honour by King George V subsequently it became known as ‘The Bravest Little Street in England’. Castlefield Gallery feature homelessness, environment and refugee issues in The Ground Beneath Our Feet
Plus snippets of other exhibitions/art you can see in Manchester:
The People’s History Museum have unveiled a mural by street artist Axel Void on the exterior wall overlooking the river Irwell, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.
At the same time/day as the John Walter exhibition opens at HOME a new HOME Projects exhibition Darren Nixon – Coming Soon to Your Screen a site responsive work featuring a large-scale painting over two walls.
PS Mirabel’s new exhibition ‘Tracer and Wedge’ ,Tim Ellis’s ‘Cypher’ at Paper Gallery , and Bunker Gallery have Rufus Biddle’s ‘Adulthood’, curated by Catflap Collective – Saturdays from 10th November
Wigan Open Exhibition 2018 starts at The Old Courts on 16th November
And, for Opera lovers. Opera North have Puccini’s Tosca and operetta The Merry Widow 14 – 17th November
Finally, on Sunday 18th November Sale Arts Trail will have their ‘Yule Do‘ event at St Pauls Church in Sale with 20+ artists selling arts and crafts you may like for Christmas.
HOME PRESENTS JOHN WALTER: CAPSID
PV Friday 9th 6-8pm Con’t Sat 10 Nov 2018 – Sun 6 Jan 2019
HOME are presenting a major solo exhibition by John Walter, CAPSID is a multimedia, maximalist installation occupying the entire gallery space, and develops Walter’s ongoing fascination with the representation of viruses in the visual arts. The exhibition is curated by Bren O’Callaghan, and will be Walter’s largest solo show to date, cocommissioned by HOME, Manchester and CGP London.
Taking the HIV capsid as the starting point of his research, Walter expanded his examination within a broader context of virology. Capsids are the protein shells of a virus, which act to protect, cloak and deliver the virus to its host. CAPSID addresses a crisis of representation surrounding viruses, and presents a new way of viewing and understanding HIV based on the best current scientific knowledge.
Perceiving the virus as a ‘sneak’ – a coercive and Machiavellian agent that tricks the host to undertake its malign bidding – Walter unpacks how the process of infection can address the spread of ideas between groups and systems.
Intertwining art, science, allegory and real-life situations, Walter engages with the potential of the body as a means to address issues of transmission, and seeks to bring knowledge and visibility to marginalised topics in contemporary culture, re-articulating and reinventing the representation of viruses in the arts.
Walter started conversations with Professor Greg Towers of University College London late 2015 early 2016 to explore this concept. The result transposes the scientific research of capsids onto the broader subject of how culture is transmitted.
CAPSID builds on central themes of Walter’s practice including biology, hospitality and Shonky aesthetics, and follows Walter’s 2015 exhibition Alien Sex Club.
Combining a large body of work, ranging from paintings, drawings, prints, to sculptures, sound and video installations, for his exhibition at HOME, Walter brings together imagery, language and symbols from children’s television and pharmaceutical industry to LGBT culture, science and art history.
Central to the exhibition is HOME Artist Film commission, A Virus Walks Into A Bar (2018), combining Walter’s fascination with soap opera and surrealism. Set in a classic pub, the film illustrates the journey of an anthropomorphized capsid as it discloses its lethal effects. Performers embody different characters in dual roles, such as the capsid/villain, cell nucleus/barmaid and the cytoplasm/pub regulars. Walter made over 30 costumes for this film, which will be exhibited for the first time at HOME. Each is customised using embroidery, patches and pom-poms.
Air Gallery – The Bravest Little Street in England
PV: Tuesday 13th Nov 18:30-21:00
The Bravest Little Street in England is a solo exhibition by Altrincham artist Carole Evans. It features two new bodies of work which memorialize the brave men from Chapel Street, who failed to return home after the First World War 100 years ago.
Chapel Street received the accolade of “the bravest little street in England” after the town was awarded a Roll of Honour by King George V in 1919. Out of the 161 men who enlisted from the street, 29 failed to return home, and a further 20 died of their wounds. Chapel Street was later razed to the ground in an attempt to clean up the town in the 1950’s. The story of the brave men of Chapel Street was largely forgotten until 2007, when a blue plaque was unveiled on the wall of Phantong Thai, formerly the Grapes Inn, and the last remaining building of Chapel Street.
This exhibition attempts to evoke a memory, and a personal connection, with the brave men who lost their lives. It includes two new bodies of work by the local artist; A Street of Soldiers and At Rest.
A Street of Soldiers is made up of 29 ambrotypes of current male residents of Altrincham, aged between 16 – 47, in order to reflect the ages of the soldiers from Chapel Street who failed to return. Ambrotypes are photographs exposed directly onto glass using the wet plate collodion process, popular in Victorian times; these are taken on a Thornton Pickard camera,built in Altrincham in 1908.
At Rest uses original photographs (of which the artist could only find nine) of the soldiers to create photographic memory objects, a popular method of remembrance in the Victorian era. The artist places herself in the shoes of the women who are left behind, by combining the photographs with crafts such as embroidery and pressed flowers.
The exhibition will also include archival photographs, artefacts and more information on Chapel Street.
Carole will also be running a free Panel and Coffee morning on November 17th from 11am-12.30 with guest speakers Charlotte Czyzyk, (Imperial War Museum North); Stuart Anthony, Descendant of Alfred Oxley, Chapel St and Karen Cliff (Trafford Archives).
The Ground Beneath Your Feet – Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
PV 6pm-‐8pm, Thursday 15 November 2018 – con’t 16th November 2018 – 3 February 2019*
The Ground Beneath Your Feet is part of The With One Voice International Arts and Homelessness Summit & Festival, in Manchester (12-‐18 Nov 2018). In the context of the refugee crisis, rising homelessness, environmental catastrophes, right-‐wing populism and the tragedies caused by deterritorialised capitalism many people see themselves, their identities and sovereignty under threat. This has led to the now familiar demand for stronger borders, rather than a call to work across them to deal with the global challenges we face. With artists from Israel, Ecuador, Iran, Scotland and England, working with film, sculpture, demonetised currency, political campaigns and fungi: this exhibition aims to keep the conversation nuanced at a time when simple lies win out against complex truths. Asking how we relate to, learn from and are affected by the ground beneath our feet.
Coproduced by Documenta 14 (2017) and showing for the first time in Britain, Roee Rosen’s film The Dust Channel (2016) features an operatic libretto conveying the devotion of a bourgeois Israeli couple to their home-‐cleaning appliances -‐ in particular the Dyson DC07 vacuum cleaner. The film makes a figurative association between the dirt which invades their home, the windswept sand of the desert and asylum seekers held at the ‘Holot’ detention centre: described by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu as illegal workers attempting to infiltrate the country.
Oscar Santillan’s The Intruder (2015) presents ‘the top inch of England’, a small stone taken from the 3028 ft summit of Scafell Pike in the Cumbrian Lake District. The work reflects on the ways in which humans have imposed their cultural categories over nature: the highest, the largest, the deepest etc. Its initial exhibition at Copperfield Gallery, London (2015) sparked a variety of responses including angry demands for its return, exposing the symbolic potential of a tiny piece of the ground.
In her pair of video works Fatherland (2016) and Motherland (2016), Tulani Hlalo makes a solo pilgrimage to see what meaning or what connection might be found as she covers herself in the dry earth of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and stands in the cold waters of King Edwards Bay, Tynemouth -‐ the birth places of her parents. In the late 1990s, towards the end of Zimbabwe’s involvement in the Second Congo War and after the confiscation of private farms from landowners, political and economic instability led to a period of hyperinflation.
Michael White’s series of Indian ink and gouache on demonetised Zimbabwean banknotes (2016-‐ ) depict characters from The Wonderful Wizard of OZ -‐ a modern fairy tale of a journey to a magical land which was also intended to be allegorical of the political, economic, and social events of America in the 1890s. In our current era of continued economic instability
these works exemplify the complicated mixture of both objective and subjective forces which impact the value of a nation’s currency.
Dammam (2018) by Omid Asadi is inspired by musical rituals, from the oil rich region of southern Iran, present in religious ceremonies; in particular funerals. Asadi’s performance involves a group of people using oil barrels as drums which leak oil onto a Persian carpet as they are played.
A new piece of work being developed by Jane Lawson will draw on the ideas of ‘Radical Mycology’, which considers how mycorrhizal networks -‐ huge systems in which fungi and plants exchange information and nutrients within and between species -‐ might encourage better relationships between humans and their ecosystem, seeing all beings as having inherent value and interdependence, regardless of their economic value. Previous work by Lawson has involved oyster mushrooms -‐ which can clean up hydrocarbons such as diesel – being grown on printed copies of political and literary works which support the ideologies of neoliberal capitalism, as a form of symbolic ‘detoxification’.
At Castlefield Gallery the UK’s first Museum of Homelessness, will present a selection of stories and objects donated to the collection during their State of the Nation project. Objects were donated from a wide mix of sources including homelessness workers and volunteers, activists, and people experiencing different forms of homelessness. They showed what is going on for people in detention centres, in squats, in alternative communities, in hostels, day centres and on the streets -‐ highlighting the systemic injustices that continue to cause homelessness at a time when we already have record numbers of homeless people in the UK: a 169% increase since 2010.
Keep it Complex is a collective of cultural workers who formed during the EU referendum in 2016, working collaboratively to run events, workshops, facilitate discussion and create campaign materials, often using traditional artistic formats such as exhibitions as support structures for other cultural work. For The Ground Beneath Your Feet they will produce new merchandise and campaign materials with funds raised from sales going towards their third annual activation, Nothing Ever Changes, in January 2019. A screen-‐ printing workshop at Castlefield Gallery will also aim to foster informal conversations about the links between food, agriculture, migration, feminism and work.