It’s now just 13 days until the international festival hits Manchester. In the meantime, there are lots of things to see and do. It’s a while since I’ve written about art in Manchester, so I thought I’d mention a few highlights:
1. Between Tracks: The Salford Restoration Office & The International 3
Between Tracks (until 18 July) is an exhibition of new work by nine British and Swiss artists, developed in collaboration with the St. Gallen based artist group NETEX. The aim of the show is to encourage discussion between artists who are based outside their respective country’s main art centres. In May of this year, twelve Manchester artists exhibited alongside six Swiss artists in St. Gallen’s disused Badhaus building: Between Tracks is the second part of the exchange process, showing work by five Swiss artists alongside four British artists. Highlights for me were Aleksandra Signer’s video works, David Sherry’s quirky drawings and Dave Griffiths’ playful and intriguing Nataraja.
2. POI: Moving, Mapping, Memory: Cornerhouse
POI is the first in a new series of exhibitions at Cornerhouse entitled Editions - an annual month-long venture to provide a showcase for new, innovative and experimental art, and a testing-ground for risk-taking ideas and cross-disciplinary collaborations. POI (which stands for both ‘P.O.I.’ or point of interest, and for ‘poi’, the Maori art of spinning objects through space) brings together a range of media artworks by eight artists to explore notions of how we understand, map and remember both time and space. This varied exhibition brings together video installations, sound sculptures, textile media and interactive installations: highlights for me were Rob Strongitham’s atmospheric piece Ar Dievu, and Eimer Birkbek’s sound installation Instantanés (Marseille)
3. The Cutting Room Experiment
The votes are in, and the schedule for Saturday has been announced! As well as musical statues, clothes swapping, extreme space hopper racing, record-breaking conga lines and a silent disco, visitors will have the opportunity to join in with writing a collabotative ‘Book of 1000 authors’ and check out an unveiling of a new work by artist Dan Dubowitz. To see the full schedule go here.
4. MMU Degree Show
It’s that time of year again! The MMU Degree shows will be open to the public from Saturday 20 June - Sunday 28 June, and the private view is tonight! Always good fun, and a great opportunity to spot Manchester’s newest up and coming talents...
5. Artist Book Fair: A Foundation
OK, so it’s not a Manchester event, but it’s a mere train ride away. A Foundation will be holding the second Liverpool Artist’s Book Fair on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June, complete with stalls, book-related performances (including one from the excellent Publish & Be Damned), readings, games and (most important of all) delicious cakes. Artists, illustrators and small presses from across the UK will be showcasing a whole selection of their books, zines and paper-based work: take home a unique work of art from as little as £1! And if you’re over that way, why not also check out the Colour Chart exhibition at Tate Liverpool or the End of the Line exhibition at the Bluecoat which explores fresh approaches to contemporary drawing?
If you’re still short of things to do in the coming week, have a gander at Soup o' th' Day, a handy new visual representation of what’s going on in Manchester on any given day!
And finally, not forgetting this year's Best of Manchester Awards! The shortlist has now been announced: shortlisted in the Art category are Manchester luminaries Rachel Goodyear, Contents May Vary and Owl Project, with special mentions also going to Maurice Carlin and Nick Jordan. The winner will be announced on 23 July. And keep your eyes peeled for the mysterious spoof BOMA posters around town, as seen above... find out more about the mystery here.