Friday, 20 March 2009

Manchester International Festival 09

Image © Marco Anelli

The Manchester International Festival 09 programme launched yesterday and includes a host of visual art and performance work with artists such as Gustav Metzger, Marina Abramović, Punch Drunk and many many more. ‘The Marina Abramović Presents….’strand of the festival is free, but booking is advised. Take a look and get your seat soon, we hope to see you there. Selections from the programme are below. Full programme and ticket information here

It Felt Like a Kiss

Punchdrunk, Adam Curtis, Damon Albarn

Thu 2 July - Sun 19 July / Hardman Square

It Felt Like a Kiss tells the story of America’s rise to power in the golden age of pop, and the unforeseen consequences it had on the world and in our minds. Beginning in 1959, the show spotlights the dreams and desires that America inspired during the ’60s, when the world began to embrace the country and its culture as never before. But as this daring production unfolds across five floors, blending music with documentary and the disorientating whirl of a fairground ghost train, the audience is forced to face the dark forces that were veiled by the American dream – a dream that ultimately returns to haunt us all.

It Felt Like a Kiss is created by renowned BBC filmmaker Adam Curtis and director Felix Barrett of groundbreaking theatre company Punchdrunk, with original music composed by Damon Albarn and recorded perfomance by the Kronos Quartet.

Marina Abramović Presents…

Fri 3 - Sun 19 July / Whitworth Art Gallery

Following the iconoclastic Il Tempo del Postino in 2007, MIF returns to the crossroads of visual art and performance, inviting world-renowned artist Marina Abramović to curate an epic group show featuring some of the most innovative live artists working today.

For this groundbreaking event, the Whitworth has emptied every gallery space in order to create room for this unique work to develop and breathe. The show will begin with an hour-long performance initiation with Marina Abramović, leading up to a series of extraordinary encounters between artists and audience.

Quite unlike anything staged before in the UK, this will be a provocative and visceral experience. Featuring: Marina Abramović, Ivan Civic, Nikhil Chopra, Amanda Coogan, Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, Yingmei Duan, Eun Hye Hwang, Jamie Isenstein, Terence Koh, Alastair MacLennan, Kira O’Reilly, Melati Suryodarmo, Nico Vascellari, Jordan Wolfson. Tehching Hsieh will be in attendance for the opening weekend.

In Conversation
Sun 5 July 11am-12.30pm
Marina Abramović and Gustav Metzger interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist in the Whitworth Art Gallery.
Free: advance booking not required.

Sun 12 July
A one-day symposium led by Marina Abramović with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Maria Balshaw.
Booking required: please visit the Whitworth Art Gallery’s website.

Concept by Marina Abramović with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Maria Balshaw


Jeremy Deller
Sun 5 July / Deansgate, City Centre

Celebrate the launch weekend of MIF by lining the Deansgate mile to witness a free and uniquely Mancunian procession, created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller.

‘I love processions – as humans, it’s almost part of our DNA to be instinctively attracted to big public events that bring us together. A good procession is in itself a public artwork: part self-portrait and part alternative reality.’ Jeremy Deller.

Jeremy Deller’s past projects have included Acid Brass, a collaboration with Stockport’s Williams Fairey Brass Band that linked acid house with brass band culture; The Battle of Orgreave, a 1,000-person re-enactment of the notorious 1984 battle between police and pickets during the miners’ strike; and Folk Archive, an exhibition that investigates British vernacular art.

To accompany Procession, there will be a major exhibition at Cornerhouse.
A specially commissioned film will also play as part of the show, alongside a programme of other special events. Visit for full details.

Flailing Trees

Gustav Metzger
Fri 3 - Sun 19 July / Manchester Peace Garden

Walking or driving the same streets every day, many of us take our surroundings for granted. Artist Gustav Metzger will be challenging this sense of security with Flailing Trees, an arresting and poignant new piece of public art that will stand in the Manchester Peace Garden for the duration of the Festival.

Flailing Trees comprises 21 inverted willows, a subversion of the natural order that brings nature and the environment into sharp focus. With flourishing branches replaced by dying roots, the sculpture is both a plea for reflection and a plaintive cry for change, and is sure to provide a catalyst for debate.

Whitworth Art Gallery is acquiring this work for its permanent collection. After the Festival, Flailing Trees will be sited in the Gallery grounds for continued free public viewing.

Everybody Loves a Winner

Neil Bartlett, Simon Deacon & Struan Leslie
Fri 3 July - Sat 18 July / Royal Exchange Theatre

Transforming the iconic Royal Exchange into a working bingo hall for the occasion, Everybody Loves a Winner tracks a group of twenty players through their night out.
From the doors opening for the early session to the lights going out at the end of another cheerfully wasted evening, it’s all here: the cheap jokes, the unspoken thoughts, the empty handbags and the sheer disbelief…

There’ll be plenty of laughs, several broken dreams, a spot of dancing - and the chance to play for the top cash prize of the evening. So, ladies and gentlemen, ask yourself - are you feeling lucky? Are you?

1 comment:

  1. If you're interested in Metzger, new interview with Gustav Metzger about art, activism and Manchester International Festival here.