Galleries and Performance

dsc_0836Perpetual Movement at the Lowry analyses the relationship between dance and art ‘through four international artists working in a range of mediums, each responding differently to the inspiration of contemporary dance, alongside a carefully curated selection of objects, footage and costumes from Rambert’s archive’.  In itself a compelling exhibition, there is also a live dance performance every Saturday at 1pm in which ‘internationally renowned artist Goshka Macuga presents a performative installation piece echoing the physicality, bodily limits and repetition in the work of both professional dancers and the figures depicted so typically in Lowry’s works’. Two dancers watch each other across a conveyor belt, slowly coming together towards an explosive finish. (until 26 Feb).

dsc_0866One of Manchester’s most underrated galleries must surely be the Holden Gallery, which is able to attract an impressive range of contemporary art.  The current exhibition ‘From Slow to Stop’ ‘brings together a group of works which make things slow down or stop’.  I’m interested in the idea of time in theatre, and here we see this presented through film and video.  Slowing time down allows us to look at movements and thoughts in minute detail.  A film by Joao Maria Gusmao and Pedro Paiva almost stops the action on a Japanese bullet train, highlighting every movement of the passengers.  From a theatrical perspective the most interesting piece is Coffee by Hans Op de Beeck, a film of a couple sitting at a table.  Nothing is spoken, and we only see the woman’s face, but it is obvious from her movements how she feels.  If only theatre was so effective at capturing the tiny unspoken details (until 16 Dec).

dsc_0841Castlefield Gallery presents Miniature World, which ‘considers the potential of things in small-scale to help us understand, document and communicate the world in which we find ourselves’.  This includes a monthly live demonstration; artist and amateur physicist Annie Carpenter demonstrates Central Engine, ‘an artwork that she has developed for the Miniature World exhibition and that attempts to model the form of black hole accretion disks, which exist at the centre of galaxies’ (10 Dec and 14 Jan).  I’m also fascinated by her videos from Svalbard of the men protecting her from polar bears whilst she shot the video, a surreal infinite loop (until 22 Jan).

dsc_0814At HOME, Rachel Maclean presents Wot u 🙂 about?  The centrepiece is a thirty minute film in which ‘the supermodel-like figurehead of a greed driven data provider is stalked by the leader of a band of guerrilla hacktivist rat creatures’, and supported by sculpture and wall hangings.  Very theatrical in feel, and very real in the wider presentation, where is the line between theatre, live art and film? (until 8 Jan).

And it’s not in any way connected to theatre, but don’t miss ‘Strange and Familiar’ at Manchester Art Gallery.  ‘Curated by the iconic British photographer Martin Parr, Strange and Familiar considers how international photographers from the 1930s onwards have captured the social, cultural and political identity of the UK.’  If we’re talking about the ‘Human Condition’, it’s all here.


Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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