Category Archives: Art Review

Things to do this February with Beer and Art

The People You’re Not:

Good friend and top notch artist Bren O Callaghan’s exhibition at The Cornerhouse, until Sunday 27th February is well worth a visit into the world of unfulfilled ideas presented through beautifully constructed mini theatres and stages around Gallery 1.  I think I’m right in saying Bren worked with youngsters through a series of workshops  to produce the unrealised until now proposals of Edward Barton, the eccentric Manchester poet and musician, Norman Clayture, wooden pant clad balladeer and comedian Harry Hill.  The exhibition is a sensation through seeing many depictions of memorable people in settings unusual for some (and probably not so unusual for others) and pinpointing the bits of ourselves we both are and are not.

There’s a free evening with Edward Barton Sat 12th Feb 6pm, book though.  There’s also a gallery discussion on Wed 23rd February 4-5pm, book.  Other than go for your own perusal at the drunks and delirious ramblings that The People You’re Not creates, it’s a great place to excuse the next recommended on my to do . . .

Portstreet Beer House:

Wohoho, not a good week to be on antibiotics with this new exceptionally good ale joint.  I could not believe the selection, true to their word craft beers are a plenty and with the amount of new comings and goings it’s going to be enough to keep the most well rounded craft beer drinker on their toes.  Brought to us by the delightful Common bunch, we have this new baby in the Northern Quarter.  On Friday when I had my first outing, I had 5am saint on draft and a bottle of one of my old time favourites Dark Star Espresso beer, though it failed to keep me from being too goosey come the amount I’d consumed in total that evening.  I will definitely be enjoying a few delights here on Saturday evening and my hope is to try the much raved about Caldera IPA, craft beer in a can, so don’t buy it all with their new card machine.

Back to Art with tonight’s sampling

Rotar at Whitworth:

Great 40 minute live piece in response to Siobhan Davies’ new dance work The Score.  Four dance artists sing, walk, move, harmonica play and shout their way through the performance.  I really enjoyed the fact that there was the continuity of four performers in translation of different artists work in quickish succession.  I really responded to the last section Songbook by Matteo Fargion, but that is to do with my own love of word play and sound manipulation.  All the pieces brought something unique and played with my concentration levels, commenting on the minds wanderings and bodies.  I only got chance for a quick squizz around the exhibitions, but I will go back as they are there till 13Th March, I was struck by The Babel Flower and would like to spend more time with the pieces.  Great performance, the live show is only till Sunday and if you go smile when you make out the word plums in Songbook, I did as I had them in my bag.

To Beer of the home variety

The Bottle Stop, Bramhall Acre Lane:

Should have blogged about this place way sooner, and I will do in more detail at some point when I don’t want to listen to Front row  where Bren and Harry Hill discuss the realisation of the idea bought for £50. The Bottle Stops exceptional both in being well priced and well stocked, especially in Continental, Marble, Bollington beers and loads of amazing wines.  I had a lovely Shiraz for less than £8, so probably £7.99 called Dignite, which we had at Christmas number 2 bought on Christmas day, which they were open for!  Also they do changing cask ale to take home, we bought 3 pints of Dinner Ale by Bollington Brewery, which we had with Christmas dinner 1.  It is well worth a visit even if you live 50 miles away. Taras Boulba.

Quantum Brewing Company:

Last but not in any means least the exceptional Burnt Amber IPA by the newly formed Quantum Brewing Co, absolutely amazing.  It tasted chocolaty with no use of chocolate malt, it is a new formed favourite, thanks Mister JK can’t wait for the next release.



A Berlin Guide to Museums, Galleries, Memorials and Parks

Art Galleries, Memorials, Museums and Parks

As far as capital cities go, Berlin is inexpensive in comparison.  The museum pass is just €19 and allows admission into many of the main exhibitions for free over 3 consecutive days.  We purchased this card on both trips and found it a good way to see a lot of what we wanted, as well as encouraging us to go and see other things we wouldn’t necessarily have gone to if it wasn’t already included in the cost of the card.  We purchased the cards both times from the Tourist Office at Brandenburger Tor, but you can buy it from many of the museums that accept the card as payment.

My best museums and galleries to visit with the card:

Red are my favourites

Area: Hauptbahnhof/Central Station

  • Hamburger Bahnhof Gallery – Modern art gallery highlights include Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly and Roy Lichtenstein.
  • Museum für Naturkunde – Highlight the largest exhibited skeleton of a dinosaur to greet you.

Area: Museum Insel/Museum Island +Mitte

  • Alte Nationalgalerie – 19th century art.
  • Altes Museum – Greek and Roman art.
  • Markisches Museum – Plotting the history of Berlin.
  • Neues Museum – Classical art with the modernised building in the old structure, awesome.
  • Pergamonmuseum – Massive Altar stolen from Pergamon, great building to run about in.

Area: Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten

  • Museum für Fotografie – The Helmut Newton collection, fantastic exhibition of important photography of fashion and portrait shots from 20th century.

Area: Kulturforum + Potsdamer Platz

  • Berlinische Galerie – Art and photography from 1870 to present day, amazing model replicas.
  • Judisches Museum – The Jewish museum designed by Daniel Liebskind (architect for Imperial war museums and Twin Tower Memorial), unbelievable experience.
  • Kulturforum – Houses many museums and next to Musikinstrumentum museum.
  • Neue Nationalgalerie – Fantastic use of space as this building hosts the permanent exhibits of 20th century art in the basement.

The Best Museums, galleries, memorials and parks to visit that are free:

Area: Museum Insel/Museum Island +Mitte

  • Deutscher Dom – Amazing building to explore.
  • Knoblauchhaus – One of the few 18th century houses remaining in Berlin.
  • Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe – Memorial designed by American architect Peter Eisenmen, a piece to be experienced.
  • Neue Wache – The New Guard house, used as a war memorial since 1931.
  • Reichstag – Never been personally, but it would be on my most favoured list.  First time in Berlin, at the height of summer, the queue was massive and second time round it was shut due to terrorist threats.
  • Tacheles Gallery – Ex department store on Oranienburger St, now an artist commune.
  • Tiergarten – Massive park in Mitte, which was the park of West Berlin before reunification.

Area: Friedrichshain

  • STYX Project,The Old Brewery – Amazing warehouse to explore if you like art to be presented as gritty sometimes, Landsberger Allee 54.

Area: Kreuzberg

  • Tempelhof Airport The old airport that ceased operating in 2008 now a massive park.

Area: Kulturforum + Potsdamer Platz

  • Topographie des Terrors – This was the location of the Gestapo’s main office and now the site tells the story of it’s history.

Worth paying for individually

Area: Kulturforum + Potsdamer Platz

  • Museum für Film und Fernsehen – €6 entry, through infinity mirrors to see some stunning reminders of the epic films of Berlin.
  • Martin-Gropias-Bau – Fantastic building, look what the individual exhibits are before choosing which one to go to, €6 entry per exhibit.

Further Tips

  • State Museums are Free Thurs from 6pm till 8pm and Hamburger Bahnhof from 2pm.
  • The Temporary Kunsthalle no longer exists.
  • Do not visit the Anne Frank Zentrum, unless you like the idea of viewing a super imposed Anne Frank’s face with 14 year olds that looks like an S Club 7 photo shoot.
  • You get a guide to all the galleries, museums, palaces and memorials with map, opening hours and transport links when you purchase the museum card.

Berlin the Return

And how the seasons have changed.  As it was here, Berlin was a snowy one, Germany was embedded in the thick white flakes.

We visited sights new and revisited others changed by winter. There were laughs, pains and very cold fingers, but hand warmers, ear muffs and gluhwein helped to stave off the most part.  I hobbled around like a limp dog, as I had injured my knee, whilst Adam proved a shoulder to lean on.

We stayed in Berlin this time for 9 nights, the memories are too many to recall and this is my recount in a whistle stop tour of the highs and low, places to visit and to avoid, and drinks to indulge and deny.

Our arrival 14/12/2010

We had a tight connection as our first plane was delayed so with 5 minutes me and Adam legged it through Munich’s terminal, it turned out we had time for a double espresso (provided free in the Lufthansa suite, as the plane was delayed.  Arrival in Berlin to snow, Warsteiner, Augustiner, and en route to the Magnet club to see Best Coast supported by Sky Larkin.

A good gig, though it made me realise I’m not that into indie pop at the minute.  We had fun though tanked up on Berliner pilsner and bopping in Germany.


Our first full day and we started as we continued, cramming in the city.  This was marketing out day, as we visited too many Christmas markets.  We started out with breakfast from the Netto next door, still quality and so inexpensively priced.  Off to the Museum für Film und Fernsehen, which was a new museum for us.  As with all the exhibitions in Berlin it was a real treat, done to a quality that makes them a sensory indulgence.  We entered through a chamber of infinity, which was dozens of mirrors placed so that you went on forever, I could have stayed with my head hung upside down all day.  We then went on to be guided through the film history of Berlin, visiting the classics such as Metropolis and Wings of Desire.  We had already visited market one before this point at Potsdamer Platz, which actually turned out to be the worst one, it’s a strange place and reminds me of the feeling I get in Spinningfields, Manchester. We went on to market number two, Gendarmenmarkt, which cost one euro to enter.  We mulled up at €3.50 a pop, and sat inside to watch some sort of dancing, a little warmer we made our way to Prenzlauer Berg to get a decent beer, where Adam spotted Brew Dog fly posters in the urinals.  Next, to an Indian tea washed down with mango liqueur.  We finished our day tiddly at the Lucia Christmas markets, which by far were the most fun and set in the cool Kollwitzplatz Kultur Brauerei, which used to be an old brewery.  As the temperature collapsed me and Adam were delighted to warm our bums by sitting on a radiator with fur coats suspended overhead.  The end to a lovely -10 °C day.


In search of the freebies before we purchased our 3 day museum pass, off we head back to Prenzlauer Berg.  First call of day, Americano from one of the many bistros of the area.  We visited the Prenzlauer Berg Museum about its history, which is all in German, but worth a look round for the heating and the building, again like no other you go to.  We visited the oldest water tower in Berlin, Wasserturm, and saw the post lady delivering to the flats below the tower, which is adjacent to what used be a machine hall used as the first concentration camp in Nazi Germany in the first half of 1933.  Off for a bizarre African inspired lunch at one of the many independents, at €8 for us both we couldn’t grumble.  We then went to the spectacle of Zeiss Gross Planetarium – Prenzlauer Allee, but it was shut bar the entrance, so we stayed in there until it became apparent that it was mull-o-clock.  So off we trotted via the H-bahn to Charlottenburg Christmas Markets, and that’s when it hit us that we didn’t want to see another German Christmas market again on this trip.  Fatigue kicked in and so we returned to the City Ost Hotel before recapturing our passion for the city and finding the Hausbrauerei Hops and Barley, which was in walking distance from our hotel.  It was reviewed in this month’s Ex-Berliner and was a real treat, the house special, Spezialbier was excellent and only €2.80 for 0.5L.


Start of the museum pass extravaganza.  Served by the same old stroppy tourist office man as last time we bought our passes for €19 each and headed off for Berlinisches Galerie, but this time round without the yellow lettered front entrance that was instead snow filled.  I was convinced from an article in the local paper that there was an elevator bed you could pay to go on, this exhibit does not exist . . . The article was for the Soma exhibition that we viewed from the non paying side of the fence in the Hamburger Bahnhof Gallery, which contains reindeers and an elevated bed which you can pay €1000  a night to stay and trip out on reindeer urine. We found a cafe that became a highlight of the trip Taz Prezzo, and I ate a chicken noodle and kneidel soup for €3, followed by a coffee and accompanying dark chocolate bean (always a nice added touch.)  Off to Märkisches Museum, which was a new and hidden gem, as me and Adam trawled its vastness with nobody else in the building except from the suspect staff.  For dessert we finished with a trip back to the awesome Jewish Museum, mainly to see the building than revisit the exhibits.  Then for the two treats of the evening Hirsch bar, where we dined had 2 beers each and an espresso for €26, 0.5L of their own house lager is €2.50 and really good, then back to resample Hops and Barley.


First new treat of the day Neue Nationalgalerie, which I hadn’t realised existed last time.  Wonderful permanent collections of 20th century art span the basement, and the new exhibit shown on ground level.  Back to Hamburger Bahnhof Gallery to peek at the reindeer from the stairs, it smelt like reindeer and looked a typical German set up, in being an excellently constructed piece.  To the Neues Museum, which blew us away in its scale and its strength in combining old and new architecture. Each and every building lends to a particular uniqueness, and that is what is so exceptional about the utilisation of form and function in this city.  For dinner we decided to sample a bizarre place called Dr.Eckstuck – Kreuzberg, again located in Ex-Berliner, but reviewed by the nurse with a short uniform, so maybe I should have guessed the sort of vibe it would have.  The boys toilets were splattered in porn and the staff looked like they were from Lock Stock, but the food was really good, we were the only people in there.  Well it was Saturday night in Berlin so we felt it our duty to find a club, and we located West Germany as recommended by Hey Manchester Chris.  Bizarrely, seen as every club in Germany doesn’t get going until 3am this one was winding up as they had a gig night on and it was the last night for them this year.  The venue is apparently owned by the brother of the guy who owns Islington Mill, so it was cool to have that connection and dance to Four Tet.  Whilst being a bit merry and thinking I was being smooth, I asked for a cocktail of what the beaker was, only to be ripped off with cheap vodka and rola cola for €4.


An awesome start to the day by visiting the Helmut Newton Photography Exhibition, which was the perfect start to a Sunday and the perfect antidote to a hangover, especially as I had purchased a gluhwein for €1.50 from the pizza place across the road from our hotel  – mit schluss as well of all things!  A lovely Thai lunch of ramen and green tea before visiting the Kulturforum, which had a cool typography exhibition and many galleries to explore.  We decided on a tamer evening with a couple of beers and a Netto tea, no schluss for me as in the morning we were going on the 7.54am train to Leipzig, to visit where mine and Adam’s friend Thea was born.


Leipzig, the trip I had been hoping to do, but had proved rather more expensive than anticipated at nearly €80 for a 2 way ticket, me and Adam found Interconnex, a German semi-budget website where we purchased set times at €19 each way.  We set off early, which was a fun but a confusing start to the day, which caused us to somehow succumb to Kamps coffee.  The train ride was magical as we travelled through the snowy countryside of Germany and watched as the bright orange in the sky came up.  We arrived at Leipzig Bahnhof (Europe’s largest railway station), which has 3 floor shopping mall, and garish decorations to adorn it’s beautiful construction.  We limped out to try to find the tourist info which had moved, but eventually found it and to our delight saw that everything on the map was walkable.  Our first stop was to find the Neuroorthopädisches Zentrum für Physiotherapie Leipzig to see Teddy Hurst’s art.  We found it easily and saw the pieces Thea’s husband had produced when he lost his ability to speak after suffering a stroke and art became his means of communicating.  Me and Adam were moved by the strength of his pieces, though we felt bizarre to be walking around looking at them whilst patients were in rehabilitation.  The next stop was to see the Schul Museum, where we saw the memories of Thea’s school days in a room with a reconstruction of the original school floor that was used to help Thea remember the names of her class mates.  It was a really moving place for me to visit and we went on to find the street where she had been evacuated from in the war, only to not find the house as the paving stone tribute to her father was covered under the thick snow.  For lunch with a worthy Augustiner and then to the Coffee Baum Museum.  A couple of coffees later and we headed back to the peculiar train station to purchase goods for our outbound journey.  Tired but pleased we had achieved this voyage we rewarded ourselves with drinks in a side street off Mitte, before we went in pursuit of, the no one goes there in Winter, Tacheles Gallery.  We wondered where the prostitutes that had lined the streets in summer had gone to, but as we looked with closer inspection at the furry bomber jackets and patent thigh fur boots, we realised a valuable lesson that prostitutes too feel the cold, much to our amusement we went happily to bed.


This day resembled 28 days later as we started the day by visiting Stix Gallery, which is an abandoned brewery that houses a gallery.  Me and Adam crept about the dilapidated building half expecting the ceiling to crumble in and the gallery was closed.  The start of the plane worry that we might not make it home for Christmas, as Adam watched on the sleeping bundles at Heathrow airport.  I cried in to my coffee about not getting home for Christmas where as Adam the voice of reason showed me the way back and we visited the old airfield of Tempelhof Airport left as it was, but not a soul to be seen.  The Topograpie des Terrors put it all into perspective as we looked on the different levels of reality.  Another lovely Thai meal 12 pieces of sushi and miso soup for €5, Taz Presso for coffee, then to Knoblauchaus one of the few 18th century houses left in Berlin, this was a freebie and a very different space to see.  I wanted to squeeze in one more, but we thought sod it and went for an amazing Greek meal at Knofi, a bottle of red and 5 dishes for €25, we got exceptionally drunk and slept heavily.


Last day of the trip and we started it well with the “WeltWissen – World Knowledge” – 300 Years of Science in Berlin exhibition, at Martin-Gropias Bau.  The wonderful periodic table exhibit and shadow play was a magnificent start to the day.  We went for another truly satisfying lunch at Taz Prezzo, whilst Adam creamed his off with an apfel and quark strudel.  We had 3 more places we wished to go Galleries Lafyette for a joke and warmth, the war memorial near Museum Island, and the Temporary KunsthalleGalleries Lafyette kept us amused for 5 minutes, the war memorial brought all the cold stinging sensations into real perspective as the statue lay their covered in snow and the Temporary Kunsthalle proved very temporary, as it no longer existed.  Our decision was made for a delightful evening of a revisit to Intimes cinema bar, which we had visited on our first evening here in Berlin last time.  The food was even bigger than we remembered and you couldn’t get bigger in our eyes.  Adam’s chicken Schnitzler and chips came with a side salad to accompany his side salad and mine came with a full filed loaf of sun-dried tomato bread, quality indeed and that was what our entire experience of Berlin was filled with.

The memories of Berlin are so many and this is just a snapshot of what I have written down, kept, and can recall.  To follow a rundown of where to go and where the places are, until then Happy New Year everyone and Happy New Year Berlin.

Coco avant Chanel


I enjoyed it much more than I thought. Though I love Audrey Tautou, I couldn’t help thinking it might turn out to be another “Devil Wears Prada” that wasn’t saved by Meryl Streep.

But then Anne Hathaway has never been an actress with any flair in my book, in the same way that I never empathise with any Keira Knightley characters, who was actually offered the role. I wouldn’t have bothered to spend £3.20 if she’d accepted.

The film covers life for Gabrielle Chanel aka  Coco before she becomes the fashion designer we now have embedded in our subconscious. I remember Hello magazine from when Princess Diana was alive and her wearing a red and pink dress, which I was morbidly against. Now I might have only been 10 years old, but if I had to hazard a guess I would have told my friends, for elaboration, that the dress was a Chanel.A410AZDCAZUVOM0CALQ902RCAW3N3YJCAKWKIOOCACTWIO8CAJY0LX0CAXZM12MCAZNJYHGCAWVZ8HNCAHNV1S5CA80AL0SCAIRN8ETCAZ34GK3CATYVY60CA5E2FFICAK4M2FYCAYI5WIRCAYYRK04

The two symbols that have become emblematic of the brand, are far from the bland Coco that we see in the film, her style was geeky, shapeless and carried with flair away from the frou frou of the tea cake tarts.

Chanel markets herself on the fact that it ain’t luxury if it ain’t comfortable.

I loved the portrayal in the film of Coco’s relationships with men, Balsen and Boy, though Boy annoyed me immensely. I wish he hadn’t bothered to utter any English, for me it took away from the beauty of the film, it seemed a sloppy  token gesture.

Some things I’ve learnt about Coco:

  • Coco was born in 1883 and died in 1971 so she had a pretty good innings
  • Her name was mis-spelt Chasnel when her birth was recorded, this made things tricky for biographers (I did not learn this from the film)
  • In 1913 Coco introduced sportswear into her boutique in Deauville (I did not learn this from the film)
  • not to be confused with Coco Channel, which seperates the coco islands and the North Andaman islands

I liked the film and find Coco an interesting character, I’d be tempted to check out some of the other films about different eras of her life even though they don’t star Tautou, and so far not Knightley.

I won’t be buying the perfume, not until I’m 67 and going on a cruise anyway.

The Red Shoes

Will be reviewed tomorrow it was good, for an amateur performance, the script was great. I just have to clean up some glitter . . .


When I say amateur performance – I mean it in a positive sense, with the casts passionate voluntary portrayal, of Hans Christian Anderson’s dark fairy tale The Red Shoes.

I really enjoyed Liz Postlethwaite’s adaptation, though I have never read the original story and would be intrigued to find out if the narrator is part of the original tale. 

Our storyteller tells us how to behave and not to rustle sweet wrappers. She leaves us with a picture horrible image of someone chopping their feet off by playing with our imaginations in a sick and funny way, she takes great delight in this and I squirmed a little.

In the play there are twenty  15-18 year-olds from the Norfox Young People’s Theatre Company playing all of the characters, it is just the narrator and  Ana (the girl in the red shoes) who are left with one part.

 Ana, is the girl who can’t stop dancing when she has the shoes on, she is frowned upon by the village community who are strictly black shoe wearers.


Ana has a  habit it seems of the mother figures in her life dropping down dead. The play was really funny and I thought the cast acted it really well, the audience were on the noisy side, but this didn’t bother me so much as it felt like it had brought a different sort of person in than would usually go and see this sort of play.

As We Forgive Them

24/7 Theatre hosts As We Forgive Them by Richard Vergette from Pure Nightclub in The Printworks.

I have to say that my vision felt clouded at the start because of the venue being a trashy nightclub and the condom machine in the women’s toilet’s bleeping out of order, I decided to let go of that and judge the play based on it’s own merit, and after all at least in this nightclub they use condoms.

A teacher arrives at a state penitentiary to give lessons to, Lee Fenton, a convicted murderer classed as retarded. As the play unravels, we learn that the teacher, played by Vergette himself, is Congressman John Daniels and it was his daughter who was murdered by Lee.

All of the action takes place inside the prison’s interview room where the 3 scenes move from 2008 to 2016. We see the relationship between Daniels and Lee shifting, from an uninterested Lee with a focused Daniels, to the education of Lee in mid flow.

Lee reads a passage from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest beautifully illustrating the irony of role reversal, reflecting what we can see happening within Daniels and Lee’s relationship. At this point I realise I am unsure as to either of their motives, but I start to empathise with Lee and see that boundaries are blurring.  At first I am convinced that forgiveness is taking place.

As the play moves through various subtleties, confusion as to what the real truth is behind either of the characters becomes more obscure. Daniels bounces between the role of a passionate educator to a media hungry states congressman who is desperately trying to further his career and reputation. Lee emerges from a simpleton to a real thinker, who can read Daniels, whether he reads him correctly or not is something I’m still not sure about.

It left me as all good art should with plenty of thoughts especially about the nature of broadening the mind and if that was the ultimate punishment one who does something without thought could face.

I’m still thinking about it.

Marina Abramovic presents . . .

Luckily I got allocated two tickets for this performance at the Whitworth Gallery. I had no idea what to expect when I booked the tickets, it was from my sister’s mention that I ended up going, and then all I got people saying was, “good luck, it’s 4 hours long you know?”

The only work that I thought I knew Marina for was, The House with the ocean view, from Sex and the City,  who Carrie and the Russian arrange a date to catch out in the gallery. Looking up this episode I have now been informed by that this wasn’t Marina but a replica and a replica gallery. I think I like this better. I think?

So the lowdown of my paces through the performance. Go in get donned in a white lab coat, locate an espresso paper cup in the right hand pocket, locate a fold up chair and let the drill begin.

 It’s not scary, it’s what we should expect she is de-probing the audience, allowing barriers to be broken and it’s relatively safe as we are supposed to be here to do just that. I can’t imagine I am going to be slapped around the face for staring at someone for a minute and not blinking, or laughed at for drinking a teeny weeny cup of water for ten. We are all doing it, albeit with different levels of giggling, spirituality, and heat, (God it was warm)

She spoke of a recent young artist who had killed himself, and my mouth went tight as I thought she was about to ruin the moment with how much of a shame it is that such talented individuals cannot deal with the world, but she saved my jaw and her message, by denouncing suffering as the opposite of what makes a good artist.

We left the room with leeft, point, step, mooooove, leeft, point, step, moooove and our free roaming begins.

To be continued, Jess is distracting me.

With the twinkly sounds coming from Adam on the floor, I’ll continue . . .

The gallery was stripped of it’s usual wall paper display and Walter Crane and opened up for a new kind of art, that you could explore relatively freely.

The first room I saw Asian Punk Boy, and I didn’t really give this piece enough time. There was an i pod and the boy lying head down, this is all I really saw. Terence Koh.

NextNikhil Chopra,who I thought was my friend Kei stripped down to his boxers. This was a great piece where the artist runs around, swirls, climbs, crawls his way around the floor and walls creating an epic charcoal drawing of a landscape. He was so energetic at first and ran round the room drawing huge barrels of hay, as the three hours went on he progressed to getting fully clothed and lying on the floor sleeping.

I got distracted by the sound of Clockwork Orange style opera being sung and a woman screaming. There she was, this half naked buxom woman jumping from the staircase into a giant foam bed. I must admit I read this performance wrong, as I thought she was Kira O Reilly who falls naked and slowly down the stairs, with all her strength showing through her muscular face. But no, I was mistaken and Amanda Coogan is the woman flying to her perch.

Onwards, I was going to write march but my pace had slowed down so much, I revived myself with dried pear slices and strawberries which I put in my pocket as a little snack to have while I walked, not allowed!

The drumming from the basement was incredible Nico Vascellari, who was a singer for the Italian Punk band With Love, pounds away for three hours with a metal drum ringing through the pipes of the Whitworth Gallery, apparently he doesn’t stop there according to Marina, who says he carries on way after the audience have gone home.

There is no doubt that these performance artists are going to new realms within their selves throughout the sixteen days they are journeying.

One of the most fun pieces was the temple where I approached Fedor Palov-Andreevich and fed him pistachio nuts, whilst he spat the bits at me and I stared at his grey tongue. This is a re-enactment of a a Soviet engineer who survived for 20 days having an artificial body attached to his head. Fedor’s mouth appears through a hole in the temple known as the glory hole,and we the willing participants can feed him nuts, avocado, brush his teeth and give him soya milk. I’m not convinced the engineer would have received quite the same diet, it was a weird experience.

Two pieces downstairs Eunhye Hwang dancing and interacting with static from the radio and I think she threw green jelly about.

 An impressive Scottish guy Alastair MacLennan, who looks truly Alastairian, sat with two pairs of specs on his head for the 3 hours whilst holding a giant log with babies odd shoes on the end. There is a long mound of soil and pigs ears and heads surrounded by shoes. For some reason when I was there I never interpreted this piece as a graveyard and I only clicked when Terry Christian said on the Culture Show that he found this piece especially moving for that reason.

Another naked lady,Yingmei Duan, grimaces, stoops and brushes her pubic hair against whoever’s sat in her route, all in the name of exploring human instincts.

I Love You through glass moved me. Melati Suryodarmo, was the first piece I sat down to and saw that in order to appreciate the experience of the performances you had to slow down and really look.

I’ll mention Ivan Civic, though this was the piece that did the least for me. He climbs a projection video of his return to Sarajevo. It was like a club chill out space later on in the show and attracted quite a lot of people sitting on the stairs. I wasn’t too sure that they just didn’t want to watch the naked lady without getting her pubes brushed in their face.

I think I’ve nearly mentioned all, except one piece that really grew on me. Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, who is a sculptress who explore making shapes and exhibits out of simple things such as paper, fire and sand. She looked like a Icelandic folk singer, but she is French and silent.


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