Tag Archives: Whitworth Art gallery

Things to do this February with Beer and Art

The People You’re Not: www.cornerhouse.org/people

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: http://portstreetbeerhouse.co.uk/

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: www.manchester.ac.uk/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: twitter.com/quantumbc

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.



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 artnet.com 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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