Posts Tagged 'critique'

Funeral Procession for the Death of Public Services Manchester Mule Article

After my talk at the funeral, I was interviewed by Manchester Mule (click for the full article). This is an exerpt:

Louise Woodcock, a local artist speaking at the event, said to MULE that the cuts show that the government “doesn’t value art, and are just focusing on things that make money, rather than things that might be meaningful and valuable in other ways.

“We need more meaningful activities and more meaningful forms of communication to make sense of the world, especially when things are difficult – art is how we do that, so at a time like this it’s an essential thing to have in our lives.”

Rosanne Robertson, organiser of the Manchester Artists Bonfire, said the purpose of the event had been partly to bring together artists and other groups of people fighting against the cuts, saying that their concerns “all tie into the same thing: we’re not happy with the way things are and we need an orchestrated response.”

My talk focused on broad ideas about funding for the arts. I discussed the Coalition proposition that we are to accept that the arts should be one of the first things to be cut and that we all have to tighten our belts in this time of recession. I discussed the fact that we are being asked to believe that it’s our responsibility, the people on the street, to make sacrifices to help the ruined economy, not the people who caused the damage. I discussed how the Roosevelt government during the Great Depression in the US during the 1930’s poured money into the arts and other public services. I talked about how the American art establishment and economy is still reaping the benefits of movements like Abstract Expressionism which could not have thrived without early support from the ‘New Deal‘ strategy. I discussed the fact that Orson Welles Macbeth, featuring black actors in lead roles from Harlem would not have happened. I discussed the need for art in our lives especially at a time when we have little resources and feel an urgent need to communicate and to express ourselves, to make sense of the world.

Rosanne Robertson’s talk focused more on the local issues around the cuts especially to the Greenroom and the Castlefield Gallery who are both about to lose all their arts council funding. Rosanne also discussed the need we have for art in a broad sense as well as locally.

Womb performed after Rosanne and I spoke. We used Indian Singing Bowls, used the coffins as percussion and wailed. This was Rosannes first performance with us. Rosanne played the stylaphone. The mood felt sombre but celebratory. There was a definite feeling of positivity, of not of giving up. Someone joined in on a trumpet playing the Funeral March and people clapped along with us.

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Exhibition: A Map of You at Text Festival, Bury.

I am over the moon to announce I have been asked to exhibit some of my collage series, ‘Leftovers’ at the Text Festival in Bury, Greater Manchester. This is from the site:

The Text Festival in Bury is an internationally recognised event investigating contemporary language art (poetry, text art, sound and media text, live art). Opening on 29 April 2011, the next Festival will be its third manifestation and run into July.

Against the background of global stylistic multiplicity, the use of language spans many artforms and may even be a unifying field of enquiry, a new definition and a new field of international linguistic art practice and dialogue. The Bury Festival is the leading focus of language in 21st Century art.

The Festival specialises in experiments, in new experiences, in performances and exhibitions that mix artforms in ground-breaking combinations that challenge traditional language art boundaries and offer artists a forum for dialogue and exchange of ideas.

Art Monthly commented of the Festival:

“According to Foucault, the singularities that serve
to rupture and renew normative discourse
always emerge from the interstices – in other words, where nobody is looking. Almost certainly nobody was looking
in the direction of Bury for the emergence of this significant project…”

My work will be exhibited in a show curated by Philip Davenport called A Map of You, part of the Text Festival. Tony Trehy is the overall curator of the Text Festival. The show features truly innovative writers and artists from past and present. I’m very moved to be part of it:

Bury’s newest museum opens its fascinating space and collection to interventions and installations secreted as playful gestures and paratactic commentary. The show will feature works by Matt Dalby, Márton Koppány, Liz Colini, Peter Jaeger & Kaz, Bob Cobbing, participants in the Map of You Project and many more.

Curated by:

Phil Davenport

Commissioned by:

Text Festival & Bury Transport Museum

Ticket Prices:

Adult: £2.80; Child: £1.90; Concession: £1.90;Venue:

Bury Transport Museum

Castlecroft Road

Bury

http://www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk/bury-transport-museum-2/

Bury ‘Wakes’ Performance with Jennifer McDonald

The highlight was when this guy started joining in at the end…

The performance clip is around 6 minutes in. A 10 minute video will be uploaded soon.

It was a novel experience performing on a Saturday afternoon in a grand and echoey Victorian art gallery… A bit of a difference to our last performance in a room above a boozy cafe on a Thursday evening.

The layout of the event was like a market with stalls along both sides and artists groups plying their wares. Some were present, some just appearing on small lonely screens on big wooden tables. The cold light of day and the fluidity of people coming in and out and walking around the huge space meant we didn’t feel like we had an audience in the same way as at Fuel. It felt looser. We decided to take our time and play for around half an hour, which we did.

It’s an odd experience performing improvised music/sound as your concept of time changes vastly. It almost feels strained to take your time. You feel you want to throw yourself into it. You do want this to happen, but if it happens too quickly, you don’t explore the sounds enough. You have to have some restraint to get the most out of your playing. I think the Victorian vibe helped keep the wolf from the door. This is sometimes not as enjoyable as just going ‘mental’ but the recordings always prove it pays off. I don’t care too much about the audience as you’ll never please everyone, especially if you try to, but you want to do your best and get the most out of the performance when you do it. That is also for the audiences benefit. I suppose if you please yourself, you can’t not please some. Performance is about playing for me. Art making is about playing. It was great at the end of the performance we got a young chap joining in smashing the bits up and really getting into it. We thought we might have really annoyed the staff at Bury but they were really good about it.

Magnus Quaife made a video that shows a gathering of sorts, although I didn’t really notice much at the time. The video is really well shot and I really want to get it on youtube but I’m a little inept at video technology. I’ll get it done soon.

Sonic Arts Forum – Presentation

I will be presenting and discussing my work this Saturday 22nd May as part of the University of Huddersfield’s Week of Speakers event.

The purpose of this event is to draw upon a wide range of expertise and discuss how the use of sound (and technology) is changing the nature of practice across several different disciplines within the arts.

This is a great opportunity for me to discuss my work with other artists interested in working with sound from a range of backgrounds. I am excited about discussing my work with Sonia Paco-Roochia who comes from a classical musical background.  I am very fond of her work. She uses technology (Max MSP) that is mind boggling to me, but in a very intimate and subtle way, not a big blokey wankfest as is so often the case with such technology.

Unsungfest – Poetry Exhibition at Contact Theatre, Manchester

I’m exhibiting a short film version of my eating words performance piece that I am making in collaboration with filmmaker/artist Helen Shanahan. The show starts on 29th May as part of Unsungfest, a festival celebrating contemporary up and coming poets at the Contact Theatre, near Manchester University. The exhibition part of the event is curated by Michael Wilson, a local poet and member of the Islington Mill Art Academy. I will also be presenting my work in a talk on the opening event between 4 and 6pm.


Louise Woodcock

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