It’s that time of year when international artists and performers descend on the city for over two weeks of performances, exhibitions and experiences. On Thursday 2 July Manchester International Festival opens with 25 events taking place across various venues for what promises to 18 extraordinary days. We take a look at what visual arts events are on offer as part of the Festival.
GERHARD RICHTER AND ARVO PÄRT
MIF is renowned for pairing culturally significant figures and for this years Festival Alex Poots and Hans Ulrich Obrist have brought together artist Gerhard Richter and composer Arvo Pärt. After meeting each other for the first time in 2013 the two artists have produced work that is both inspired and dedicated to one another which will be presented in the Landscape Gallery at the Whitworth.
Richter is known for his influence within the New European Painting movement which emerged in the 1980’s and is typified by works which combine oil painting with new media such as photography and digital media. Working between realism and abstraction, Richter uses oil paint to create paintings that seem to reflect the natural world and an illusion of physical space.
Arvo Pärt is a composers whose work has initiated a change in the way how music is approach both in its interpretation and how it is perceived. Famed for his tintinnabuli compositions he is considered to be a radical and has created a new perspective for how to understand the nature of music which has honored him with the admiration of many.
The exhibition will consist of a suite of four new works from Richter which will be accompanied by Pärt’s composition Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima.
“This is possibly the most ambitious pairing of artists that MIF has yet presented. These giants of their artforms have between them experienced and reflected some of the key moments of the 20th Century and we are profoundly grateful to them for the opportunity to see and hear the results of their creative friendship, born from a meeting that my collaborator Hans Ulrich Obrist and I proposed.”
ED ATKINS PERFOMANCE CAPTURE
Moving away from the more traditional visual arts methods, Ed Atkins will offer a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the production of digital art during the course of MIF. Manchester Art Gallery will host three rooms which will allow visitors the opportunity to see the production process behind a computer generated moving image artwork.
Performance Capture takes its name from a process that records, maps and renders the movements of a performer onto an avatar, who then becomes the digital double for the original performer. The exhibition has been curated by Ed Atkins along with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Alex Poots and will see the performers from across the MIF15 programme be mapped into a single avatar designed by Ed Atikins.
The result will be a film that will focus on a single character, whose appearance and monologue will be an emotional repose to the various homogenising attempts made on us by society. The character will be made up of a seemingly endless procession of personalities and their language will reflect this, shuttling between advertising jargon, business speech and slang.
“Manchester International Festival is becoming an important centre for visual arts, and in this tenth year the visual arts programme is particularly strong. I am very excited about Performance Capture, which will allow visitors to see the development of a major work by this leading digital artist.”
Hans Ulrich Obrist
Manchester International Festival runs from Thu 2 to Sun 19 July in venues across the city centre. For more information and to buy tickets visit www.mif.co.uk.