Grayson Perry at Manchester Art Gallery, Freitag at Common, Bureau Gallery’s latest exhibition, an arts market, 50 original prints for £50, a Victorian camera and anime at greenroom: just a few of the things to do in Manchester (and yes, Liverpool) this week
“It’s a healthy moment for art.” The big news this week (apart from Cornerhouse’s £19m new home, that is) is that Manchester is now the proud owner of two works by Grayson Perry. Thanks to the Art Fund and two Manchester families, the Goldstones and Livingstones (who I really must put on my Christmas card list), Manchester Art Gallery has purchased one of Perry’s most recent ceramic vases, Jane Austen in E17, and one of his first etchings, Print for a Politician. The vase in particular is a Perry classic, combining images of genteel Georgian ladies with sinister photographic transfers that hint at street crime. We have long been a fan of Mr. Perry, not least because of his refreshing take on the state of the art world right now. “We’ve got a Conservative government to fight against, and we’ve got no money,” he wrote earlier this year. “It might not feel it if you are a young artist leaving college, but, aesthetically and conceptually, this is a really healthy moment for art.” Here’s hoping. The works go on display at Manchester Art Gallery in February.
Seer’s catalogue. Bureau gallery keeps on churning out art shows with exhausting regularity, with the latest a solo exhibition by Dave Griffiths, the artist and curator currently overseeing Cornerhouse’s excellent Unspooling show. His own exhibition features a series of print, moving image and lightbox-based works. Griffiths is fascinated by the history of cinema – his ‘process’ involves reviewing hundreds of archived film clips and re-editing sections to create new, thought-provoking work that questions our relationship with both new and old cinematic media. Seer’s Catalogue, Bureau, 27 November-29 January 2011, free (gallery closed 19 Dec-12 Jan).
Listen up. If all this art is just, like, too cerebral, you can count on Common to provide you with some light musical relief. This Friday, Benjamin Yourself takes to the decks as part of free-ranging music night Freitag and, as usual, anything goes. According to the blurb, this is an “excursion of musical wonderment joining the dots between Kraut, Baltimore Club, House, Indie, Electro, Outsider Pop, Disco, Cosmic Nonsense and forgotten gems.” Bouncy. Get a flavour of Yourself’s mixing skills here. Common, Edge Street, 26 November, 9pm-2am. £2.
Liverpool winter artists’ market. Fear not, we wouldn’t normally send you to Liverpool to do your Christmas shopping – we’re pretty sure Manchester has got it covered on the retail front. But “Liverpool’s largest-ever arts market” may be worth the trip to Liverpool. Saturday’s one-day event is held within the majestic setting of St. George’s Hall (one of the city’s finest neo-Classic buildings, right opposite Lime Street Station) where 80 or so artists and designer-makers will be selling their wares, ranging from jewellery and painting to textiles, prints and vintage bits and bobs. Plus, there’s a café set underneath the vast, overhanging antique organ, which possibly the best (or at least most unusual) location in Liverpool to have a cup of tea. Winter Arts Market, St. George’s Hall, Saturday 27 November, 10am-5pm, £1.
50×50. Another one-day market, this time back on home turf. On Thursday, Slaughterhouse Studios hosts 50×50, a first come, first served sale of 50 one-off photographic prints by 50 different photographers. The price? £50 a pop. Alongside runs the intriguing documentary exhibition, Anatomy of an Institution. The star of the show is a restored Victorian camera, one found abandoned in a skip and painstakingly restored by two MMU lecturers, Gavin Parry and David Penny. The pair spent five years bringing the 115 year-old camera back into use and even now it needs two people and 15 minutes to set up – clearly, the concept of a “quick snap” was something the Victorians just didn’t get. The images on display feature students, academics and university workers and, says Perry, recreate some of the “magic and wonder that existed in early Victorian portrait studios” (the wonder being that anyone managed to pose for 15 minutes while the camera did its thing). A free exhibition that borders on obsessive dedication – what’s not to like? 50×50, The Holden Gallery, MMU, Thursday 25 November, 9.50am-8.50pm. Anatomy of an Institution, The Holden Gallery, MMU, until 15 December, free.
I’m turning Japanese, I really think so. Lastly, fans of Japanese animation and sub-culture rejoice: we’ve just found out about a new night at greenroom that features a whole evening of the stuff. Run by the North West England Anime Group, an organisation “dedicated to bringing together fans of Japanese animation, graphic art and pop culture”, the NanimeW night includes two animated shorts, one live action film and three Japanese DJs – all for the princely sum of, er, naff all. NanimeW, greenroom, Wednesday 1 December, 7.30pm-11.30pm, free.
Words: Susie Stubbs. Images (top to bottom): Anatomy of an Institution, Gavin Parry & Dave Penny; Seers Catalogue, Dave Griffiths; Samuel Body/50×50; David Penny/50×50.