Naomi Kashiwagi’s Puffin Crossing Carousel: It’s Playtime at Cornerhouse

Polly Checkland Harding
Photo of the crossing outside Cornerhouse

We found out why the road junction outside Cornerhouse is soon to be turned into a human carousel…

Cornerhouse’s latest exhibition, Playtime, is spilling out onto the streets. For the opening weekend, Halifax-born, Manchester-based artist Naomi Kashiwagi stages a performance around the busy pedestrian crossing right outside the gallery. In honour of Jacques Tati’s 1967 film Playtime, which inspired the Cornerhouse’s closing exhibition, Kashiwagi has choreographed her own version of the film’s final scene, where an ordinary roundabout becomes a kind of motorised carousel.

An ordinary three-way junction ringing with music, dance breaking out here and there

This time, pedestrians instead of vehicles will turn around the circle of crossings at the intersection between Oxford Street and Whitworth Street. For half an hour only, making it across the road will become less about getting somewhere and more about the artistic experience. Both knowing participants and innocent passersby will be caught up in a kind of ritualised dance, created in collaboration with choreographer Benji Reed and set to Francis Lemarque’s L’opéra de jours heureux (from Tati’s original film score). How exactly this will play out, it’s hard to say – but imagine, for a moment, an ordinary three-way junction ringing with music, dance breaking out here and there, much to the bemusement (and possibly annoyance) of motorists. Now that’s intriguing.

“The extraordinary can become part of or intervene and wonderfully interrupt everyday life,” says the artist of her practice, pointing to an ingeniousness shared with Jacques Tati. But where Tati constructed a monumental film set outside Paris, complete with two steel and concrete buildings, towering trompe l’oeil facades and functional traffic lights, Kashiwagi uses the city itself as her set. And for one day only, you can become part of the production.

Culture Guides

Backyard Cinema

Cinema

It only takes a quick glance at the film listings to realise that Christmas is coming, and quick. We’ve rounded up some of our festive highlights alongside standout seasons and festivals.

Exhibitions

Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry

Families

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean

Literature

There are spooky stories, Christmas crime thrillers and plenty of books for stocking fillers as December unfolds and Manchester and the wider North region switches on the live literature lights.

Music

The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Contemporary cabaret, powerful monologues and world premiere musicals. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre
Families Until 11 December 2022, from £27.00

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre

Music Until 17 December 2022, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

Melissa Wan
Literature Until 17 December 2022, from £7

Ghosts at the Old Library

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 17 December 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Star of Wonder at Theatre Porto
Families 5–21 December 2022, from £0.00

Star of Wonder at Theatre Porto

Cinema Until 22 December 2022, from £20.00

Backyard Cinema