Grace Schwindt at Site Gallery: Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society

Polly Checkland Harding
People in white body suits pose on a theatre set

One of our Cultural Calendar top picks for 2015, this new film and installation at Site Gallery interrogates ideas around freedom.

It’s an unusual way to see in the New Year: for its opening exhibition of 2015, Site Gallery has co-commissioned a film that explores the radical left wing politics of Germany in the 1960s-70s. German born and London-based artist, Grace Schwindt has used a telephone interview with a former taxi driver and activist as the basis for this new work, titled Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society.

In the feature-length film, the cab driver’s memories of student years influenced by far left political groups are interwoven with performances by eleven dancers, all within a minimalist, theatrical setting. Sets for the film were positioned on a hill overlooking London, where large photographic prints depicting cityscapes, rural landscapes and domestic scenes acted as the backdrop to choreographed dance sequences.

A stripped-back, striking looking exhibition that queries our ideas about freedom

It’s a stripped-back, striking film that queries our ideas about freedom, delving into the ways they have developed and changed over the decades. Displayed in the neighbouring gallery space is a new ceramic work by Schwindt; on the top of a glass plinth sits a delicate porcelain vase at the point of near-collapse. The film and the sculpture together create a provocative pairing, not only visually arresting but also focusing on questions that remain vital in the 21st century – particularly given this week’s harrowing events in France – what does freedom mean, and is still possible to achieve?

Culture Guides

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.

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022

Cinema

Classic pre-Code cinema, the Artist Film Weekender and the music of John Williams are amongst our highlights this month.

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!

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jan Bella

Literature

There’s live literature and book-buying opportunities a-plenty as November unfolds and Manchester – celebrating five years as a UNESCO city of Literature – and the wider North region welcomes some great writers, both in real life and online.

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

Alongside radical sci-fi adaptations and free arts festivals, we take a look at some of the Christmas shows happening in the North.

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
Compass Festival 2022
Activity Until 27 November 2022, FREE

Compass Festival 2022

sunny bank mills
Activity Until 27 November 2022, from £2.00

Sunny Bank Mills Christmas Art & Makers Market

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios