Created by the acclaimed German artist and composer Heiner Goebbels, Everything that happened and would happen is a new large-scale work which explores 120 years of European history. This monumental new work is being presented with Manchester International Festival as a trailblazer event ahead of the new world-class arts space – The Factory – being developed in Manchester.
Set on the historic and vast Mayfield site, a historic former railway station close to Piccadilly station, Everything that happened and would happen is part-performance and part-construction site. It’s a reenactment of history, always on the verge of collapse – only to be rebuilt as if nothing had happened. The work features twenty performers and musicians and fuses live music, performance and large-scale multimedia installations to create a vast and shifting landscape inside the industrious Mayfield.
The work has been developed as part of 14-18 NOW in a co-commission with Artangel, Park Avenue Armory and Ruhrtriennale and takes a non-linear view of European history from the First World War to the present day.
John McGrath, CEO and Artistic Director of MIF, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Artangel again, as well as 14-18 NOW, to premiere Heiner Goebbels’ extraordinary new work in Manchester. As a meditation on European history, presenting it within the wonderfully atmospheric space of the Mayfield, historically a site of passage and connection, seems highly apt. For audiences, it will offer a hint of the exciting work that will be made and experienced when we open The Factory.”
Each performance of Everything that happened and would happen will last approximately two and a half hours and the audiences will be invited to explore the space and experience the work from a range of different vantage points. Everything that happened and would happen has been inspired by Patrik Ouředník’s 2001 book Europeana; scenic elements from Goebbels’ 2012 staging of John Cage’s Europeras; and a different daily feed from TV channel Euronews’ No Comment, which utilises raw camera footage of the news, without commentary or mediation.
Manchester International Festival has commissioned, produced and presented world premieres from Marina Abramović, Damon Albarn, Björk, Punchdrunk and Boris Charmatz amongst many others; now that planning is underway for MIF19, we’re excited to see more extraordinary commissions from around the world.
We’re also waiting for further announcements on The Factory, the new £110 million international cultural space being developed in the heart of Manchester. The Factory promises to be a place where audiences will encounter the unexpected and where artists will truly love to work. Manchester meet the world.