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The Manchester Weekender

Forty-eight hours of art, culture, music, film, food, festivals, literature, walks, politics, poetry, photography, theatre and spectacle all wrapped up into a single weekend.

The Manchester Weekender is a weekend-long snapshot of some of the best of Manchester’s art and culture. From 1-3 October 2010, The Manchester Weekender stages a series of one-off, intimate events that sum up the city, pairing international artists, musicians, festivals and writers with some of the city’s most beautiful settings. And it does this for one weekend only – forty-eight hours of some of the most unusual cultural experiences found anywhere within the UK.

Timed to mark the launch of Abandon Normal Devices (AND) and Recorders: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at Manchester Art Gallery, The Manchester Weekender features the following highlights and with more to be announced:

AND Festival launch. After its smash-hit inaugural year in Liverpool last Autumn, this year’s Abandon Normal Devices comes to Manchester. A festival of new cinema and digital culture, it includes the UK premiere of Turner Prize winning artist Gillian Wearing’s first feature-length film, Self Made. New commissions from a clutch of internationally renowned artists, filmmakers and cultural provocateurs includes Phil Collins in a continuation of his critically acclaimed work Marxism Today. Vacuum packed and vertically suspended volunteers feature in artist Laurence Malstaff’s latest live performance while temporary outdoor cinemas pop up across the city. Midnight Mass from New York drag artist Peaches Christ will encourage bad cinema and even worse behaviour!

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at Manchester Art GallRafael Lozano-Hemmerery. A major new exhibition of interactive digital artworks by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, including the world premiere of a large-scale installation People on People a co-commission with AND festival and at least four specially adapted interactive artworks that have never been shown publicly in England before, including the seminal Pulse Room, the artist’s contribution to the Mexican Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2007.

Manchester by water. A family boat party that connects the Manchester Ship Canal with the River Irwell; that puts food by one of the Northwest’s top chefs, Robert Owen Brown, on the menu; that links up one of Salford’s finest pubs, the Mark Addy, with two of Manchester finest museums (MOSI and the People’s History Museum); and that takes you from one city to its sister – Manchester to Salford – finishing up at one of the UK’s top ten architectural sights: Daniel Libeskind’s Imperial War Museum North.

Krysko & Kashiwagi. A one-off gig, that’s part performance art and part club night, all taking place in the distinctly unusual setting of The Whitworth Art Gallery. DJ Matthew Krysko (The Warehouse Project/Sankeys/Tribal Gathering) and the award winning performance artist Naomi Kashiwagi use the Victorian gallery as the backdrop for a new collaborative work that combines electronic music with wind-up gramophones, and 70 year-old shellac records with the latest in digital DJ technology.

Guestrant. Out of the suburbs, one of Manchester’s best kept pub-and-dining secrets runs its famously fabulous Guestrant, in a secret location. Electrik is the bar in Chorlton run by Electric Chair/Electric Elephant DJ duo Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford. The concept sees a talented local chef visit the bar to cook a surprise three-course meal for one night only. Intimate, unusual and communal, each Guestrant is a chance to sample food by top name chefs and get-to-know-your-neighbours.

‘Close Up’ featuring Jonathan Franzen. The celebrated American novelist Jonathan Franzen heads to the Whitworth Art Gallery to read from his latest novel, Freedom, as part of an ‘in conversation’ event with DJ/writer Dave Haslam.

The Land Between Us. The Land Between Us brings historic and contemporary art together on equal terms to engage with today’s notions of landscape and identity. Works by artists including Nikhil Chopra, Olafur Eliasson, Cyprien Gaillard and Larissa Sansour and Rachel Whiteread, come together with others from The Whitworth Art Gallery’s extensive historic collection, from William Holman Hunt to Samuel Palmer and J.M.W. Turner. It will be the first time that the Whitworth has shown all 50 Turners in its collection at the same time.

Creative Manchester Map.  A specially commissioned creative map of Manchester, designed by the artist-activist organisation Manchester Design Corporation with Laura Mansfield, the map plots project spaces, temporary, artist-led and mainstream galleries, contemporary arts organisations, artists’ studios, independent publications and curatorial groups – all those shadowy, often unknown agencies whose collective might provides much of Manchester’s creative capital. Walking tours all weekend take in not just art and culture but the cafes, bars and festivals that run simultaneously during the Weekender – the perfect way to enjoy the city’s hard-to-find and underground arts scene. The map coincides with the launch of Creative Tourist’s new iPhone app. – a guide to the art and culture of Manchester.

Urban wandering. From a sensory tour where families get to taste, hear, smell, see and touch Manchester to unusual creative activities ending in an urban picnic, and from psychogeography and parkour tour to the hidden museums collections and artefacts held in the city’s museums, galleries and archives. This series of tours explore Manchester with intelligence, wit, creativity and in some cases athletic prowess.

Postcards from Manchester. Don’t just visit Manchester – imagine it. As part of Manchester Literature Festival, the acclaimed and award winning poets Mandy Coe and John Siddique will be at Manchester Museum writing and helping visitors to write, poetry postcards, a unique way to capture the sights, sounds and smells of the city.

Hidden Manchester. A guided walk created and led by Manchester’s most popular guide, the broadcaster and historian Jonathan Schofield, especially for the Manchester Weekender. Schofield leads a very special, secret tour to one of the city’s most spectacular, but rarely seen by the public, buildings.

Beating Wing Orchestra at Imperial War Museum North. Best known for their sell-out performances at Manchester International Festival, Beating Wing Orchestra brings together artists from across Manchester’s musical spectrum, and from communities as diverse as Kurdistan and Cameroon, Bangladesh and Brazil, into joyful and life-affirming performances.

Black electronica. Contact Theatre hosts a three-day music, dance and arts festival that focuses on the influence of black music within the UK. Launching as part of the Manchester Weekender, Friday includes an evening of black electronica, while Saturday features a live dance link-up with New York.

Participating individuals, organisations and festivalsThe AND Festival, Beating Wing Orchestra, Castlefield Gallery, Chinese Arts Centre, Clarion Cycling Club, Contact Theatre, Cornerhouse, CUBE, Dave Haslam, Electriks, Family Friendly Film Festival, Imperial War Museum North, John Rylands Library, Jonathan Schofield, The Lowry, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Comedy Festival, Manchester Design Corporation, Manchester Food & Drink Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Manchester Literature Festival, The Manchester Museum, Manchester Science Festival, The Mark Addy, MOSI, NICE Festival, The People’s History Museum, Robert Owen Brown, Studiomama, Un-convention, Whitworth Art Gallery, 24:7 Theatre Festival.


The Manchester Weekender is organised by Manchester Museums Consortium and Creative Tourist.

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Industrial Revolutionaries: People who shaped the Modern World

“The eyes of the working classes are now fully opened, they begin to cry: Our St. Petersburg is at Preston!” Karl Marx, 1854

Curators at The Harris in Preston are busy putting together a fantastic exhibition which looks at the people in Preston who helped shape the world we live in today.

Industrial Revolutionaries opens 26 June until 6 November 2010

Employee worker relations, child labour, alcohol and the need for temperance, impending elections with surprise results, penal reform, and economic success for our manufacturing industries; the very issues that concern us in 2010 were preoccupying the people of Preston 150 years ago. People in Preston created a new industrial world and then fought to redress the problems of inequality caused by industrialisation through radical social reform and political activism. Preston is a microcosm for understanding the North West of England’s industrial pioneers and their ideas; ideas that shaped the modern world.

Lock-out and strike cartoon 1853-54 (courtesy Lancashire Record Office)

Teetotal teapot - Preston is the birthplace of teetotalism where Joseph Livesey in 1832 started his Temperance Movement, requiring followers to pledge total abstinence. Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Industrial Revolutionaries is a major new temporary exhibition at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston. It spans 150 years with the key personalities and the movements they created– its influence, its history and its global impact – revealed through over 70 objects including portraits, major loans and key collection items, some newly conserved and on display for the first time.

Multi-sensory and hands-on, the exhibition puts people’s stories at the forefront.  Visitors will discover the connection between familiar historical figures and lesser-known individuals. They will see how the actions of these people in Preston contributed to the Industrial Revolution:

Sir Richard Arkwright: Preston-born inventor of the water-frame, entrepreneur and developer of the factory system, Arkwright rose to become the richest commoner in the country.

Charles Dickens: author and social commentator, who visited Preston during the lock-out and strile of 1853, no doubt influencing his novel Hard Times.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were also writing about these events and asking will Preston be a test case for proletarian revolution?

Elizabeth Gaskell, author with a social agenda, influenced by events during the lock-out and strike of 1853-54. She fictionalised Preston weaver and orator George Cowell in her novel North and South.

Joseph Livesey: Champion of the poor and temperence campaigner.

Henry Hunt: Preston’s first radical MP and people’s hero.

Father Joseph ‘Daddy’ Dunn: Well respected and affectionately nick-named, he pioneered Preston’s achievement of being the first gas-lit town in Britain.

Rev. John Clay: Prison chaplain and reformer in the fields of crime and public health

Annie Hill: Half-time child mill worker and unusual in the fact that her portrait was painted by artist Patti Mayor

John and Samuel Horrocks: industrial innovators who developed the Yard Works and created Britain’s largest cotton-manufacturing company and factory with world-wide connections and influences.

Horrockses Yard Works mill model made by Horrockses employees in 1913 for the occasion of the Royal Visit to Preston. Harris Museum & Art Gallery

This brilliant and thought-provoking exhibition also animates one of the museum’s social history collection’s most iconic objects – the Horrockses Yard Works model, a large scale model of a cotton mill. Forerunner of the multinationals, Horrockses was by 1913 Britain’s largest cotton manufacturer with a huge global network. Visitors will experience the world behind the scenes at the enormous mill complex through digital interpretation.

Other exhibits include Joseph Wright of Derby’s portrait of Richard Arkwright, a portrait of Henry Hunt MP, a Tee-Total teapot, the newly conserved tram wagon, Preston Prison whipping horse, specially recorded versions of street ballads plus unseen footage of Preston in North West Film Archive by local filmmakers Will Onda and Mitchell & Kenyon.

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