Niklas Goldbach, HABITAT C3B (still), 2008. Film. Courtesy of the artist.

October 17, 2014

22 November 2014–15 March 2015

70 Oxford Street
Manchester M1 5NH

Playtime will be Cornerhouse‘s final exhibition before reopening as HOME in a new 25 million GBP arts centre in 2015. For this momentous occasion, nine international artists pay homage to Cornerhouse’s legacy, with work inspired by its iconic triangular building and director Jacques Tati’s 1967 masterpiece Playtime

Tati’s film is famous for its enormous specially constructed set, elaborate sight gags and unconventional use of sound. Artists will take these themes as point of departure to explore architecture, physical comedy, space and sound. 

Live performance is central to the exhibition and three performances will take place the opening weekend. At the preview on Friday 21 November, Lawrence Abu Hamdan—whose latest body of research is dedicated to understanding the role of voice and testimony—will perform a live audio essay that questions the ways in which we speak, listen and are heard today. This will be followed by a performance by Andy Graydon, involving his ongoing project Untitled (plate tectonics) (2009–onwards). On Saturday 22 November, Naomi Kashiwagi’s new commission Puffin Crossing Carousel (2014) will transform the junction outside Cornerhouse into a gleeful merry-go-round, as knowing and everyday participants perform choreographed movements to Francis Lemarque’s song “L’opéra des jours heureux.”

Playtime will culminate in The Storming (2015), a new celebratory performance devised by Humberto Vélez. Audiences will mix with Manchester’s diverse cultural and artistic communities as they descend on Cornerhouse in a mass parade, before storming the entrance and filling the building for a final spectacular party. 

The exhibition also features several new commissions. In Gabriel Lester’s Bouncer (2014), a maze-like succession of swing doors will snake through Gallery 1, inviting audiences to complete a comedic obstacle course. Jan St. Werner will create Molecular Hypnotics (2014), an environment filled with light, shadows and an electronic soundtrack featuring the voice of The Fall’s Mark E. Smith. A set of swings will be installed in the gallery for Naomi Kashiwagi’s Swing Time (2014). Swinging will trigger sensors that play pre-recorded outdoor sounds, turning the gallery into a playful, participatory space. 

Niklas Goldbach, Shannon Plumb and Rosa Barba each present new versions of existing work spanning video, performance and installation.

Playtime is curated by Sarah Perks, Artistic Director at Cornerhouse and HOME. HOME will open in spring 2015, in a purpose-built centre for international contemporary art, theatre, film and books.

Cornerhouse presents Playtime
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October 17, 2014

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