True Faith / Manchester International Festival

Warmest greetings from sunny Manchester! Here in the city it’s the festival season and we have lots of nice books on the work of the artists, writers and curators involved in the festivities (click the highlighted links to see).

This year’s Manchester International Festival (MIF) opened with the vibrant communal explosion of, What Is The City But The People? Apparently it started as an idea by Turner Prize winning artist, Jeremy Deller and subsequently blossomed into a celebration of Manchester People, created by The People. From cultural icons to community heroes, young and old, friends and strangers all gathered together on a big cat-walk in the city’s Piccadilly Gardens, proudly strutting their stuff to a hungry crowd of thousands. The event was big, bold and Manchester through-and-through.

‘True Faith is a terrific, somnolent and exhilarating exhibition’ – ***** Adrian Searle, The Guardian

A highlight in the MIF 2017 programme (and arguably of the whole art calendar year) is the exhibition, True Faith at Manchester Art Gallery. A perfect blend of art, music and design, it’s a special homage to the city’s iconic and influential bands, Joy Division and New Order. It’s beautifully curated and is already getting great reviews (in particular, Adrian Searle’s praise is a must-read). A cornucopia of video, fashion, sculpture, graphic design, photography and mouth-watering archival material, this show is not to be missed, especially for fans of the bands’ music.

True Faith comprises the work of of 40 internationally renowned artists, designers and filmmakers including, John Baldessari, Martin Boyce, Dexter Dalwood, Linder Sterling, Liam Gillick, Jeremy Deller, Barbara Kruger, Scott King, Mark Leckey, Julian Schnabel, and Lawrence Weiner. Whether commissioned (back-in-the-day) to make concert posters or music videos, or simply having the urge to create paintings or sculptures inspired by the both bands, they all reveal a passion for this unique musical vision.

From the late 1970s, onwards into the 80s and 90s, revered designer/artist, Peter Saville was instrumental in creating the sophisticated aesthetic ethos of the, now, legendary cultural renaissance of Manchester (particularly through his work with Factory Records and Tony Wilson). So, it’s rather fitting that Saville’s work pervades the True Faith exhibition, and his role in art direction shines through in the final design of what is a really slick catalogue.

The catalogue includes texts by the curators, Matthew Higgs, Jon Savage, and music culture archivist Johan Kugelberg, plus additional writing from renowned art writer/critic, Michael Bracewell, among others. We are thrilled to be the distributor of this publication and it’s IN STOCK now, so  grab yourself a copy!

Other new notable MIF17 commissions and events include…

Globally influential British conceptual artist, Liam Gillick collaborates with New Order on, ∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) which is a series of intimate concerts at the Old Granada Studios (soon to be the site of the new FACTORY). Here, Gillick creates a dynamic and immersive installation which resonates with the band’s distinctive sound and history.

Tackling the world’s problems head-on, through a series of provocative discussions with leading female experts in different fields (science, politics, activism, culture, etc.) the artist Yael Bartana asks us, What if Women Ruled The World?

Chinese artist, Samson Young is having a busy year. Not only is he representing Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale, he’s also bringing his Field Bagatelles: a radio composition in five episodes to Manchester. During the festival this is broadcast on BBC Radio and will be followed by a sound/video installation at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art.

Closing MIF17 is the audacious performance, Ceremony conceived by Turner Prize shortlisted artist, Phil Collins. This radical, historic and monument(al) event will bring Friedrich Engels (philosopher and radical thinker) back home to the city where Socialism was born.

Phew! It’s always easy to overdose on culture at the Manchester International Festival. We’re looking forward to a two-year rest. Of course, until the next one!



Image credit: True Faith, New Order (detail), designed by Peter Saville, 1987
Posted on 7th July 2017
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