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Tuesday 7th August: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Levantes Dance Theatre

Method Lab 2011 presented by Greenroom

Reviewed by Fat Roland April 2011

Two Peas Without A Pod (Levantes Dance Theatre)
I Belong To This Band (Kings Of England)
plus: single.com (Sian Williams)

 

I had nearly sown up this review of the Greenroom's regular showcase night Method Lab. Sown it up and tied a little ribbon on top.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

School Bus New York by Liam Spencer

Liam Spencer: Painting from Life

at Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Reviewed by Mark Iddon March 2011

 

The retrospective exhibition of the artist Liam Spencer now on at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery, is a wonderful opportunity to see a range of vibrant impressionistic painting of views which will be familiar to many people living around Manchester and Salford.

 

The exhibition has been at the Rochdale Touchstones Gallery for the last four months and will be moving to Oldham in June. The collection is of his work, over the last 20 years or so, and features his Manchester paintings, and work from visits to Andaluci, Beijing, Istanbul and New York. There are many paintings from his private collection (earlier in his career), and key works on loan from private collectors along with new work including views of Chapel Street, Blackfriars, Salford Cathedral, Kings Head in Salford, and the Bridgewater Canal at Worsley.

 

On entering the gallery there are two similar views of Salford Quays, one from 2000, with The Lowry Theatre and Imperial War Museum prominent with a fading industrial backdrop, alongside a recent (2011) view where the above buildings sit beside the rising new Media City building complex with a civilised canal side walkway. The first was painted for an opening exhibition at The Lowry Theatre which brought Liam to the attention of a wider audience as a Manchester artist. Although he would tend to refrain from commissioned work, he was selected to produce paintings of the City of Manchester Stadium for the Commonwealth games in 2002 and the distinctive style of Liam’s work was used in the marketing of the event. Although important in establishing Liam’s status as an artist, they do not feature in this collection and the work shown is of a quality that there is no void where this work should have been.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Anish Kapoor: Flashback

at Manchester Art Gallery until June 5

Reviewed by Dave Porter March 2011

Billed as the first ever major show of Kapoor’s work outside London in more than a decade, this collection does not disappoint. It is not so much the number of sculptures which is impressive – you can scoot round the entire exhibition pretty swiftly – but the sheer scale and breadth of his work which leaves you breathless.

 

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Communicative Capitalism: this is what democracy looks like

'Communicative Capitalism:

this is what democracy looks like'

Public Lecture by Professor Jodi Dean

At International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Reviewed by Simon Belt March 2011

Professor Jodi Dean of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York had been invited by Professor Berthold Schoene and The Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Research (IHSSR) at Manchester Metropolitan University for a week of discussions and a headline Public Lecture entitled 'Communicative Captialism: this is what democracy looks like'. Prior to this lecture, I managed to join Jodi when she led a research workshop on the chapter entitled 'Technology: The Promises of Communicative Capitalism' from her book 'Democracy and other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communicative Capitalism and Left Politics'.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

The Beatles by Harry Hammond

The Birth of British Rock @ The Lowry

Photographs by Harry Hammond

Reviewed by Sara Porter February 2011

This exhibit of over eighty photographs from Hammond’s career as a music photographer is on loan from the V & A collection of over 9000 photographs, and their source perhaps demonstrates the importance that accompanies this record of the development of British music. It is considered to be the definitive photographic collection of the leading British artists and American visiting artists of the fifties and early sixties.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

An installation by David Jacques

David Jacques: The Irlam House Bequest

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2011

 

Another year, another Liverpool celebration!

 

If any city in the world thrives on it's past, it is Liverpool. Whether atoning for the slave trade ("Psst! Wanna buy a guilt trip?) or Ringo ("don't call me 'Ringo'") Starr making a prat of himself when "kick-starting" the year of Capital of Culture in 2008, nothing seems too tacky to present to the outside world.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Ilsa Parry

CING Lecture @ BoConcept

Ilsa Parry: Design trends in a tough climate

Reviewed by Simon Belt February 2011

In late 2009, Liverpool based designer Ilsa Parry made her mark on the nation by competing in BBC 2's Design for Life competition. When she won with her innovative Flo design, Ilsa spent six months at top French designer Philippe Starck’s design studio in Paris.

 

Ilsa has been lecturing as course leader for the BTEC national diploma for 3 dimensional design at Liverpool Community College since late 2007, so it seemed natural for her to be delivering the February Creative Industries Networking Group (CING) lecture.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Nam June Paik - Tate and FACT, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2011

FACT (Foundation For Art & Creative Technology) is one of Liverpool’s success stories, having started out showing films at the Unity Theatre, and now has its own, impressive cinemas and galleries based in Wood Street. FACT is on Wood Street, and is situated amongst bars and nightclubs in some of the city’s side streets, parallel to the more famous Bold Street and just a five minute walk from Central Station.

 

Once it gets dark visitors to Liverpool will need only look up at sky and see the laser arc, commissioned especially for this event, by Peter Appleton, that joins FACT to Liverpool Tate gallery, both of whom are exhibiting works by Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) until 13th March.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Memento ParkCarey Young: Memento Park

Reviewed by Dave Porter February 2011

Cornerhouse presents a major touring solo show by artist Carey Young. Young, who grew up in Manchester and also studied here, is best known for her witty explorations of corporate and legal culture. Using a variety of media including video, photography, text and telephonic systems, Young examines these worlds, altering their language and tools to create fictional and absurd scenarios, which operate midway between performance and installation.

 

The main piece in this rich offering of Carey Young’s work at the Cornerhouse centres on an elephants’ graveyard of Soviet-era statues now huddled forlornly in a park in Budapest. The serenity of the setting and the suburban backdrop provide a jagged relief for Lenin and his comrades whose heroic poses and animated call to arms for the revolution go unnoticed by their verdant surroundings.  They look less like they’re directing a revolution than directing traffic and in one video clip a kitten resting on the giant foot of a Stakhanovite soldier silkily makes her way round to the back of the statue to seek shade, a poignant usage for a now redundant image.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Yesterday's Compositor

New media: the changing face of journalism

Article by Dave Porter January 2011

Journalism – and print media in particular – is in freefall. For most other people and most other professions the internet and the digital age has been a boon, for journalism it has presented its biggest challenge in nearly half a century.

 

Bigger certainly than the switch from hot metal to on-screen page design heralded by Eddie Shah and Murdoch’s Wapping fortress. The main casualties in that scuffle were the compositors – or comps – who had been used to enjoying bigger wages than many of the journalists whose papers they were in charge of printing.

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