For this exhibition at 4a Piccadilly Place (over the footbridge from Piccadilly Station in Manchester), according to the blurb I picked up, “artists have been invited to respond to the theme Android, originating from the Greek word ‘andro’ meaning man (or human) and ‘eidos’ meaning like or likeness. The inspiration for the show comes from the cult classic Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott (1982) and the futuristic urban dystopia of Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang (1927).”
I went to the preview last Friday to support two friends who had work in the show.
Sandra Bouguerch (extreme left) and Denis Whiteside (4th from left)
Sandra had an audio piece called Retirement. Her elderly father asked questions of Sandra’s Samsung Galaxy S111 phone. Normally you ask for information which it then searches for. This time, however, more personal questions such as ‘Are you alive?’ and ‘Are you a woman?’ were asked with some interesting results from ‘the voice’.
Listening to Sandra’s audio work, Retirement.
Denis uses text a lot in his screenprints. He had written out the soliloquy from the Blade Runner film, but it was written using the pronunciation symbols found in dictionaries. Unfortunately, there was a large window opposite Denis’s print which made it virtually impossible to take a decent photo of the work.
Soliloquy by Denis Whiteside
The state of play regarding photography was even worse on the other side of the ‘gallery’ which was in the ground floor of an as yet un-let new office block, where brilliant evening sunshine poured through the windows giving extreme conditions of contrast.
Paul Dodgson being photographed with his work David on a Plinth
One interesting innovation (at least to me) was that Denis had produced some free screenprints which visitors could take away. Excellent idea!
None of the works had any information next to them. I was fortunate enough to get a list of them together with a plan of the gallery so that they could be identified. I’ve discussed before about how much information should be put with each work in an exhibition, but I feel this was going a little too far.
An example of the problem of this lack of information was a work called ‘Lung – prototype for breathing’ which on my first trip round the show seemed to be a static sculpture of wood with a fish tank of water and various tubes. It was only on a subsequent visit to that part of the gallery that I saw someone swinging the pendulum which caused various other bits to move and water vapour to come out of the two ‘nostrils’ in the wooden board. I’m sorry, but I don’t tend to poke around with sculptures at exhibitions ‘just to see if something happens’.
“Lung” (prototype for breathing) by Anthony Hall
Among the other artists, I particularly liked the work of Ian Irvine.
Two from Ian Irvine’s Hollywood Androids series
Portrait by Jonathan Hood
Gallery visitors in front of work by Joby Williamson
The exhibition is only on for a week and ends on 14th June. More information about the artists and more photographs of the opening night can be found on their WordPress site.