Fire performances and fireworks cover the Whitworth‘s skyline as we gather for its reopening launch night on the 14th February 2015.
A gallery that lay dormant enters 2015 with a phenomenal bang. The new fancy glass extension at the back of the gallery reflects the epic dangerous display that is taking place outside by Whitworth Young Contemporaries (WYC), a performance by an offshoot of the group called ‘Whitworth on fire’. Being immersed in a huge crowd with people from all places, we find ourselves frightened by a group of young people playing with fire as they leap, throw and spin fire in all directions. We seem to admire these young people for not appearing to be afraid of anything. This generates a great adrenaline boost and energy fix for what is to come for the rest of the night!
The energy in the gallery is high tonight! This is reflected in the collection too, with the signature display piece An Exploded View by Cornelia Parker. As we walk upstairs to the grand hall for the second event tonight curated by WYC, the anticipation is very high. A collaboration with Manchester hip hop band The Mouse Outfit reawakens what seemed to be a dormant grand hall steeped in history but now dedicated to performance art. The idea of a rave culture seems to be very present here as I am surrounded by like-minded people of similar ages from the Circuit young people’s groups. The Mouse Outfit own the stage with lyrics that seem to seduce the crowd as we all begin to sweat in the grand hall struggling for fresh air. The event successfully brings people together and breaks down awkward private view boundaries between people.
The night continues to flow as does the music whilst we enter the after party where unfortunately this review ends. Manchester and Whitworth, you have truly pushed the boundaries of what an “epic” opening and a space can be. I will definitely be revisiting next time I am in Manchester.
Text by Gaby S. of Tate Collective London