Metrolife. Exhibitions | Manchester
Collaboration the key
by RICHARD SMIRKE - Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Born out of an intense two-week collaboration between 11 Manchester-based artists and the same number from Helsinki, Swap/Vaihto is an exhibition that aims to explore ideas of cultural identity and the collaborative process.
All of the work on display was created in residence at Bureau gallery prior to the exhibition's opening and the wide variety of artistic practices present reflects the different artists taking part, with video and audio works, sculpture and drawing all included.
Taking centre stage is Turbo Folk, a beautifully beguiling 3D installation by Jonne Pitkänen and Tom Watson. Made entirely from found objects, the sculpture adopts the form of an abstract recycled robot, brimming with personality and complete with antlers and a Dalek-like plunger.
Reflecting his interest in drama, Juhana Moisander contributes a spooky hypnotic wall projection, which sees the artist wearing a face mask and slowly drawing a gun ad infinitum. Another standout exhibit is a series of exquisitely crafted small-scale card creatures from Samantha Donnelly.
Surprisingly, all of the works fit together well, with the organic nature of the project apparent in every piece. Due to the collaborations that inform each work any comment on the issue of cultural identity is largely absent, but this is still a strong group exhibition that successfully explores migratory art practice.
Until Aug 9, Bureau, Islington Mill, James Street, Salford, Wed to Sat noon to 5pm, free. Tel: 07757 956555. www.bureaugallery.com