The "Most Ambitious Recurrent Exhibition of Contemporary Art in the UK" is coming to Manchester this Week

Landmark exhibition - the British Art Show 9 - will commence on Friday 27th May...

By Manchester's Finest | 23 May 2022

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The British Art Show is recognised as the most pertinent and ambitious recurrent exhibition of contemporary art produced in the UK, taking place every five years and bringing the work of some of the most exciting contemporary artists to Castlefield Gallery, HOME, Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth.

This presentation will also mark the return of the British Art Show to Manchester which originally hosted British Art Show 4 in 1995 and British Art Show 6 in 2006.

British Art Show 9 is curated by Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar and focuses on work made since 2015. The exhibition reflects a precarious moment in Britain’s history, which has brought politics of identity and nation, concerns of social, racial and environmental justice, and questions of agency to the centre of public consciousness.

The artists presented in the exhibition respond in critical ways to this complex context. Through their works, they imagine new futures, propose alternative economies, explore new modes of resistance and find ways of living together. They do so through film, photography, painting, sculpture, and performance, as well as through multimedia projects that don’t sit easily in any one category.

The exhibition is structured around three main themes – Healing, Care and Reparative History, Tactics for Togetherness, Imagining New Futures – and has been conceived as a cumulative experience, adapting and changing for each city, and presenting different combinations of artists and artworks that respond to their distinctive local contexts.

In Manchester, the exhibition will showcase 19 artists whose works directly address BAS9’s three main curatorial themes.

Abi Caroline Walker, Midday, Brixton, 2017

Their projects aim to extend our understanding of identity to beyond the human, often blurring the boundaries between art and life. Through their works, they propose alternative futures, economies and ways of living together.

The presentation will feature many ambitious immersive installations, five new works and two new commissions made specifically by artists in response to local histories and cultures in Manchester.

Oliver Beer, Composition for Mouths (Songs My Mother Taught Me) I, 2018

Anne Hardy, Liquid Landscape, 2018

Hammad Nasar and Irene Aristizábal, Curators of British Art Show 9, said:

“We are pleased to present the third iteration of BAS9 in Manchester. In their response to our complex times, the work of BAS9 artists showing in Manchester deploys art’s capacity to be multiple things at once – imagining more hopeful futures, employing historical inquiry as a form of repair and exploring new modes of resistance.”

“We support the different positions of resistance that have been articulated by BAS9 artists – the withdrawal of participation and the amplification of voices in solidarity with Palestine – and share the artists’ call for reparative action. “

Katie Schwab, A Working Building, 2019

Joey Holder, Semelparous, 2020

“We are committed to BAS9 being a platform for action and exchange, and for these, and other difficult but important conversations BAS artists are engaged with, to move beyond the realm of the visual arts into the wider public sphere in Manchester and beyond.”

For a list of all of the events and exhibitions taking place for British Art Show 9, head over to their website for detailed listings…

British Art Show 9