As you enter the space (a bare ground-floor office opposite Piccadilly Railway Station- MAP) the first thing you see is two buckets dangling just off the floor. On the ropes suspending them are inverted bottles of water, with nozzles that release a droplet every few seconds. The “plink” of droplets reverberates as you walk around the cavernous space. It’s an effective way of getting you to think about the passage of time (and time running out!).
This piece, called “Call and Response”, and for me it was the highlight of a small temporary exhibition put on by the “Life Friendly Collective.” Here’s their blurb;
Water is vital to life: we depend on it for our survival. Yet we pollute it, disrupt it, waste it and fear it. 3 Days Without Water examines our relationship with water and its dynamic properties which can be both life-enhancing and destructive.
Works include a water garden, sound installation and live events such as a smell walk this Friday 1pm – 2pm (see blog for details:
Thu 23rd Aug: 2.30pm – 7.30pm
Fri 24th Aug: 12.30pm – 5.30pm
Sat 25th Aug: 12.30pm – 5.30pm
In an alcove, another installation aims to talk about the passage of time – and of hope. “Somewhere in the Middle” by “Squirrel Nation” is
“The archive of a flood victim who found shelter in a retail unit during the 2043 floods that engulfed Manchester.
“Audiences are invited to explore the archive which shifts from a blog to the walls of the shelter as the inhabitant loses electricity, internet and water.”
Manchester’s history with water is, of course, fascinating. And its present and future look pretty busy too. The “climate angle” is – in the art works if not the publicity – slightly tenuous. There are specific issues – around drought and flooding, around private ownership of utilities (I am just old enough to remember when these things got privatised), around north-south “exchanges” (both within England and globally) that could usefully have been explored. While there are a couple of interesting pieces, and the exhibition is worth viewing, this seems unlikely to rock anyone’s world(view).
Picture Credit: Maya Chowdhry