The Icelandic ash cloud of 2010 brought many parts of the world to a halt, and showed international societies just how fragile our technological networks really are. Despite unbelievably advanced machinery and the ease of travel in our modern world, nature usually always wins. For those stranded in foreign destinations across the globe, the easy option may have been to panic, and spend what was essentially an extended holiday just trying to find a way home. The new exhibition Under That Cloud at Manchester Art Gallery showcases work from 18 international artists, all of which were stranded in Mexico City during the air travel standstill. Fascinatingly, they have all chosen jewellery as a way to manifest their responses to the crisis, as well as their experiences of Mexico and its culture.
‘Everything Is Happening At Once’ at The Cornerhouse, Manchester, is the first solo UK exhibition by Asian artist Rashid Rana. Rana’s work explores how physical realities and social practises affect our culture and identity. He is also particularly interested in the contrasts we find in everyday life. This interest manifests itself in the exploration of both two dimensional and three dimensional fields found in the artist’s pieces. Rana uses a mixture of both micro and macro images in his work, which surrounds the idea of whole vs. fragment that many of the pieces in this exhibition embody. He uses the theme of abstraction as the core of his artwork, however his techniques are not abstract.
It is by the ghostly light of Daniel Rozin’s Snow Mirror that one entersDark Matters at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester. This haunting new exhibition is an amalgamation of digital installations, paintings, film and a variety of other media, all of which have a dark and mysterious undertone. All the works explore themes of shadows, memory, solitude, loss, mystery and magic, as well as how mechanical and scientific developments are increasingly having an impact on visual culture. What could once only be experienced by a paranormal encounter can now be recreated with technology, however the major pieces within the Dark Matters exhibition still maintain that initial magic and wonder that came with the first optical inventions.