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Outside the Box

Wendy Jones goes to the Cornerhouse and loves wallowing in chill

Published on October 16th 2007.

Outside the Box

As chance would have it, I came over all a bit ‘l'etranger’ myself last Thursday, even before I had set foot in the Cornerhouse. This exhibition has many works, so I’ve looked at mainly at two – or maybe two and a half. Lev Manovich and Andreas Kratky's Absences was, you might say, fuel for the fire, or more fitting, rain-for-the-icicle, or a cold chill for the homeless...anyway, I'm sure you get the idea.

Absences was fuel for the fire, or more fitting, rain-for-the-icicle, or a cold chill for the homeless.

This video image is big, grainy, grey, atmospheric and maybe just a little self-indulgent, but what the hell. We’re all allowed a bit of a wallow now and again.

It's all about being sad, lonely and unloved: a caption slips across the screen telling you “I said I was leaving but nobody asked me to stay” - but we never get to know why. The images that support this joined-up misery are not unusual; fearsome industrial landscapes seen from a train; dark wet streets that echo with the sound of lonely footsteps, but somehow, it works.

Go alone, definitely not with someone who might give the one-raised eyebrow, so you can have a lovely black-and- grey movie weepy moment. You will enjoy it and come out looking all tragic and pale – always a good look.

The second, A Public Space Sculpture, is by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz. Two screens were set up without warning, in New York and Los Angeles, where full size images of people suddenly appeared who could see, hear and speak to each other across both cities. This was 1980 so not a usual happening at all, and it's terrifying. The event gathered momentum as it was shown over several days. Relatives came to find and talk to each other, show their new babies etc but, and I may have become slightly pessimistic of late, I kept thinking of the Twin Towers, or prison camps where you could see what was happening but do nothing to help. The screaming didn't help either I can tell you, but emotional it certainly was so go and see for yourself.

The Half was by 8gg. No, it's not a misprint; it’s a Beijing multimedia duo who made some very nice sit-on-able computer keys that set off talking in Chinese when sat upon. It is totally incomprehensible and not fun, unless maybe you are Chinese.

Things to see aplenty, emotions to get involved in ditto. Go and indulge.

Out of the Box – until November 11 – at Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford StreetManchester, M1 5NH.

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AndyOctober 16th 2007.

Cheers for this; I've got to pop into Manchester tomorrow so I'll have a look at this!

Chris PaulOctober 16th 2007.

Looks like Wendy's missed most of the points in this fascinating show. The first piece is not A piece it is three going on four different hyperlinked non linear narratives. The second piece is AMAZING not TERRIFYING. 27 years ago. Amazing vision then, if now more bog standard. The keyboard thing is great. You have to check and play with all the keys to play the piece.There was a nice optical fibre installation which is absolutely MADE to be nudged. The invigilator however doesn't seem to be in on the artist's idea though at least they're not jabbering at the top of their voices while subtle little films about mongolian eagles are rendered inaudible. that was another time. Who will guard the guards?The series with the red LEDs which you have pictured but not captioned is also kinda fun.

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