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Confidential Readers Visit The Whitworth Art Gallery

Jonathan Schofield and a night with the Influence Machine

Written by . Published on July 15th 2011.

Confidential Readers Visit The Whitworth Art Gallery

CONFIDENTIAL hosted a fine night on Thursday 14 July ferrying well over 120 readers from Albert Square to the Whitworth Art Gallery.

We hadn't wanted people to miss out on the Manchester International Festival shows there, so we thought we'd best help oil the wheels of visiting.

With commentary and prizes up to the gallery, free drinks inside and a return journey to boot a good time was guaranteed. The only shame was that out of the 1800 people who applied we could only take so few. 

Readers got to see part of the moving 1395 Days Without Red about Sarajevo and how the city is still haunted by the violence and terror of the 1990s Balkans conflict.

Guests enjoy free time on the stepsGuests take a breakThere was much appreciation of Catherine Yass's highrise highwire tour de force nine gale as well (you need to go and view this yourself to understand that sentence).

Francis Alys' 'Seven Walks' and Atom Egoyan's 'Steenbeckett' were enjoyed along with works from the Whitworth's collection which added context or simply complemented the above exhibitions, these included pieces from masters such as Rembrandt and Durer.

The reason for the tour was Tony Oursler's 'Influence Machine' in the adjacent Whitworth Park. Unlike the other shows at the Whitworth, live until 4 September, this finishes on Saturday evening. 

Inspired, moved and almost obsessed by Spiritualism and by the invention of the TV by John Logie Baird, Oursler has animated the park with fantastical light and sound projections on trees, buildings and through smoke. Spot the sly mouth appearing out of the smoke below.

Tony Oursler's Influence MachineTony Oursler's Influence Machine

With commentary and prizes on the way to the gallery, free drinks inside and a return journey to boot a good time was guaranteed. The only shame was that out of the 1800 people who applied to Confidential we could only take so few. 

Enjoying the hospitalityEnjoying the hospitalityThere was a real appetite for more of the same with other key or exciting exhibitions as they crop up over the region, at Tate Liverpool maybe, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and across Greater Manchester. Maybe have a stop off for good food too - we like that at Confidential.

Big thanks to the Whitworth for sponsoring the coach and the Whitworth and Manchester International Festival for providing the drinks.

Ben Shorrock, one of our guests, wrote: 'Just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for last night. The Influence Machine was brilliant (once I’d worked out on which side of the smoke to stand on) and the high wire installation was fascinating although it did nothing for my fear of heights. Really glad we didn’t miss them which, inevitably, we would have if you hadn’t have pointed them out. We'd definitely be up for future cultural road trips and as always the narration was great. My thanks for organising and to MIF/Whitworth for funding (free wine is always appreciated).'

Shannon Douglas wrote: 'Thanks for last night. What a great event. Great that it was also a full moon night. I'm telling everyone about the exhibition and the tour-guiding. Please put on some more of these tours. I'd love to find out more about Manchester and I'm sure plenty of others will as well.'

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Jo AllanJuly 15th 2011.

i loved last night

Calum McGJuly 19th 2011.

Thanks, Jonathan. Great evening! (And terrible photo of me, ha ha!) Thanks for arranging and to MIF for the free (delicious) beer. I'll have some more of that tasy Liverpool brew.

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