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Kurt Schwitters work to be celebrated at CUBE

City to host exhibitions, performances and public events in celebration

Published on February 2nd 2011.

Kurt Schwitters work to be celebrated at CUBE

As part of the city wide MERZMAN festival, CUBE, Centre for the Urban Built Environment, have commissioned the Office for Subversive Architecture (OSA) to create a new gallery based installation and off site project to reflect the complex nature of Kurt Schwitters’ Merz architecture. The festival will be showcasing Schwitters’ legacy in modern architecture and contemporary art practice with this new commission bring the evolving sculptural spectacle throughout the gallery and out onto the streets.

Kurt Schwitters was an artist in World War II who fled to the North of England as a refugee from Nazi Germany. His great Elterwater Merz Barn installation in Cumbria was acquired by the LITTORAL Arts Trust in 2006 and is being restored with plans to build a Kurt Schwitters Merzbau museum with facilities for residential and studio artists.

Famed for creating collages out of material found in everyday life, Schwitters worked with bus tickets, old wire, timber and fragments of newsprint to create ‘Merz’ – the name given to his work and technique.

The MERZMAN festival aims to transform the architecture of CUBE using everyday items with visitors being encouraged to bring their own collected materials from the built environment to the gallery. With the public’s help, the installation will grow gradually over three stages (17-19 February, 26-28 February, 25-28 March).

This will be the first time the OSA has built such a site specific installation in a ‘White Cube’ gallery space and they are expected to transform the entire gallery space.

The exhibition aims to utilise these materials provided by the city of Manchester to transform the gallery to help blur the border between existing space and installation. The gallery space will allow an area to become a material store to act as a collection point for these materials linking back to the building’s former life as a warehouse.

The exhibition will run from Friday 18 February to Saturday 16 April with an international conference celebrating Schwitters’ legacy on Saturday 26 March at the CUBE Gallery and a late night opening on Monday 28 March.

Admission to the gallery is free and open Monday to Saturday.

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