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Night and Day, Platform 12

Jan Chlebik and Phil Griffin bring art to the station with a splendid series of photographs of music venues

Published on April 26th 2010.

Night and Day, Platform 12

'People who use cities, who watch them, who listen to them, people for whom the stage is performance and stage, set, script and score leave prints in the fabric: wear stone and timber, carpet and concrete, thin with the use of them.'

“Often I take pictures of new developments or the grand places such as the Town Hall. For Night and Day I was taking pictures of non-tarted up parts of the city which I found very honest.”

The quote above is from Phil Griffin's text at Platform 12 in Piccadilly Station. Here he's curated and commissioned a series of pictures, collectively titled Night and Day, from the well-known Manchester photographer, Jan Chlebik .

Griffin is an occasional Confidential correspondent, who has worn down more than a few Manchester pavements in his time. He's observed Manchester so minutely he understands the city by instinct as much as intellect. Jan Chlebik is similar to Griffin but instead of a pen to record the city he uses shutter speeds.

Together they have created a beautiful record of venues – present and deceased – that have kick-started musical careers, defined pop culture eras or simply entertained countless Mancunians and visitors.

As Griffin says, “Thus is not an official take on the city's culture. Instead it mixes old with new venues to record bits of the city that are about people coming together and making music or listening to it. These places are often on the fringe of the city, on untidy streets. But they have this wonderful resonance of the music and dancing that has taken place there. During the day they seem to be waiting for night to come, or for those which have found other uses, a return to entertainment.”

Chlebik, who has been commissioned many times to record Manchester for the city's tourism and inward investment bodies, caught this mood as well. “Often I take pictures of new developments or the grand places such as the Town Hall. For Night and Day I was taking pictures of non-tarted up parts of the city which I found very honest.”

Griffin on the left, Chlebik on the right, Band on the Wall in the middle

But why on Platform 12 at Piccadilly Station?

“Because it makes such a marvellous public gallery,” says Griffin “It's got a bigger footfall than all the city art galleries. The space is naturally dramatic too, and perfect for this theme, of looking at places we rush past or through but are such a crucial part of a city's life.”

He's right. The necessary transience, the activity, the movement of a rail station finds a counterpoint in the venues caught on 'pause' in the photographs.

If you get chance take a stroll along Platform 12 of Piccadilly Station – or make time on a train journey through the station to take a peek. Chlebik has done excellent work here, capturing the buildings square on, which makes detail spotting a delight. What's through that window up on the left? Is that someone looking back from the doorway? You can also play a guessing game over which Elbow song provides background text to the pictures.

Night and Day by Jan Chlebik, curated and commissioned by Phil Griffin, is at Platform 12, Piccadilly Station, until autumn.

Music venues pictured below, clockwise: The Ritz, Night and Day, Legends (Twisted Wheel), The Roadhouse, Matt & Phreds (PJ Bell's), Venus Supermarket (The International).

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AgricolaApril 27th 2010.

Wow will be down to take a look. What a great idea for a show.

Triinu OntonApril 27th 2010.

..it should be Chlebik (not Cheblik). JS COMMENT: Changed. Thanks. It was one of those instances of me writing and convinced I was right and using the excuse of being too busy to check properly. Apologies

MancJune 28th 2010.

that's mee city - nowt like them postcards with trams on

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