The Art and Politics of Walking in Manchester and Beyond
23 July 2016 — 14 October 2016
Time 10:00 - 17:00
Duration 7 hours
Cost In order to keep our exhibitions programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation
The LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement) is a Manchester based collective interested in psychogeography, public space and uncovering the secret stories of the city. Since 2006 they have been organising public walks, dérives (drifts), games and spectacles offering new ways to explore the streets. To celebrate 10 years of loitering, please come and play.
The LRM manifesto says ‘We can’t agree on what psychogeography means but we all like plants growing out of the sides of buildings, looking at things from new angles, radical history, drinking tea and getting lost, having fun and feeling like a tourist in your home town. Gentrification, advertising, surveillance and blandness make us sad. We believe there is magic in the Mancunian rain. Our city is made for more than shopping. We want to reclaim it for play and revolutionary fun.’
Psychogeography explores how we feel about our environment and the hidden forces that shape wherever we are. The term was first used by Guy Debord, founder member of the Situationist International. Psychogeography has now evolved into a rich and diverse body of art and literature. Psychogeographers use walking in creative ways to explore, experience and map the city. For The LRM, their work has an explicit political agenda to uncover the power dynamics that shape our city and offer an alternative way to view them. Every step they take creates new connections and an emotional remapping that inspires different ways to look at Manchester. On the first Sunday of every month, The LRM hosts a communal walk which brings people together to wander, play, learn and embrace the possibilities our streets offer. The LRM is volunteer run, not-for-profit and their events are always free and open to everyone.
Walking is often taken for granted as an everyday activity but it has extraordinary resonance. This exhibition explores how walking can be a work of art or a political act. Footsteps create desire lines and shared histories; creative walking can become performance art that helps re-imagine, remap and reshape the world. Protest marches, mass trespasses and quiet acts of pedestrian rebellion reclaim space and assert rights. The exhibition illustrates how the fight for the right to roam in the city, to take up space, is more vital than ever. Privatisation and enclosure of common land has an impact on everyone, restricting where we go and how we act. Do you know who owns the pavement under your feet and whether you are at risk of trouble if you stop to chat? Who is absent from the path, park or cafe you use? Not everyone feels safe or welcome in Manchester; how can we make cities more accessible and open? The LRM’s version of walking includes wheelchairs, sticks and other mobility aids and they want to play out with anyone interested in imagining, shaping and exploring the city of their dreams. The LRM believe the streets are our common treasury and psychogeography should not be an elite interest. They invite you to join in and experiment with the power of the dérive.
This exhibition brings together artists, activists and loiterers from Manchester and beyond who share The LRM’s vision. It includes a diverse range of work reflecting the many aspects of psychogeography. The LRM will share material from their archive, documenting their expeditions as well as posters, found objects and hand crafted items used to guide walks such as CCTV Bingo Cards, game pieces made from metal salvaged from car manufacturing and maps transformed into fortune tellers. They will be presented alongside wider archive material looking at the right to roam and campaigns to protect public space. The LRM are delighted there are also contributions from local, national and international artists inspired by psychogeography; they have created films, drawings, sound installations, paintings, DIY maps, photographs and more, including tools for you to take away and begin your own exploration. A full list of participating artists will be available in the exhibition and on The LRM’s website. There is a programme of events too; expect a blossoming of psychogeographical activity across the city as we take the theory onto the streets where it belongs.
The LRM believe the streets should belong to everyone and that our pavements are full of stories, adventures and connections just waiting to be discovered. To celebrate 10 years of loitering in Manchester, The LRM have organised this exhibition and various shenanigans. Please come and walk, play, wander and wonder with us.
Family Friendly exhibition, suitable for all ages
Sent out approximately every two months.