As much as all of Manchester International Festival is impressive and special, there are certain shows from it that are always going to stick out more than others. Perhaps the biggest and most important – in terms of highlighting the brilliance of the festival to the normal folk of Manchester – was Jeremy Deller’s Procession in 2009. So popular that it has since been repeated in a different form as the Manchester Day Parade, Procession was a masterpiece in creating art that engages with the public on their own terms. Deller has since curated an exhibition – All That Is Solid Melts Into Air – that may not have quite the same common touch, but has been incredibly well attended since it premiered at Manchester Art Gallery in October. Tracing how the industrial revolution has affected British popular culture, the art focuses in on key figures emblematic of this: Adrian Street, the famous wrestler born into a Welsh mining community; James Sharples, the blacksmith and self-taught painter; and the rock stars from a working class industrial families. It  also features film and sound installations, playing on the idea of industrial folk music – sounds created by factory machines. Prior to its final day on Saturday, the exhibition plays its part in this Thursday’s After Hours night by Video Jam – see our preview here.

Sat 12 Oct 2013 – Sun 19 Jan 2014, Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL, FREE,

Sun 12 Jan - Sun 19 Jan
Matthew Britton
Published on:
Thu 16 Jan 2014