The Whitworth presents a special presentation of three iconic collaborative installations by the US artist Suzanne Lacy, renowned for her social practice art and community organising for five decades.

The exhibition (26 Nov-10 Apr) which signals a fresh direction in Lacy’s illustrious career, is presented in partnership with Manchester Art Gallery, which is showing Uncertain Futures, a new collaborative artwork created with women from Manchester’s diverse communities, and Cleaning Conditions, a project also created in the city.

In response to the pandemic, What kind of city? has been created with Lacy as a project intended to be more than an art exhibition. Instead, an event which resonates with our current state and inspires people to organise new initiatives that will help rebuild our city.

Spanning themes that include youth agency, borders, social cohesion and work prospects for older women, the exhibition is a display in how we create necessary transformation.

This coincides with a new direction of travel for The Whitworth, as an institution that actively works for and with people across the city, one that begins with the question: ‘After Covid, what kind of city can we make together?’

Spread over four galleries, three spaces feature ambitious large-scale video installations that uniquely combine aesthetics with social and political concerns. In the fourth and central space, archival, photographic and video content combine to place Lacy’s performative engagements with communities in Lancashire, California and along the Irish border at the heart of the exhibition.

These artworks have been activated by a major public programme focused around four key themes: youth voice and education, borders and the agency of the local, aging and intersectionality as well as work and social cohesion.

Delivered through a series of workshops that bring together local constituents, the programme will lead up to a convening with city leaders where participants will present their ideas to those with power, to reimagine and shape post-pandemic Manchester.

Fri 26 Nov - Sun 10 Apr, The Whitworth,
Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Tue 7 Dec 2021