Un-Rest : How you Move Is Who You Are
Un-Rest was a ten day exhibition and series of events at Victoria Baths with a contemporary art emphasis. It’s starting point was to celebrate how artists have explored the ways that people use their bodies to express their identity, including through dance, other physical disciplines and music.
The inspiration for UN-REST came from seeing the video work Mantra by the Cuban artist Ivan Capote at the Havana Biennial in 2012 as part of an arts council funded research project with artists and curators from Manchester. Being based in Cuba, Capote’s work is full of significance for that place, and also for a universal desire in all people. He writes: Las claves is a very important percussion instrument in the rhythm sequences of popular Afro Cuban music. Basically the video repeats in loop a close up of my hands playing this instrument, but in this case I am playing in Morse code the word CAMBIO (CHANGE in English).
The effect is unsettling to the spectator, because we see and hear a musical instrument that is so light, happy and festive repeating over and over again a word in Morse code, that is associated with situation of uncertainty and solemnity. The choice of the word CAMBIO is interesting because it symbolizes one of the most obsessive ambitions of the human being. All our actions even the most routine are like a Mantra repeating constantly and arising essentiality from our personal and social determination of transformation and development.
How have other artists examined the way that such motivation for personal or societal change; the pressures that individuals and groups feel - be they economic, political, social or emotional can ignite a creative physical impulse. How does it bringing us together to transform our world and our selves. Music plays a significant part in the chosen artists’ work.
It’s the hyphen that defines it: Un-Rest is not about a disruptive uprising – it’s more literal than that. Taking Northern Soul as its inspiration, this is a celebration of how dance defines identity, and how powerful the act of physical movement can be
“A Killer Programme!” Catherine Braithwaite
Exhbitions and Events:
The exhibiting artists were:
Ivan Capote (Cuba) Humberto Velez (Panama/Manchester), Alison Kershaw (Manchester) William Titley / In:Situ
(Lancashire), Bethany Cassidy (Manchester) Naomi Kendrick (Manchester) Another Adele (Manchester) VB Histories (Manchester) Dominique Tessier (Manchester)
The programme included participatory performance events:
Naomi Kendrick’s Drawn To The Beat;
William Titley’s Recorded Soul:The All Nighter; and a specially commissioned performance:
Soul V Morris: May Day Dance Off in collaboration with designer and DJ Wayne Hemingway, William Titley and Beth Cassidy.
The exhibition comprised video installations, performance and displays through out the building, utilising to great effect the stunning environments at the baths in imaginative and creative ways.