Curator Lozenn Logan, spoke to us about the intentions of Micro-Topia. An exhibition which considered the Slide Library at Manchester Metropolitan University as a ‘micro-topia’ through which to explore notions of curiosity and systems of order in relation to both abstract and literal ideas of the city. It represented the Slide Library as a type of museum in miniature within a larger institution. Its relics contained worlds within worlds of visual knowledge. Although individually confined to their physical frames and isolated moments, collectively the slides transcended different spatial, temporal and social thresholds. Micro-Topia provided a snapshot of the Slide Library in its current form, a vehicle which considered their materiality as objects. There was an abstract focus on the nature of the space itself, has drawn parallels with a city space in miniature. The exhibition brought together artists from a range of disciplines, all of whom shared common concerns for the curious, the urban and the spatial.
‘Dream House’ focused on the chances within environments of consumption in the city, as a result of capitalist notions of progress, Frances Roddick worked specifically the department store. Her chosen slides date from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century and represent a juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern. Frances has used collage as a medium to produce two city models, a construction of fantasy and reality, of utopia and dystopia, she questioned the existence of the department store and highlighted the instability of the environment. Frances comments, ‘No matter what illusions of eternity they once seemed to promise, the decaying physicality of the slides theme of the work are brought together through the issue of disposal’.
BETHANY COSTERD and SARAH LOUISE HAWKINS
Bethany Costerd and Sarah Louise Hawkins selected slides of sculptural artworks from Manchester School of Fine Art degree shows dated from the 1960s to the 1990s. As students of the art school, both felt part of a collective. A creative consciousness of sculptors past and present, all inhabiting a mural and layered time and space.
Bethany and Sarah created small white sculptural studies based on the forms of the original artworks. ‘This clustered arrangement of ghostly white forms creates a landscape representing those who have gone before us, whilst reigniting and honouring dormant objects and sculptual concepts.’
Matthew Bamber curated a carousel of slides from the Slide Library at Manchester School of Art, including ten new slides that he produced himself. Alluding to the former function of the library - as a resource for learning, teaching and research in art and design - Matthew wanted to emulate an imaginary visual lecture without words. The theme of this visual lecture or slide show looks towards the idea of the obsolete object, when objects and technologies go out of use, how they become aestheticised and how we see the world through technology.