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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA


Preview By Steve Cooke

At The MIF23 Press View launch event , John McGrath, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Factory International said: “Asking big questions about the world and our future, while also providing many moments of joy and celebration, MIF23 brings artists from a huge range of backgrounds to Manchester to create a thrilling range of work: from a ritual on the banks of a newly uncovered river, to a mixed reality concert from one of Japan’s greatest composers, from a hunt for artworks across the city to a collaboration exploring art and football."

“As always, MIF is rooted in the spaces and places of Greater Manchester. So whilst we welcome the first visitors to our new home, Aviva Studios, to experience Yayoi Kusama’s incredible inflatable sculptures and an array of music inside and outside the venue, the Festival continues to extend its reach throughout the city in a true celebration of Manchester and its cultural offerings”.

"New collaborations and partnerships range from an army of young people addressing mental health provision in the galleries of HOME to a powerful exhibition about economics at the Whitworth.”

“This Festival is a genuine melting pot of creativity, designed to take the temperature of our times and imagine possibilities for the future. From homegrown talent to trailblazers from the far reaches of the globe, each of this year’s artists bring unique work and ideas to the programme which I’m thrilled to see shared with the world.”

The opening of Yayoi Kusama's exhibition marked the start of Manchester International Festival, along with a city-wide treasure hunt to find artist Ryan Gander's collectable coins and Risham Syed and Angie Bual's 'Each Tiny Drop', a celebration of our connection to water on the banks of the River Medlock.

Audiences will also be able to catch a chilling adaptation of a lost dystopian masterpiece in the depths of the John Rylands library by Maxine Peake, Sarah Frankcom and Imogen Knight.


The festival, which takes place in venues across the city, will also see a collaboration between ex-Manchester United footballer Juan Mata and Hans Ulrich Obrist exploring the beautiful game, a mixed reality concert by the late Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, a live photographic performance by Benji Reid, and a musical adaptation of a cult queer classic by Philip Venables and Ted Huffman.

A range of music acts will also take to the stage in the Hall of Aviva Studios, including Angélique Kidjo, Alison Goldfrapp and revered Sufi singer Sanam Marvi. There will also be a collaboration between AFRODEUTSCHE and Manchester Camerata, as well as the premiere of a new show from John Grant and the Richard Hawley band. Outside the venue, and overlooking the River Irwell, the event's popular festival square will offer free live music from over 190 performers, and a wide variety of food and drink, creating a new riverside destination for the city.

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