Thursday, 15 October 2015

Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival Part 1?

I would like to offer you a review of the Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival but I can't not really. As when I got there I discovered that most of the pavilions where shut.

Which is disappointing, having made a admittedly short journey to see it. Still.

Anyway I can tell you about what I did see. Which was some quite difficult work that left me feeling like a dog being shown the plans to CERN.

For example the Manchester Pavilion, where the work is presented without context. Nor with any information regarding which art is which or who is taking credit for it. Nothing about their process or why should I care at all.

Similar for the Leeds Pavilion, though I was able to see that is was some form of residency. Maybe I was in a bad mood but it felt like the research that should have been done before getting to Warrington.

Though I was attracted to the two model buildings by the window.

Then there is the 'blockbuster' exhibition of the festival at the Warrington Museum & Art Gallery. A group show based around the ubiquitous and sinister presence of IKEA. Basically a touring exhibition it is interesting, smart and funny.

To damn it with faint praise it has works by Ryan Gander I don't hate. Though within its location in the gallery to felt odd to be there. As if it was straining against its physical restrictions.

This might be an metaphor for the WCAF in general in its current form. That its ambitions are constricted by itself, by being able to take full advantage of its locations. Or knowing exactly what it is and who its for.

Given that this festival is still relatively young (5 years?) it still needs to develop a identy. Still I don't know if it's worth spending another £5.20 on another visit.

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