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24 Jan 2011

The People You're Not at Cornerhouse

Charlotte Gould, Elizabeth Taylor, from 'The Worship of Bacchus', 2010

The People You're Not


29 Jan 2011 - 27 Feb 2011 Gallery Opening Times Mon: Closed, Tues-Sat: 12:00 - 20:00 Sun 12:00 - 18:00

Clare Sydney
+ 44 161 200 1545

70 Oxford Street
Manchester M1 5NH

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Last year an acclaimed exhibition at Cornerhouse, 'Unrealised Potential', featured over 60 artists' proposals, all of which were - until now - unrealised. This year, three of those unfulfilled ideas have been selected for realisation, not by the artists themselves, but by members of the public, alongside cultural producer Bren O'Callaghan.

The resulting exhibition, 'The People You're Not', is a satirical trip through the private and public faces of fame, and presents the projects of TV entertainer and popular satirical comedian Harry Hill, Manchester legend Edward Barton, and infamous wooden-pants-wearing balladeer Norman Clayture. The People You're Not opens on 29 January and runs until 27 February 2011.

Harry Hill's proposal, 'To recreate George Cruikshank's The Worship of Bacchus Using Known Alcoholics' has been realised by Bren O'Callaghan. Victorian satire meets Heat Magazine as six illustrators put a contemporary spin on scenes from George Cruikshank's famous 1860 painting exposing the evils and horrors of alcohol. 'Performers' such as Kerry Katona, Elizabeth Taylor and Liza Minnelli, Courtney Love and George Best, Oliver Reed and Lindsay Lohan are given centre stage in six large-scale Victorian-style toy theatres, setting the scene for cautionary tales of drunken celebrity clichés and the pitfalls of the demon drink.

'Feel Free to Stroke', proposed by Norman Clayture, has been realised as an absurd, affectionate installation, that pays homage to the adoring fans and rock and roll life of 'Norman Clayture', a guitar hero in wooden underpants. Viewers are invited to step into Norman's office and get an insight into the public and private life of the notorious balladeer. With exclusive access to soul-baring letters from his adoring fans and a chance to step up on stage and experience five minutes of his fame.

Edward Barton's proposal was simply 'Please Improve My Work'. And so the group who chose it have recreated a significant, startling work of his entitled 'I've Got No Chicken But Five Wooden Chairs'. In the new, improved version, 'I've Got a Chicken But No Wooden Chairs', an audio-visual installation merges vintage footage with new, bringing a darkly absurd element to the original. The work blurs the line between public performance and intimate private life, inviting a closer, off-kilter look at the eccentric side of the celebrity soul.

The exhibition is linked by a conceptual thread: all of the artists selected use alter egos and performative personas to reflect and react to the humdrum of popular culture, celebrity, fame and the absurd - Owen Barton has become Edward Barton, Len Horsey is Norman Clayture and Harry Hill is otherwise known as Matthew Hall. The current cultural climate often suggests that it is now a basic human right for everyone to become 'celebrities', though here the group's interpretations highlight the darker reality of this seemingly alluring entitlement.

'The People You're Not' previews at Cornerhouse on Fri 28 Jan from 18:00, and opens on Sat 29 Jan.


Preview Performance/Norman Clayture

Friday 28 January, 18:30
FREE, drop in, Gallery 1
Back from his ongoing tour of the world, from Norway to New York, a very special performance from the wooden-pants-wearing god of acoustic rock Norman Clayture. With special guests Imogen Powder and Les Merde.

Preview Performance/Edward Barton

Friday 28 January, 19:30
FREE, drop in, Gallery 1
A very rare kind of music - simultaneously beautiful and funny – as Manchester treasure Edward Barton performs the classic I've Got No Chicken but I've Got Five Wooden Chairs.

Gallery Discussion

Sun 30 January 14:00-15.00 and Wed 23 February 16.00-17.00
FREE, Booking required, Gallery 1
Led by artist Jason Minsky, who facilitated the production workshops for The People You're Not. Jason will also be joined by some of the creators of the exhibition.

An Evening with Edward Barton
Sat 12 February 18:00
FREE, Booking required, The Annexe
Manchester's legendary artist, poet and musician Edward Barton, who has written songs for Kylie Minogue and Orbital, will offer an insight into his work with a film screening, interview and exclusive performance assisted by The Babymen.