Conceptual artist Liam Gillick has collaborated with legendary Manchester band New Order to design the set for their performances at this year’s Manchester International Festival (MIF17).
Over the past year, New Order have worked alongside Gillick and composer Joe Duddell—a collaboration some might call a “bizarre love triangle” (we couldn’t resist)—to bring their music into new contexts. For this collaboration, the iconic band has revisited their entire catalog and Gillick has created a responsive artwork to accompany the live performances.
“New Order have had an enormous influence on the way I make art,” said Gillick, who also makes his own music.
“Their music continues to create new levels of intensity and control based on a constant testing of fundamental structures. Working with them is an opportunity to add a new layer to their unique form of deconstruction and desire,” he added.
The visual artist took inspiration from the band’s revisited repertoire in transforming the space of Manchester’s historic Old Granada Studios.
The live performances are accompanied by a 12-piece synthesizer ensemble, lead by Duddell, from the Royal Northern College of Music. Only a lucky few get to experience the immersive set as New Order are presenting this unique collaboration throughout MIF17 with a series of intimate performances to audiences of just 1,200 per show.
The sold-out performances with the unpronounceable title “∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif), New Order + Liam Gillick: So it goes…” took off on June 29, and there are two more iterations left, on July 13 and 15 on Stage 1 of the Old Granada Studios, Manchester.
New Order emerged from the remains of British post-punk band Joy Division following the death of Ian Curtis, and quickly became one of the most acclaimed bands of the ’80s. Also on view at MIF17 is “True Faith,” a major new exhibition that celebrates the legacy of both influential bands by presenting artwork directly inspired by their visual identity. Curated by Matthew Higgs and Jon Savage with archivist Johan Kugelberg, the Manchester Art Gallery will showcase four decades of work from artists such as Julian Schnabel, Jeremy Deller, Glenn Brown, Mark Leckey and Slater Bradley.
See some more images from the rare New Order performances at MIF below.
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