Friends Meeting House
(Bootle Street Entrance)
6 Mount Street
Tue, Wed, Fri
Closed Mon, Sun
Also open by appointment
Artland, Manchester‘ s newest independent gallery, is hosting a major exhibition of war photography from Iraq by award winning New York Times photographer Christoph Bangert (Review). This is the first time that Bangert‘ s collection, which has received great critical acclaim, has been shown in the UK. Bangert is one of the very few Western photographers to stay the distance in Iraq during some of its bloodiest and most terrifying periods. The result is a series of extraordinary and shocking images.
Journalist and writer John Lee Anderson, who works for The New Yorker, and who has frequently reported from Iraq, says of this work:
“The Iraq Bangert experienced is a country in the grip of a terrifying war, one without visible front lines, a war so cruel and complex that it has become a phenomenon that defies comprehension ...Bangert has borne witness to that war with an unflinching resolve and a unique sense of humanity. ...He takes us to the very brink of the fateful chasm that divides Americans from Iraqis - and Iraqis from one another - and with him we stare headlong into the abyss.”
German born Bangert was still in photography school when the Iraq war started. He began his assignment for the New York Times there in the Spring of 2005, when the Iraqi insurgency and sectarian violence reached its peak. Westerners were kidnapped and beheaded, and most foreign journalists had left the country. Bangert stayed for a total of nine months, long after many Western photographers and journalists had left. He has also worked in Palestine, Japan, Chad/Darfur, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
Bangert, who is now based in New York, says of his time in Iraq:
“...there is a feeling that this is the war of my generation. Even as worldwide interest is decreasing, I feel that there will be a time that people will see this war in a similar way as we see the Vietnam War today. And even in places like my home country, Germany, people will realise that it was wrong to see this conflict as an entirely American problem that has no worldwide implications.”
Artland Gallery director and exhibition curator James Walmsley, adds:
“I am very proud to bring this stunning and important collection to the UK for the first time. I feel very strongly that we in the UK must not forget the horrors of our illegal war in Iraq, which continues to this day. Christoph‘ s work - The Space Between - itself occupies the space between photo-journalism and art. The work speaks for itself, and I hope that as many people as possible will come to the exhibition, and will be moved as profoundly as I have, by what they see.”
Artland Gallery established itself as a significant new art space in the North West with its first exhibition last October. ‘Manchester and New York” by photographer Jan Chlebik. The exhibition was very well reviewed, as was the gallery itself, which makes excellent use of a relatively small space. Housed in the basement of the Friend‘ s Meeting House, the gallery seeks out work of quality and integrity; combing aesthetic value with social and political content.
Artland Gallery director James Walmsley has taken a lead on several other international arts projects. He facilitated the major ‘Visions of Zimbabwe‘ exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery in 2005; and curated Fragile State, the first ever British showing of contemporary Kosovan art, at Stockport Art Gallery in 2007.
Christoph Bangert will be flying over from New York for the opening of the exhibition. He will be giving a public talk on his work on Janurary 29th (details below). He will also be available for interview.
Media contact: Julia Brosnan
Opening Times: Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat: 11am-4pm, Thu: 2pm-5pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays After hours and Sunday appointments available on request
All enquiries to 07747 045986
Christoph Bangert will discuss his work at a special event held at the Victoria Suite at the Midland Hotel on January 29th at 7pm.
Tickets £3, sold at the door as donation to Stop the War Coalition.
Please ring 07747 045986 to book your place.
NOTE: The exhibition opens to public on Thursday 29th Jan at 2pm and will open till 6.30pm on this day