Joana Vasconcelos: Time Machine
15 February – 1 June 2014
Free to all
Subversive large-scale sculptures by the Portugese artist, including a specially commissioned textile work which cascades down three floors of the glass atrium.
The first woman and youngest artist ever to exhibit work at the Château de Versailles, Joana Vasconcelos brings her monumentally-sized works to Manchester. Lilocoptère, originally part of the show in France, features a Bell 47 helicopter adorned with pink ostrich feathers, Swarovski Crystals and gold leaf.
Other creations are similarly ambitious in scale, such as War Games, a black Morris Oxford car covered in toy rifles and LEDs, that brims with toys that move and squeak.
Meanwhile, a series of water lily-shaped sculptures are shown together for the first time. With steam irons for petals, they are coloured red, yellow and green in tribute to the Portuguese flag. The pieces open and close to mimic the movement of real flowers, slowly unfurling as they release steam to create a humid robotic flower garden.
The artist has also selected a number of smaller works for display. These carefully placed interventions create humorous and thoughtful connections with both the historical architecture of the building and with works of art from the city's collections.
A new textile work occupies the glass atrium, running down over three floors. Its swelling forms, textures and colours have been created from knitting, crochet, fine silks and velvets, recycled clothes and industrially produced textiles, each variously embellished with tassels, crystals and beads.