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About Between

Between is a season of new performance art commissions designed to take place in the empty galleries as they appear between exhibitions. The commissions, taking place at the Cornerhouse over three events between March to September 2012, will feature new performances by Hayley Newman, Patricia Baga, Annika Ström, Louise Adkins, Helen Collett and Lois Macdonald.

The project is based on a series of performance events called ‘Between’ held at the Dusseldorf Kunsthalle 1969 – 1973. The central idea behind these events was to make use of the gaps between exhibitions for short, additional, experimental shows. The initial impetus for Between came from the English artist and then Düsseldorf resident Tony Morgan, who was on the look out for openings for contemporary artists to stage exhibitions of their work. Many of these actions and performances were unique, some of the artworks exhibited lasted only for the duration of the respective Between show. The Between events set the course for future innovative exhibition practice. Artists originally involved in Between included Marcel Broodthaers, Robert Filliou, Gilbert & George, Gotthard Graubner, Klaus Rinke, Ingrid Schreiber, Günther Uecker, Timm Ulrichs and Franz Erhard Walther amongst others.

The Between programme of commissioned new performance works will run from March 2012 to September 2012.  The project is curated by Louise Adkins and associate curators Laurence Lane and Paulette O’Brien.



‘Between’  is supported by Arts Council England, MIRIAD, The Cornerhouse and International 3.

30th March 2012

The first Between event brings together Hayley Newman (UK) and Patricia Baga (USA). Hayley Newman will present ‘Facing’, a performance that gives a voice to the objects held in transition between the galleries previous and  upcoming exhibitions. Baga will present a new work that blurs the lines between video and performance. Using video projection as a set, a prop and a character, Baga takes on the roles of director, screenwriter, editor, actor and location scout in her “performative screenings”.

8th June 2012

The second round of Between features Louise Adkins (UK) and Annika Ström (SWE) on 8th June 2012.  Adkins presents new work ‘Material Balance’, a re-enactment of the legendary 1972 world chess championship clash between the American challenger Bobby Fischer and the Soviet champion Boris Spassky, billed as the battle between ‘good and evil’.  

21st September 2012

Finishing the Between Series on 21st September 2012, will be Ruth Barker (UK) and Helen Collett and Lois Macdonald (UK).  Barker re-imagines the ancient Epic of Gilgames using both live and recorded vocal performance, whilst Collett and Macdonald explore the importance of communication between artist, gallery and audience as well as the confines of their own working relationship.

Louise Adkins

‘Material Balance’

Louise Adkins (UK)

8th June 2012

For Between Louise Adkins presented ‘Material Balance’ a re-enactment of the legendary 1972 world chess championship clash between the American challenger Bobby Fischer and the Soviet champion Boris Spassky. Billed as the battle between ‘good and evil’ this, most famous of all chess matches, was recreated for ‘Between’ in gallery 3.

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Louise Adkins practice has grown out of a series of performance, artists film and installation works produced collaboratively under the name ‘Lisalouise” and individually as Louise Adkins. She has exhibited extensively throughout the UK and Europe and is currently working as Artist/Curator on the Between programme. Selected exhibitions include ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ Arsenal Gallery Poznan, Poland, ‘Pressure Point – Between Tracks’ Badhaus, St Gallan Switzerland, Meanwhile in Manchester’ Grand Union and Lombard Method, Birmingham, ‘The Magic of Real Life in Real Situations’ Centre of Contemporary Art (CCA) Glasgow. Louise Adkins lives and works in Manchester and is a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University in the School of Art.

Patricia Baga

Pedestrian Mysticism 

Patricia Baga (USA)

30th March 2012

A performative screening of old and new work that attempts to give an emotional voice to the cultural history of technology.

“One day, Manny, Jinkee, Jimanuel, Princess Elizabeth, and Michael took a stroll to the seaside.  Michael was brushing his hair and contemplating the sky when an object washed ashore and bumped his beautiful brand new pumps.  It was a sealed glass bottle from the year 2012– an antique!  Inside that glass bottle was a USB flash drive.  Inside that flash drive was this.”

Patricia Baga’s performance work adopts an improvisational approach using video projection as set, prop and character as she takes the role of director, screenwriter, editor, actor and location scout. Baga has exhibited her work internationally, including exhibitions and performances at Vilma Gold, London; LAXART, Los Angeles; El Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; and in New York at Evas Arche und der Feminist, Greene Naftali Gallery, the Greater New York 2010 Cinema Program at PS1, Art in General, Artists Space, and Anthology Film Archives. Baga lives and works in New York City.

Ruth Barker

‘Mouth in an Open O’

Ruth Barker (UK)

21st September 2012

For Between Barker developed a new work, ‘Mouth Open In An Open O’, which continues her attempt to re-imagine the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh through visual art performance, spoken word poetry, and embodied voice techniques.

The work involved multiple instances of the artist’s voice, interwoven between live and recorded elements to produce a rich tapestry of storytelling and acoustic / sculptural experience.  Barker also worked with fashion designer Carmel O’Brien to produce a bespoke garment for the performance, emphasising the physical and sculptural quality of the vocal work.

Ruth Barker’s performance work involves writing substantial poetic texts that retell ancient myths, and remake them as resonant, current, events. She uses traditional techniques of storytelling, poetic construction, and vocal performance to develop challenging new site-specific performances.

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Barker presents the gesture of retelling ancient myths as being a way to explore the fundamentals of the human condition. By remaking these stories (in art, in life, in contemporary culture) we influence as well as describe our knowledge of self and imagination. Barker re-voices these myths as an artist, as a woman, and as an individual. By doing so she repositions their imagery through an inescapably contemporary lens – relating ideas of narrative structure, repetition and metamorphosis, to the vivid quality of the live, present, female artist. The re-making of the mythic space of performance becomes a gesture towards the ritual and/or artistic understanding of self, gender, and mortality.

Barker’s works are recited (sung, incanted, spoken, and invoked) from memory before a live audience. The act of performance is a ritualised act; emotionally loaded and affecting, and reliant on a concentrated focus that becomes by turns hypnotic, claustrophobic, and cathartic. Barker often works with fashion designer Lesley Hepburn, from whom she commissions handmade, bespoke garments, to be worn during performances.

Ruth Barker was born in 1979 in Leeds. She completed a first class BA (Hons) in Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art in 2001, and an MFA at GSA in 2004. She is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at Newcastle University, and has recently shown in the UK, Athens, Dublin, Rotterdam, Tel Aviv, and New York. Ruth Barker lives and works in Glasgow.

Helen Collett and Lois Macdonald

‘YouI fig. (iv)’

Helen Collett and Lois Macdonald

21st September 2012

Working together as curators as well as artists, Collett and Macdonald’s current collaborative research combines a strong focus on the intricacies of their personal interactions along with that of the internal system of galleries; how they communicate with artists and their audience, as well as each other.

The first piece in this developing series, YouI fig. (i), explored the confines of the couple’s working relationship with the overlap of their differing personalities and the importance of their personal communication because of this. In successive versions of the work, they broadened the original context of working relationships from the communication process between two artists, to that between the artist and gallery, and eventually the gallery, artist and viewer.  When communicating their ideas, a selective process was brought into play, presenting some information openly whilst other information was entirely concealed.

For their new performance, ‘YouI fig. (iv)’, the artists will continue to explore the concept of personal and professional communication at all levels in a choreographed performance of mirrored motions.  Looking at the organisational aspect of developing their vocation, they take the elements of artistic presentation and concealment to production level.  Hidden within the gallery walls, the duo work through the processes involved in developing work that are automatically eliminated from gallery presentation, where all information is considered vital.  The resulting actions are re-presented in specific audio and visual forms, with the decision to keep or disregard certain props integrated into the performance.  The viewer can witness the artists from outside their veiled performance space, or through the information presented which is open to interpretation.  Communication becomes the focus and the planning process becomes transparent.

Helen Collett and Lois Macdonald have closely worked together for three years in a variety of different capacities; organisers, curators, artists etc. and have become very familiar with each other’s working practices and the importance of outward-looking collaboration as creative practitioners in the Now. They began working together when they co-curated The Link Gallery (Chatham Building, MMU) in February 2009. This formed the basis of a solid working relationship and they went on to co-found and direct the multi-event/exhibition ‘Free For Arts Festival’ (2009 – 2011). During this time they also embarked on an artist/curator internship at Islington Mill resulting in two durational exhibitions, Mill24 (2010), featuring over seventy artists from around the world. Art and sport collide in their regular Ping Pong Club events that have featured as exhibitions and symposiums in Berlin (October 2010) and as a FutureEverything 2011 Showcase Winner (May 2011). They continue to work together as artists and project managers, developing a curatorial research space to open in mid 2012, Lionel Dobie Project.

Further Links :

Hayley Newman


Hayley Newman (UK)

30th March 2012

Gallery 3 is filled with crates, tools, paint and wood. The incoming and outgoing exhibitions share the space of the upper gallery of the Cornerhouse for one night only. Held in transition, these objects become the set for a performance with many faces. Together we look to, from, between and at each other: a wink, a twitch, a frown and a smile.

Hayley Newman is one of Britain’s leading performance artists. She is represented in the Arts Council Collection by a range of work from two series: Connotations – Performance Images 1994-1998 (1998) and Connotations II (2002). Newman’s work builds on the rich heritage of performance art since the 1960s and explores the relationship between a performance and its documentation. She uses video, photography and text to document a range of quirky and often humorous performances that may or may not have taken place.