When Joana Vasconcelos’ Time Machine opens on February 15th, visitors to Manchester Art Gallery will see an ambitious number of her works scattered through the gallery space, outside, in entranceways, hanging from the ceiling and even in the gallery of Craft & Design.
Some of the placements, like Spring Ghost, a crochet covered ‘Louis Ghost’ model chair, have obvious correlations to the collection and the substitution of objects is obvious. But, others like Silverwear and Nymphs De Mer are a response to the works of decorative art the gallery collects.
In a different way to her larger sculptures, the installation of objects in the Gallery of Craft and Design, exhibits in its own way the challenges of installing a new exhibition. Not only did the placement of the six objects in the gallery require a curator from the decorative arts team, a conservator, a technician and an exhibition curator, but also, placing the pieces brings up issues of opening the cases (some of which haven’t been opened since their objects were first placed in them ten yeas ago.) Cases are locked shut, with individual keys for every case. Removing work currently in place is a delicate process and the decision to place a work, opening the case, removing and replacing objects is a slow and careful process. I think, the challenges involved make the inclusion of her work in this gallery important and special, be sure you don’t miss it!