Briefing

Manchester's Factory arts centre gets the green light; Mark Fisher passes away; Pompidou Centre set for anniversary renovations

Digital rendering of Manchester’s proposed Factory, on the site of the former Granada Studios. Courtesy: OMA/Factory Manchester

Digital rendering of Manchester’s proposed Factory, on the site of the former Granada Studios. Courtesy: OMA/Factory Manchester

  • The Factory, a proposed GBP£110m arts centre in Manchester designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, has attained planning permission from the city council. The Factory, which will represent Koolhaas’s first major public building in the UK and will be located on the site of the former Granada Studios, is seen by the local council as an institution that can ‘make Manchester and the wider region a genuine cultural counterbalance to London’.
     
  • Political theorist, writer and long-term frieze contributor Mark Fisher passed away last week at the age of 48. Fisher first became known in the mid-2000s for his widely circulated blog, k-punk, a space for both alternate political thinking and cultural commentary that touched on everything from the failures of neoliberalism to Michael Jackson to science fiction. As well as teaching at Goldsmiths, University of London, and co-founding Repeater Books with Tariq Goddard, Fisher wrote for a number of leading music publications, including FACT and The Wire, and authored a number of books: Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (2009); Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures (2014); and The Weird and The Eerie (2016).
     
  • The iconic Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris will mark its 40th anniversary with a vast renovation costing GBP£90m. The refurbishment, which will begin in 2018 and last for two years but will not interrupt the institution’s programming, will include the replacement of the iconic escalators that cut across the front of the building. Serge Lasvignes, president of the Pompidou Centre, said: ‘Nothing will change outside, even though we discovered that some structures, like the large funnels that were once part of the air system, are now just decorative. […] We will do our best to stay true to the vision of the architects, while managing the security and other constraints we are faced with.’
     
  • After a period of speculation, Tate has officially announced that Maria Balshaw will succed Sir Nicholas Serota as director. Balshaw, currently director of the Whitworth and Manchester City Galleries, and Director of Culture for Manchester City Council, said: 'I am honoured to be asked by the Trustees of Tate to become the new Director. [...] I look forward to developing Tate’s reputation as the most artistically adventurous and culturally inclusive gallery in the world.’

Maria Balshaw, the current director of the Whitworth and Manchester City Galleries, and the incoming director of Tate

Maria Balshaw, the current director of the Whitworth and Manchester City Galleries, and the incoming director of Tate

  • Fionn Meade has resigned as artistic director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, citing personal reasons. In 2015, Meade became the organisation’s first ever artistic director, joining the team shortly after the rapid departures of seven curators and heads of departments. In a press release published last week, the Walker commended Meade’s significant contributions on a number of group and solo exhibitions since that point, adding that no plans have been made to replace him at this point.
     
  • French sculptor Marguerite Humeau has been awarded the tenth Zurich Art Prize. In addition to the prize money of around GBP£65,000, which will increase by just over GBP£15,000 throughout the course of the year, Humeau will be the subject of a solo exhibition at Museum Haus Konstruktiv from 26 October until 14 January 2018. To read 'Mysteries & Methodologies', Ben Eastham's feature on Humeau from frieze #182, click here
     
  • Lord Snowdon, the British celebrity, documentary, and fashion photographer who was married to Princess Margaret between the years of 1960 and 1978, has passed away at the age of 86. Across his lengthy career, Snowdon photographed a great number of cultural figures, including actors Alan Bates and Julie Christie, musician Yehudi Menuhin, writer Graham Greene, and artist Barbara Hepworth. Snowdown once said of his work: ‘None of my photographs are great photographs – they’re just pictures that hopefully record a moment to make you laugh, or smile, and sometimes cry.’

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Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

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