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Previous Exhibitions

Martin Creed:
Work No.268 Half the air in a given space

21st September - 1st November 2012

Pavement Gallery is pleased to present Work no.268 Half the air in a given space by Turner Prize winner Martin Creed. The work will transform the gallery by filling the space with black balloons which are inflated to occupy half the air in the room, therefore converting this normally invisible measurement into a perceptible form. Pavement Gallery is a fitting space to set off the ‘disarmingly simple’ yet immediately arresting nature of Creed’s sculptural installations.

External viewing of the gallery and the work is possible at all times; but exclusively for Work no.268 Half the air in a given space, visitors are able to enter the space to fully experience the work. Internal access is only available 2 – 6pm on Fridays and space is limited; due to the size of the gallery, only two people can be admitted at a time and this will be done on a first come, first serve basis. Additionally, booking may be possible at other times, please email

Antoni Muntadas

8th December 2011 – 1st February 2012


Pavement Gallery presents the piece WARNING: PERCEPTION REQUIRES INVOLVEMENT by the acclaimed artist Antoni Muntadas. The work is part of an on-going project 'On Translation', which has been shown internationally.

The highly visible platform that Pavement Gallery provides is particularly appropriate for this piece, which works as both an instruction and challenge to the viewer. The course of everyday urban life is accompanied by a mass of signs and signals, all of which seek to persuade, explain, cajole and influence the way in which we exist in the city. The Muntadas piece acts as a deliberate warning to the viewer, suggesting perhaps that we need to re-think our understanding of ordinary things.

Muntadas examines the possibilities and complications of language and communication in both art and life. With the piece exhibited in Pavement, the text is written large scale onto the surface of the city; a visible reminder that we should not take anything at face value.


Until 16th April 2011. Daily 2 - 10pm

Docu_Merz is a collaboration with osa (Office for Subversive Architecture), whose MERZEN installation is currently showing at CUBE Gallery.

The origins of the word 'Merz' relate to the work of Kurt Schwitters and the process of combining a range of materials all within the same art-work. The osa installation takes this as a starting point and then uses the idea of assemblage and collage to make a structure out of gathered materials from the city, one that will continue to evolve over the course of the exhibition. As the Cube gallery becomes material store, construction site and exhibition space, the distinctions between its present function, and the previous existence as a warehouse, are blurred.

The work in Docu_Merz is an abstracted documentation of the osa/MERZEN/ project - a distorted reflection of a work-in-progress. In using multiple projections onto layered walls, it creates its own collage of moving and still images. The structure references the Merz stages Schwitters designed as a platform for his own work. Upon seeing the osa/MERZEN/ footage, the viewer is able to witness the developing stages of the installation, whilst also getting a sense of the process and complexity involved in making work. The footage will continue to evolve and grow throughout the period of exhibition.

The exhibition is part of the MERZMAN festival - for further information and programme, visit:

Lawrence Weiner: Works

30th September – 12th December 2010

Lawrence Weiner

Translation - Lawrence Weiner

Pavement is pleased to announce an exhibition of two seminal works by Lawrence Weiner, which will be open to the public from 30th September to 12th December 2010. The Gallery is viewed externally; the work can be seen 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Since the mid-1960s, Weiner has used text as his primary material, he considers written language to be a sculptural material and his text pieces distill the weight and sensuality of physical materials into the ephemeral mass of language. His sculptures utilise the familiar structure of sentences thus opening up the work to a wider audience.

In both works shown at Pavement, Weiner enters into a dialogue with the reader on the various processes of communication. 'DECLARATION OF INTENT' (1969) is still a vital call-to-arms for arts practitioners to question their relationship to materials and the function of physical outcomes. The university campus location will flag the work’s existence to a new student audience and also serve as a refresher for those familiar with its rhetoric. Within the specifics of the space, the presentation of 'A TRANSLATION FROM ONE LANGUAGE TO ANOTHER' (1969) could resonate with the proximity of ethnically diverse communities, with the academic language of the two universities and even with passing commuters on their way to work. Weiner explained that the piece alludes to all artistic actions as 'that’s basically what all artists do: translate something into something.'* In this sense, language is not confined to a verbal act but also to physical actions, communicating an intended or potential action and therefore could also encompass the process of a viewer reading and responding to the text.

* The artist in conversation with Charles Stankievech, KIAC School of Visual Arts, April 2010

Lawrence Weiner is an internationally renowned artist who has created a significant body of work over the last 40 years. His public projects, often texts appearing as part of the urban landscape, have defied many of the preconceptions of "public art" and monumentality. Weiner's well-known text works exist as gallery artworks as well as in film, video, CDs and many artist's books. Major museum exhibitions include: Dia Center for the Arts, New York, Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and most recently at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin.

Ever Growing Never Old, Looped
Toby Paterson

27th April - 6th June 2010

Toby Paterson

Ever Growing Never Old, Looped (2010) is a new work by Toby Paterson. Shown for the first time at Pavement, the work marks a temporary departure in form for the artist. More familiar as the maker of paintings, sculpture, reliefs and wall works – the new piece uses film and photography as its medium. Ever Growing Never Old, Looped, is a film made from still images which originate from a series of research trips made in Central and Eastern Europe between the Spring of 2006 and the Autumn of 2008. A creative notion of structure and construction is often at the base of Paterson's work, there is also a clear fascination with modernist architecture and the innumerable forms and variations it takes. As the urban landscape can be transformed by the vision of the artist into an ideal form, this process can also make the viewer more aware of the more 'real' state of their surrounding city space. With Ever Growing Never Old, Looped, there is something a little different at work. Presented with an unfolding series of images, there is a sense of the familiar (the fact that architectural forms repeat themselves), but then there is also the way in which certain buildings or spaces catch us short (unfamilar or awkward forms suddenly intervening to break more comfortable readings). The images in the film allow us to speculate on places without the context of a clear history or identity – it is a realisation of this state which is perhaps crucial in helping to re-think our responses to the urban space which surrounds us.

Toby Paterson lives and works in Glasgow. After graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 1995 he has exhibited extensively, including: Tate, St Ives; Fruitmarket, Edinburgh; Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade. Paterson was the winner of the Beck’s futures art prize in 2002, he has been commissioned for a number of major public art pieces, notably Poised Array for the BBC Scotland Headquarters and is the lead artist on the extension of the Docklands Light Railway for the London Olympics in 2012.

Silent Post
Marita Fraser, Matthew Higgs, Emilie Pitoiset and Chu Yun

2nd July - 13th August 2009

Silent Post

Silent Post is a group exhibition that explores themes of appropriation, value temporality and distance. The title of the exhibition is one of numerous names to describe the game of 'successive whispers', where a phrase is passed from one person to another. In the course of its journey, meaning is gradually altered as each player becomes author of their own version.

Silent Post considers the actual conditions in which contemporary art is both anchored and perpetuated. The artistic act of reproduction has a synchronic duality: it permits the original to survive, but it also entails its death.

The intention of this exhibition is to reveal and highlight the artistic and curatorial procedure involved in the adaptation of past works as well as the implications in displaying reproducible art pieces.

To support this visual assembly of translation a symposium will question how the appropriation of image and text might affect the audience, in terms of the meaning, the potential value of the work and its relationship to context.

Chu Yun has exhibited internationally and is currently participating in the 53rd Venice Biennale. Unspeakable Happiness (2003) is loaned to the gallery on the premise that the work is temporal, it must be destroyed and this destruction has to be documented.

Marita Fraser combines her own practise with the artist-run initiative bell street project space in Vienna. In 50 works I have never seen (2007), Fraser reproduces, in a slide format, images taken from art catalogues showing works that existed in temporary form or rarely seen archives.

Marita Fraser

Matthew Higgs is an internationally renowned curator and director of the independent art space White Columns. The origin of Artists Say the Silliest Things (2008) lies in the language of an existing book that Higgs extracted, isolated and re-presented.

Matthew Higgs

Emilie Pitoiset has participated in several international exhibitions and festivals. In Damage (2006), language itself becomes the subject of investigation, through a simple re-ordering of letters the words become distorted and yet meaning still remains.

Emilie Pitoiset

Scrape/Scratch/Dig: Richard Wentworth

2nd April - 14th May 2009

Richard Wentworth 'Scrape/Scratch/Dig' (2001)

Richard Wentworth 'Scrape/Scratch/Dig' (2001)

The film Scrape/Scratch/Dig explores different notions of the ways in which cities are ordered and marked. It brings together images of a senior cartographer working on the 'A-Z', along with that of a road-marking crew pacing out and re-writing the actual surfaces of the city. Both of the tasks involve the craft of defining and redefining the ground upon which people walk and the ways in which they may interact with the city. Even when nature makes an appearance – in the form of an expansive sky – it is still marked by the vapour trails of passing aircraft leaving fading traces of their brief presence.

Richard Wentworth's work often includes the displacement and juxtaposition of common and familiar objects. The appearance of things in unfamiliar places and altered circumstance produces imaginative readings and new possibilities. Scrape/Scratch/Dig (2001) sees a continuation of an interest in the urban and the seemingly banal. Just as Wentworth presents everyday objects in much of his work, here he explores the every-day activities that help construct the systems we use to navigate our way through the city. The film was originally part of Wentworth's An Area of Outstanding Unnatural Beauty, which took place in an abandoned warehouse at Kings Cross, London in 2002, it was also shown in the Global Cities exhibition at Tate Modern in 2007.

Kamera Kinetics: 3 short films by William Raban

14th February - 17th March 2009

William Raban 'Civil Disobedience'

William Raban 'Civil Disobedience'

Kamera Kinetics consists of the short films Sundial (1992), Confessions (1997), and Civil Disobedience (2004) by William Raban.

These three films relate back to Raban's engagement with Expanded Cinema and his direct 'landscape' pieces, yet also incorporate the documentary aspect of later works. They all suggest the transient aspect of the environment and expose the layers of meaning attached to objects.

Raban often concentrates on the actual process of assembling and then presenting film through the manipulation of the time and mechanics of the projector. Kamera Kinetics reflects this aspect by utilising the short throw distance of the projection. This form of display removes the social implication of the arena created by the distance between the projector and the screen, instead revealing the machinations of the illusory virtual image.

There is a political strain running through all three pieces. In Sundial bankrupt Canary Wharf is effectively demoted to an alternative Big Ben, while Civil Disobedience includes a score composed by David Cunningham that features elements of Margaret Thatcher's speech regarding the contentious sinking of the Belgrano in the Falklands War as a type of mantra enhanced by the looping of the film. These three pieces feature time-lapse, rhythmic editing and a punctuated visual structure and were specifically programmed by the artist for Pavement gallery to create further layers of meaning through their composition and theme.

Rut Blees Luxemburg: Caliban Towers

Rut Blees Luxemburg's Caliban Towers

Pavement began its programme with Rut Blees Luxemburg's large scale photographic work Caliban Towers. Originally installed as a billboard sized commission, its 'public' setting was underneath a railway bridge in the Shoreditch area of London. The image depicts a group of tower blocks at night, opening up questions about the relationship of image, architecture and location. In the current environment, the generic form of the tower block as a type of social housing exists in a contested state – a shift in meaning from a site of exclusion to one of exclusivity. The re-staging of Caliban Towers in Manchester is particularly apt. In its new setting the work questions the ways in which we utilise urban space; perceptions of class and social status and the location and purpose of 'public' art.

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Pavement is run as part of the MIRIAD MA Contemporary Curating programme.

Manchester Metropolitan University
Righton Building
Cavendish Street
M15 6BG

For further information contact Steven Gartside on 0161 247 6224 or