Please Press Pause and Try Again Later. Hosted by Get it Done at Antwerp Mansion
Not going to lie, the entrance to Antwerp Mansion looked pretty dodgey. You know you are allowed in, but it felt like you were trespassing as you enter the old crickety gate, down a dark side street off Manchester’s famous curry mile. But at the end of the overgrown path, we were welcomed by the lovely, friendly faces of those at Get It Done.
‘Please Press Pause and Try Again Later’ was the latest event hosted by the amazing ladies at Get It Done. They say ‘If you want to do it, do it.’ Exactly! They have great ideas and are doing great things for Manchester. We share a lot of their beliefs and priorities here at Cotton On MCR too.
‘We are Get It Done a DIY artist collective and events team in Manchester. We’re working to provide laid back atmospheres and to dismantle elitist walls around art, making it accessible to a wider audience. We started up about a year ago putting on events and exhibitions and giving a platform to new and upcoming artists, giving them an opportunity to work in real world curatorial situations, and a chance to network with other young creatives in Manchester. We’re very driven by our DIY ethic, and our favourite motto is ‘If you want to do something, do it’ So we’re doing it.’
In ‘Please Press Pause and Try Again Later,’ Antwerp Mansion is taken over by art and music. The set up is pretty sweet. The mansion itself is an old abandoned house, there are empty spaces, secret rooms and dark corners. It’s so grungy and urban, it literally screams student house party. The walls are covered in graffiti, it was like an art overload. There was so much to look at that half the time, I didn’t know if things were there originally, or if they had been installed for the event. It is a total contrast to any ‘normal’ art gallery, no white walls, no spotlights, everyone was chatting, laughing, and listening to the DJ. That’s exactly what Get It Done want. The event leaflet states: ‘Be gone silent galleries and pretentious conceptual art, grab a beer and relax.’
There was art all over the place, but we found the bulk of it in the main room. And when I say found, I literally mean just that, if you didn’t look hard enough, you would miss something. The art is almost hidden, intertwined within the graffiti chaos of the walls of the mansion. It’s like a little bonus when you do find the work. But in this room we saw video pieces, paintings, photography, and an interactive photo booth. The DJ played some absolute tunes, and the bar was open. It felt like a better, more fun, party-like version of a degree show. Like a fun house of art.
We were also huge fans of the DJs, so we asked Get It Done to tell us more about them:
‘The DJs for the night were MCR Live residents Modern Logic (along with fellow MCR Live resident Muziki Sessions). They’re our friends who we’ve collab-ed with on previous events so we thought it would only be polite to bring them along and show everyone how talented they are! They put on regular (around bi-monthly) DJ nights in the Northern Quarter, which always include some seriously top music.’
As well as an art exhibition, the event also ran talks and performances. There was a talk and workshop on mediation, live art, comedy performances and spoken word too. There was so much going on and so much to do. The event was perfect for bringing art to a new audience, introducing them to new things and new venues. It seems like art exhibitions are going in a new direction. There’s the art galleries for the big boys, but those new to the art world, for students, graduates and anyone else trying to make it, they are doing it themselves, finding new places and new ways to display their work. It feels like a lot of the events we have been to recently are trying to do this, mix art, performance and music in one, but I don’t think any are doing it quite as good as Get It Done.
‘We think that by dismantling these kind of elitist rules around art exhibitions and events, you can make a more accessible space, where people who aren’t necessarily ‘arty’ can feel comfortable. We just want to help the visual art scene flourish here in Manchester, an amazing city which is sometimes overlooked for it’s creativity!’
Events like this really are important to Manchester and art as a whole. So many people still claim not to ‘get art’ and not understand it and think it’s all pompous. And when you go into large galleries and you read some artist’s statements, I totally understand where those people are coming from. That’s why we need more events like this, to open people’s mind into what art is, different types of art and different types of events. This is not your bog standard private view. Yes its an art event, but it’s a night out and the art is an added bonus.
Find out more about Get it Done on their website, where you can contact them if you want to get involved.