Home Arts Football is coming… to the Manchester International Festival (with the help of footballer Juan Mata)

Football is coming… to the Manchester International Festival (with the help of footballer Juan Mata)

by godlove4241
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The love affair between art and football will deepen this summer with the launch of a project at the Manchester International Festival (MIF, June 29-July 16) led by Spanish player Juan Mata.

The initiative, called The Trequartista-Art and Football United, involves 11 collaborations, bringing together different artists and footballers for each partnership. The 11 teams will work together for two years – curated by former Manchester United star Mata and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries in London – culminating in a collective exhibition during the 2025 edition of MIF. According to BBCMata brings together 11 players to collaborate on works that pay homage to “artists on the pitch”.

The project starts with This entry, a play by Tino Sehgal who is known for his “constructed situations” of live encounters. The piece, co-presented by Mata, will be exhibited at the National Football Museum (June 29-July 5) and Manchester’s Whitworth (July 7-July 16). “This entry is a playful choreographic exchange between a footballer, a violinist, a cyclist and a singer-dancer,” reads a press release from the MIF.

The latest edition of MIF – the first festival to commission and produce new work across all cultural sectors – will take place at venues across Manchester and also at Factory International’s long-awaited new 13,350m² building, designed by the office of Metropolitan Architecture by Rem Koolhaas. (OMA), which officially opens in October. When asked if scheduling the vast new space would be a challenge, John McGrath, the managing director of Factory International, said he “doesn’t have enough space for artists who want to work there”.

Yayoi Kusama’s large-scale installation You, me and the balloons will fill Factory International (June 30-August 28), comprised of giant dolls, polka dot creations and twisted sculptures. The main exhibition brings together “for the first time a collection of the most important inflatable works by the renowned Japanese artist of the last 30 years”, adds the press release from the MIF.

Meanwhile, artist Ryan Gander will be planting collectible coins all over town, encouraging visitors to find his hidden works inscribed with tips for his project, Discovery. Another acclaimed artist, British photographer Benji Reid – who says online he’s ‘shining the black British experience’ – promises to create ‘live photographs’ in front of an audience, weaving action with moments keys to his life. (find your eyesJuly 12-16).

Factory International has been described as the biggest public investment in a UK cultural project since the opening of the Tate Modern in 2000. According to Manchester City Council’s website, more than £105m of national public funding has been secured for the Factory International project, including £78m investment from HM Treasury, £7m funding from the Arts Lottery and £21m funding from Kickstart Capital from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund . Manchester City Council has also paid over £50m so far. Admission to Factory International is free with fees for special exhibits.

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