• Human school (be your dog!)

      Bartram, Angela; University of Derby (2019-07-20)
      Human School (Be Your Dog!) abstract: Inspired by her own dog, the artist Angela Bartram turns the concept of the dog school around. Here, she asks the dogs to be the teachers, showing us how to become a part of the pack, connect across companion species and to be more ‘dog.’ On the first day of Animals of Manchester (including HUMANZ) students of the Human School are bringing their own dogs to explore their relationship on a connected and empathetic level. On the second day, Angela has invited dogs from Dogs4Rescue for human students to experience companionship with and to get to know. Would you like to sign up for a workshop? Please talk to one of our volunteers. Animals of Manchester abstract: Imagine a city in which animals of all kinds, including humanz, would live together in peace. What might life be like if dogs, hogs, cows, squirrels and other creatures lived alongside us not just as our pets but as our peers – our companions? Imagine what Manchester could look like then! Animals of Manchester (including HUMANZ) is an interactive Live Art experience created by Sibylle Peters (Theatre of Research) and LADA for the Manchester International Festival 2019 which poses questions about the relationship between humans and other animals. Taking place over the Festival’s final weekend, audiences are invited to follow a trail through Whitworth Park and the Whitworth’s galleries, and take part in some absorbing animal encounters. Across a series of installations and performances, children, families and adults alike will explore our fascination with fellow animals, pledging allegiance to another species, having family portraits with other creatures and discovering more about the relationship between human and non humans. Works include Joshua Sofaer’s Mouse Palace, a reconstruction of a popular Chinese attraction in mouse and human-sized forms; a Town Hall (Standing Conference of Animals) for cows, microbes and pigeons created by Theatre of Research & Ansuman Biswas, Andy Field & Beckie Darlington, and Esther Pilkington & Daniel Ladnar (random people); Angela Bartram’s Human School where dogs teach humanz; Pet Workshops (for Human Students) with Krõõt Juurak and Alex Bailey; Nuts House, an edible Arndale Centre for squirrels and birds by Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson (London Fieldworks); Memorials for Extinct Species by Marcus Coates and Adam O’Riordan; The BeetleFilmTheatre with artist Tim Spooner and scientist Dmitri Logunov; The Hedgehog Hospital with artist Rebecca Chesney and Barbara Roberts of the Withington Hedgehog Care Trust; an Interspecies Family Portrait Studio with photographer Benji Reid; an Aquarium for small humanz who want to be bitten by sharks by Martin O’Brien; a Bestiary Beauty Parlour for humanz to signify their animalship with Katharina Duve; a Pantheon of Performing Animals; a Life Art Library exploring the history of animals in art in books and films; and Performing Animals Lectures where animals are honoured as artists with Antony Hall, Laura Cull O Maoilearca, Jack Ashby, Kira O’Reilly, David Weber-Krebs & Maximillian Haas, and Kerry Morrison. With children collaborating as facilitators and ambassadors for the works, Animals of Manchester (including HUMANZ) follows on from Theatre of Research and LADA‘s projects with children at their core, including PLAYING UP and KAPUTT: The Academy of Destruction. “This summer we will invite everyone to turn into animals of Manchester alongside squirrels and dogs, cows and beetles and pigeons and many more. In the every day humans meet our co-species less and less, and I think we are actually missing them. So, with the guidance of our collaborating kids and my partners at MIF and the Live Art Development Agency we will turn Live Art into Life Art and create a zone of companionship in which humans and other animals can be together without food chains or zoo cages getting between us.” Sibylle Peters. “Animals of Manchester will be a joyous and thoroughly unexpected exploration of our relationships with animals. The artist Sybille Peters has been working in truly unique ways with young people and their stories and ideas for many years and has created some of the most extraordinary and engaging projects for children and families around Europe. We’re delighted to be joined by the range of unexpected artists that she has invited to be part of this project with her. The day itself will be full of surprises and a truly enjoyable adventure.” John McGrath, Director of MIF. Official visitor figures for the event were 16,500 over its two day duration.