A Manchester artist is exhibiting his work at BLANKSPACE gallery as part of international group exhibition ‘What have I done to (de)serve this?’
Following on from the Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival, an annual festival of new cinema, digital culture and art which was held in Manchester last month, ‘What have I done to (de)serve this?’ is a group exhibition of contemporary works that explore the relative successes and failures of capitalism.
The exhibition examines disillusionment with the ongoing global financial crisis and is intended to work as a forum for the exploration of alternative economic systems.
Fun and revealing, the exhibition shows how none of us are exempt from the consumer mentality and asks whether this mindset is antithetical to healthy life in modern society.
Artist Micah Purnell said: “My work deals with questions of the problems of money and finance in today’s society. Each of the birdcages have different objects from everyday life enclosed within them in order to raise questions on the detrimental nature of capitalism and advertising.”
“My art is also inspired by the research of psychologist and journalist Oliver James.”
Local to Manchester for most of his life and a graduate of both City College Manchester and Salford University, much of Mr Purnell’s three dimensional installation is made up of thirteen antique birdcages which query aspirations and freedoms offered by consumer society to raise questions about the grip of advertising.
Sarah Perks, Programme and Engagement Director at Cornerhouse and co-curator of the exhibition, said: “The group of artists exhibiting is very international – Micah is the only one with a Manchester connection.”
“We picked the title as a way of encouraging viewers of the work to question their own personal involvement in the financial crisis. It’s too easy just to blame the bankers and we have to accept that we all have some part to play in this, hence why the ‘de’ of deserve is in brackets, highlighting the word ‘serve’.”
“This isn’t capitalist bashing though, it’s much more sophisticated than just doom and gloom. The various pieces in the exhibition contribute to a complex critique of society, rather than a simplistic black and white view.”
The exhibition is on show until September 16 at 43 Hulme Street, M15 6AW.