The Takeover

On 4 August 2017, HOME will be taken over in spectacular style by a major new mixed-artform project, This is Human, developed by Project X. Member Joshua Wilkinson tells us more about the team and what to expect…

Project X is a collective of artists from across Greater Manchester, aged between 18 – 25. The collective is made up of filmmakers, dancers, spoken word artists, performers, visual artists, photographers, musicians and a scientist. Over the last year, we’ve developed an innovative artistic vision that now guides us as we begin to curate, commission and produce a unique experience for HOME – This is Human.

We first came together in August 2016, when we began our residency with a 3-week research and development period. We took part in workshops with industry professionals from different artistic disciplines, as well as visiting and viewing many different exhibitions and performances so we could experience and learn about art forms other than our own and allow a joint vision to form within the collective. We’ve developed skills in production, programming, curation, outreach, digital media and much more and we’re continually supported by HOME throughout our residency.

The initial concept for This is Human came from our joint desire to strip back the pretence that can come with the presentation of certain arts events. We want to look at what really interests us as humans and put aside labels and class whilst speaking directly to the audience and offering them an opportunity to immerse themselves within the work we create. This is Human will showcase HOME as you’ve never seen it before. Project X is well and truly taking over the place, every nook and cranny. From the theatre to the gallery this large scale multi-disciplinary event will challenge the way we view art and how it is presented. Just imagine walking into a theatre with no ticket to find, once in the auditorium, there are no actors on stage, what happens next? Or entering a gallery with nothing on the walls but a large spectacle in the centre of the room, what do you look at and is it art? This is Human is for everyone, old and young.

As a collective we made a decision early on in the process that we wanted to bring new audiences to HOME. Whilst HOME offers great theatre, art and cinema all year round with programming that is unique to the city, the collective believe that not many local people from surrounding communities or younger people visit regularly. Project X asks the question ‘why?’. Why is it that not everyone feels comfortable in the building that each one of the Project X team has become so comfortable in? This is Human is an opportunity for you to come down and experience first-hand a variety of different art forms at their best. We aren’t just creating another exhibition or piece of theatre, we are creating an opportunity for you to experience HOME like never before through interactive installations and special events. HOME has offered a group of emerging artists, not only a space, but a whole venue as a platform for their work. We are also actively collaborating with a variety of local artists, who will work alongside us in producing our event.

In my opinion there is no better place than Manchester for young emerging artists at the moment. From spoken word nights to dance events, Manchester has a lot to offer. We are privileged to live and work in such a diverse and cultured city where opportunities arise within a safe creative environment. This sort of environment helps artists to make their ideas a reality. HOME have offered that opportunity to us, the Project X collective, and we will not disappoint!

Personally, the most valuable thing that I have taken from being part of Project X so far is the support I’ve received from the rest of the group and the skills that we’ve now shared. Working closely with the others and being able to collaborate and share the passions we have for what we create has been enlightening and loads of fun. Having somewhere like HOME to meet regularly has been fantastic. Being surrounded by the artwork, films and theatre programmed at HOME has been very influential to me. All of the different events and being able to pop into the gallery when we have a spare five minutes has been a great help when pushing me through the process. It has reminded me that what I want to do isn’t that far away and that there is always someone that can help you along the way, you just have to ask them. Project X has also been a great opportunity for me to explore different areas within the industry. I joined the project as an actor and within the year I have had the opportunity to present fortnightly vlogs and produce an interactive installation for our main event in August. I hope that the work we’ve produced will challenge your mind and help you see things from a different angle.

This is Human takes place at HOME between Thu 03 – Thu 31 Aug. Find out more here.

Project X is generously supported by One Manchester and Places for People.

HOME Digital in association with Virgin Media Business

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