From 29 September to 1 October, we welcome performance artist Nikhil Chopra to the museum. Chopra will create a one-off, 48-hour performance based around Vulcan locomotive 3157 in the museum's Power Hall.
The engine was built in 1911 at the Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside. Many locomotives built in the North West of England were exported to countries of the former British Empire and the Vulcan served on the North Western Railway of India. It was later transferred to Pakistan Railways after Partition in 1947, where it ran until 1982.
The complex history of this impressive locomotive will form the symbolic centre of Chopra's performance. Well known for these long-duration performance pieces, Chopra's work will include changing, costumed personas; intricate, detailed graphic drawing; and a live soundscape from DJ Masta Justy. The museum's Power Hall will be open overnight so visitors can follow Chopra's unique work at any time of the day or night.
The performance marks Chopra's return to Manchester after his piece Coal on Cotton at The Whitworth in 2013 (pictured below).
New North and South
This performance is part of New North and South, a three-year programme of co-commissions, exhibitions and intellectual exchange across a network of 11 arts organisations from the North of England and South Asia. The network, supported by public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England's Ambition for Excellence programme, will bring prominence to the work of leading Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and UK artists. It will include new artistic commissions, exhibitions and performances in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool and in Colombo, Dhaka, Lahore, Karachi and Kochi.
New North and South partners are: Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth, Manchester Museum, Liverpool Biennial, The Tetley in Leeds, Colombo Biennale (Sri Lanka), Dhaka Art Summit (Bangladesh), Karachi and Lahore Biennales (Pakistan), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India) and the British Council.