Politika: Art & The Affairs of the City

September, 2015

Location: Engine Gallery, Ancoats, Manchester

Curator: Bill Posters

Featured Artists:

Chim-Pom (JP) // Epos257 (CZ) // Jeremy Deller (UK) // Ztohoven (CZ) // Peter Kennard (UK)  // VOINA (RU) // Shift//Delete (UK) // Brandalism (UK+) // Francisco Tapia (CHI) // WochenKlausur (AT) // Bill Posters (UK) // Franck Allais (FR) // Leah Borromeo (UK) // Steve Lambert (US) // Robin Hood Minor Asset Management Cooperative (FI) // The Vacuum Cleaner (UK) //  John Beieler (US) // Tracey Moberly (UK) // Lea Redmond (US) // Peter McCaughey (UK) // Ben Parry (UK) // Ed Hall (UK).


Manchester is where the world’s first manifestations of industrial Capitalism took shape. If the city is both the producer of citizenship and the generator of innovation, it is the soil in which democracy lives. Without the city and maximised exchanges, democracy loses strength to create potential futures.

Is there scope to generate another answer, another view, in order to sustain alternative ideologies against consumer capitalism and the disempowerment it represents? Politika presents an international survey of contemporary political and critical public art as artists transform themselves from passive consumers into active citizens.

From local community activists reclaiming their cultural heritage; to the burning of $500 million of student loan contracts to free poor students from debt; to collectively organising the world’s largest reclamations of advertising space in history, the artists contributing works for Politika are creating in relation to consumerism. They are prising open the cracks in Capitalism and redefining political art as the boundaries between art and community action evaporate. Politika features works from 20 interventionist artists from 9 countries.

The diverse program includes an exhibition of provocative works; live urban interventions across the city; public workshops; talks; documentary screenings and debate.

Politika launches a new cultural space for Ancoats, the world’s first industrial suburb.


Photo credit: Jody Hartley