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Photo: Josh Telles ' Manchester International Festival.

MIF19: David Lynch Preview

“I was talking to Auntie Em, and she said there’s no place like HOME.”

It’s nearly summer in Manchester, which means the city is gearing up for its biggest biennial arts event of the year: Manchester International Festival – a feast of theatre, film, music, and art. This year sees influential collaborators from all walks of creative life, including Maxine Peake, Skepta, and excitingly, David Lynch – the very person who remarked at the power of home.

David Lynch is an awe-inspiring artist whose work fuses sound and image to create uneasy atmospheres and conjure an experience for the spectator, one that’s both unnerving and intriguing. Over all artistic platforms Lynch regularly pushes at the boundaries of an audience’s expectation and transports us to a place buried on the cusp of dreams. Known extensively for his films and the 90’s television series Twin Peaks, Lynch has created a gargantuan catalogue of art that will be appreciated, displayed, and absorbed during this summer, when his work takes over multi-arts complex HOME from July right through to September.

Lynch began his creative endeavours as a painter in art school, studying fine art and exploring the use of mixed media canvas work. Throughout his career, David Lynch has continued experimenting with visual art, utilising texture and contrasting colour with darkness to depict landscapes, the human body, and interior spaces (both within indoor structures, and the human mind).

The takeover at HOME will harbour art exhibition My Head Is Disconnected, the first major UK exhibition featuring sculptures and wall-art exploring industry, dreams and the dark, that will be free to explore until September 29th. Professor Sarah Perks, the curator of My Head is Disconnected said: “David is an artist in the widest sense, whilst curating his prolific and fascinating body of visual art work, I became more and more conscious of his tight relationship between forms, and the importance of
sound and music in his oeuvre”.

At art school, Lynch first discovered his love for the moving image, and in the late 60’s created moving projection Six Men Getting Sick. This projection loops the visceral abjection of six men with a blaring siren, a loud and vivid piece that began his journey into film-making. During the takeover at HOME you will be able to catch rare screenings of Lynch’s short films, and discover where it all began.

But how did this transpire into the films we know and love today? Inspired by the likes of The Wizard of Oz and Sunset Boulevard, Lynch’s cinematic works shows a preoccupation with the paper thin partition between fantasy and reality, exploring the seedy underbelly of life and what happens when our world slips into a realm of unease.

Throughout the takeover, HOME will be showcasing a season of Lynch’s True Favorites, a selection of movies displaying his inspirations, as well as all of his own films, stretching from 1977 debut Eraserhead, to 2006’s digital beast Inland Empire. If you’re dipping your toes into the David Lynch pond for the first time, on Sunday 18th August there is screening of Blue Velvet (1986) with a post-screening discussion, and on Saturday 24th of August a showing of Mulholland Drive with an introduction – both of these films alongside intelligent and exciting conversation being a great gateway into his world.

Perhaps most exciting for the festival are the three consecutive evenings of live music mid-July, inspired by Lynch’s work. All evenings have the pleasure of staging Chrysta Bell, longtime artistic collaborator with Lynch, who has appeared as FBI Tammy Preston in Twin Peaks: The Return and has produced the most beautiful studio albums. A voice both haunting and sensual, Chrysta Bell’s vocals seem to audibly take us to a realm like Lynch’s films do, somewhere new, strange and beautiful. Not only is her voice incredible, Chrysta Bell puts on a show as she commands the stage and holds all attention, and is one not to miss. Anna Calvi will also perform tracks from across her career in a rare, intimate solo show, joined by Dorset singer-songwriter
Douglas Dare (Friday 12 July).

The Lynch takeover is guaranteed to be a banquet of peculiar and uncanny delights, and with such an array of events taking place over the upcoming three months it would be hard to not get submerged under the wave of mystery and intrigue that his art creates. In the words of Special Agent Dale Cooper; “I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange”.

Links to all the events, with dates and ticket prices, can be found here. By Sass Holmes.

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