Mr Monkey's home page Sitemap

Mr Monkey sees Urbis Has Left the Building at Urbis, 21st January

Mr Monkey at the entrance to the exhibition On February 27, Urbis is closing down. It's going to be re-opened sometime in 2011 as the new home of the National Football Museum (which is in Preston at the moment). To celebrate - or lament - the end of Urbis as we know it, they've put on a final exhibition, Urbis Has Left the Building: Six Years of the Best Exhibitions in Pop Culture, so Mr Monkey scampered into town to see it.

He quickly found that the exhibits were mostly posters (a lot of which were new to Mr Monkey), with a number of videos and a few larger artifacts to add variety.

Mr Monkey looking at posters in the Design section The first section Mr Monkey looked at was Design, which was appropriate as Urbis' first exhbition, The Peter Saville Show, was about design.

Matthew Williamson: 10 years in fashion was another show saluting local talent, while many other exhibitions such as D&AD: The Best Advertising & Design in the World and How Manga Took Over the World were more global. Little Black Dress showed Urbis' pulling power by enticing the prestigious fashion show out of the United States for the first time.

Urbis also tried to spark debate, as the large model from the Supercity exhibition showed.
Mr Monkey looking at the Tiny Travelling Treasure cabinet in the Kids & families section Next Mr Monkey went to the Kids & Families section and found out which exhibitions had been aimed at families and children. Urbis always aimed at providing their youngest visitors with something more than face-paints. Videogame Nation had impressed Mr Monkey when it was on, and the Urban Gardening had a strong family element.

He had fun exploring the Tiny Travelling Treasure Cabinet from Play: Experience the Adventure of Our Cities, and was really annoyed that his humans had missed the exhibition.

Mr Monkey with some of the RECLAIM manifestos The RECLAIM display told Mr Monkey about the award-winning mentoring project that expanded throughout Greater Manchester after starting in Moss Side in 2007.

The project is intended to show young people that they can make positive changes to their communities and to their own lives. This includes the creation of youth manifesto for each community, and a number of these are on display.

RECLAIM will still be active after Urbis closes, and you can read about it at their website :
Mr Monkey watching a video showing the opening of the PUNK exhibition Being based in Manchester Urbis couldn't really help but feature music in some of their exhibitions, and Mr Monkey was reminded of these in the Music section.

He read a John Cooper Clarke poem, and watched a video showing the opening night of the PUNK: Sex, Seditionairs & The Sex Pistols exhibition (which was a little London-centric for Mr Monkey who felt the section on the Manchester punk scene rather raised the tone), and remembered the excellent Haçienda 25 Fac 491 which chronicled the rise and fall of the famous venue.

Of course, Home Grown: the story of UK hip hop, which will be on until Urbis closes, is music oriented, too.
Mr Monkey looking at the Manchester 24 poster Mr Monkey looking at the photo from the Reality Hack exhibition Urbis are quite proud of their links with the creative folk of Manchester. The Creative Community highlights some of this work.

Mr Monkey was pleased to see the poster for Manchester 24: one city on one camera on one day because it reminded him of the fun he'd had being one of the contributors to the exhibition.

Urbis' links to the local creative community were also shown in exhibitions of the best of recent graduates work in Celebration of Talent 06 and Catapult 07 and with displays of local artists' work such as Reality Hack: Hidden Manchester, which featured Andrew Paul Brooks photographs of the parts of Manchester which are hidden from the public.
Mr Monkey looking at the International Artists section Mr Monkey looking at the DTroit exhibition poster The International Artists section reminded Mr Monkey of all the exhibtions featuring art from around the world.

These included such excellent shows as the two Ill Communication street art exhibitions, the China Show and the rather aggressive Black Panther: Emory Douglas and the Art of Revolution.

Finally Mr Monkey studied the poster for the DTroit: the art, music and culture of the motor city. He was pleased to see it because DTroit was the first exhibition that Mr Monkey had been invited to see and it seemed somehow symbolic that it was the last thing he looked in Urbis' last exhibition.

And then Mr Monkey left the building.
Read about this exhibition at the Urbis archive : Urbis Has Left the Building: Six Years of the Best Exhibitions in Pop Culture.

Return to Mr Monkey's Exhibitions and Events 

Copyright Rik Shepherd and Mr Monkey.