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Offit Offsite - 1 & 2

I knew we were off to a good start, when Simon Piasecki, the new head of performance at University of Salford said "oh good, you are taking us on a Dérive." With that a small group of artists, performers and educators headed off to a five star hotel (named for an artist of the people) to be part of a performance: conversation in public. Mary Oliver & I commissioned three emerging performance artists to get us started. Rachael Nutter of Littleborough had us deconstruct a yarn from the repertoire of her previous knitting actions; Rowan Oliver-Weaver of Ripponden read stories of the hotel's namesake, LS Lowry, from the picture book The Lowry Lexicon, written by her grandmother and Lowry biographer Shelley Rohde; and Darren White of Chester transmitted the day's news stories by way of can and string. Later the group sat around and worked at figuring out some of the complexities of producing art in Salford, past and present - and how to ensure that the community remains vibrant, affordable and inspiring.




We will be having one more public conversation - Offit Offsite 2, on Thursday evening at 7 pm. Join us for a walk --Dérive-- to another one of Salford's great conversation spots... drinks on us! Meet at Hub M3 .

Offit Offsite asks: what happens when an art centre opens up in a regenerating neighbourhood?

Thank you to everyone who has participated so far, especially Rachael, Rowan and Darren.

Offit opening

has been launched.

Tomorrow (July 25, 2pm) is Offit Offsite, a conversation event featuring three emerging performance artists, in conversation with visitors of The Lowry Hotel: Rachael Nutter, Rowan Oliver-Weaver and Darren White. Everyone welcome, meet at the Hub M3, Riverside Complex in Salford, Greater Manchester.


Offit not on it


During their six-week collaborative residency at Hub M3, Lois Klassen and Mary Oliver have been exploring the locale specific to the gallery, just on the border of Salford and Manchester. As travelers and explorers the artists are considering the imbalance caused by the presence of cultural production in urban spaces.

‘Offit’ - Salford vernacular for ‘not on it’, out of sorts, or not quite right, is an installation in which the visitor finds themselves confronted with things that are ‘Offit - not on it’. This exhibition asks: does art produce a condition of offit? and is this a useful condition from which to view the process of urban regeneration?


Lois Klassen & Mary Oliver

Art Exhibition and Events
July 23 - 30 2010
Hub M3
Unit 3 Riverside
Salford M3 5FS

Offit Opening reception - July 22 6.00pm

Offit Offsite Conversations
Sunday, July 25 2.00pm
Thursday, July 29 7.00pm
The artists invite the public out to two of Salford’s best places to talk. Meet at Hub M3. Spaces for the Offit Offsite Conversations are limited - please reserve (up to one day in advance) through email [email protected] or phone 07793 018209.

Offit exhibition hours -
July 23 - 30, 12.00 – 6.00pm (closed Monday)

Lois Klassen is a Vancouver Canada based artist, community worker, writer and educator.
Mary Oliver works as a performance and media artist, educator and researcher in Salford.

Protest & an end to experimentality

Offit, the work that will result from my residency with Mary Oliver at Hub M3 is taking shape. Much of our discussion leading up to this work considers how the people respond or take action in the face of "urban renewal" or imposed changes to the public sphere.

Margaret Atwood has recently published a short editorial -A second chance or a boot in the face, that describes two contrasting forms of protest in Canada - both pressing up against changes to how the federal government is enforcing security. The issues are international. In particular she focuses on how the Canadian government is privatizing the prison system to follow the prison industry model practiced in the US and elsewhere, with the result being a loss of what Atwood suggests is known to be Canadian: "civic responsibility, lending a hand, second chances". 

A UK debut!?: Mary Oliver, Craig Vear and I presented some work coming out of our travels and the Hub M3 residency at "Experiment End - an evening of live art, music and video", Lancaster University. It was a live art event meant to distract or enhance creativity for delegates to the wind up of an ambitious multi-disciplinary conference "about experimentality" hosted by the Institute for Advanced Studies at Lancaster University. (Here are a couple of photos from stage... is it polite to photograph your audience?)


London - June 26-27

Thank you Ruth and Bruno (igloo) for hosting Mary Oliver & me in South London. During our one night-er we got to see Builders Association's Continuous City at Queen Elizabeth Hall. The play was far from worth the trip into the city, but the critical conversation with artists and writers who could re-tell the inspiration that Builders Association offered in their early experiments with live media and large scale theater performance was. The next day, we found a farm and canal and fantastic shops and, of course, football fans beating the heat in and around East London.

Public art for seeing & being seen in East London.