Friday, 3 July 2009

July Communique: joining the dots and celebrating the city

Dear friends, foes, faeries and fellow loiterers

Merry July! Apologies for my recent tardiness regarding the blog and late notice of the forthcoming First Sunday. As some of you know June was a tricky month for me; but I have emerged battered and bruised and still breathing (sometimes that is no small triumph) and as ever during the tough times some truths emerge amidst the clichés and the pain.

Very little can’t be relived by a stroll through the city (I can suddenly hear Petula Clarke singing through the ether) and the intergalactic bonds formed by comrades in loitering are a tremendous source of strength and inspiration. Thank you all.

I’ve love to know what’s been happening with you and in particular your thoughts on a few questions I’ve been pondering: Where do you feel safe / unsafe? What is your favourite psychogeographic art? How should The LRM evolve? How is technology helping and hindering your sense of space? Answers on a postcard or in an email please…. Also, massive thanks to the ever inspiring Alan for curating June's splendid adventure. If you have an idea for a First Sunday please do share and we can make it happen.

The LRM will be embarking on something of an art crawl this Sunday, joining the dots between a few of the many exciting creative endeavours lighting up the city at the moment.

We’ll be meeting at John Rylands library café (on Deansgate) at 1.30pm I suggest getting there early to have a look at the splendid sounding Mapping Manchester: Cartographic Stories of the City' Mmmm maps... how they limit and liberate and intrigue….

Then we’ll be (very promptly on this occasion) heading out to enjoy Procession which one of the LRMs heroes, Miss Euphemia P Niblock describes as the highlight of the (Manchester International) festival, the everyday, plus a little bit of flaneurie = an archaeology of now!! perfect...

At 2.30pm we will reconvene under our beloved giant map in Victoria Station. This is one of my favourite places in town; I love the energy of railway stations and the million stories you can glimpse (or invent) in the bustle. We may be a little late so if you are lost or unsure where we are do please ring/text the hotline 079 749 29589 and remember our ramshackleness is part of our charm.

The ensuing derive will be tactile, sensuous and playful: I want to concentrate on the senses that we tend to ignore or repress when traversing the city. And no I am not being perverse: this will be a walk, as ever, suitable for all ages and dispositions. It seems to me society as a whole is becoming over cautious; fear of fear is a dangerous enemy to the loiterer. Chance and chaos and risk can be liberating and beautiful: let’s be delightfully silly and concentrate on touching and feeling and being joyous. Consensual hugging is optional but very welcome.

This is not an official event; we have no corporate sponsorship, no membership fee, no tickets, no exclusions, no copyright notices, no insurance policies and no dogma. Ignore me if you like but please remember advice given by some of our illustrious forbears ‘Forbidding is not allowed’ and ‘As long as it harm none’ between those two sages lies the heart of The LRM.

Our wander will finish at CHIPS so we can be dazzled by Trade City, Contemporary Art Manchester’s launch event. Pedants may note we are not embarking on a true derive because the end point is defined but I say so what. We have no idea of what the travelling will entail and the journey can still be sweet.

I daresay then we shall find somewhere to share stories and imbibe refreshing beverages. Even as we revel in the art there will doubtless be despair at the redevelopment of Ancoats and debate on the contradictions inherent within the LRM; so resolutely embedded and in love with the city and yet hating so much of what is happening to it. It’s a shame The City as Gymnasium exhibition at Cube isn’t open until 9th July; I think there will be much to savour there too especially Lottie Child’s Street Training.

I hope one of the subtexts of a walk between and betwixt spectacles will be a rallying cry for solidarity amongst the many artists, organisations and individuals whose work overlaps with ours.

We may disagree on many things – I am a contrary bugger and lest we forget the LRM is about revolutionary fun and wants nothing less than the city of our dreams - but like a giant Venn diagram at our core we are all exploring and celebrating Manchester in its multifaceted and frustrating and wonderful glory.
The city is big enough for us all and I despise the insidious sense of competition certain quarters encourage; but of course I reserve the right to expel corporate whores and untruthful prophets when The Loiterers Republic of Mancunia is finally established!

Just time to heartily recommend a couple more kindred’s who I can not envisage ever banishing: The fledgling manchester modernist society is blossoming into a Very Good Thing and the next issue of The Mule newspaper (its full of proper, inspiring, trustworthy journalism) will include an article about The LRM and how playing in the street became subversive.

I do hope to see you Sunday or perhaps in one of the secret grottos I’ve taken to hiding in of late. No of course I’m not revealing where they are - it wouldn’t be a secret network then would it - but there again is the paradox: most sacred LRM spaces may feel private but are very public. The portals are there for anyone to discover if only they are looking the right way….

Glittery love, power and joy

Morag x

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