17  Jul 2017


Friedrich Engels – philosopher, writer, radical thinker – is coming back to Manchester this weekend and First Street is throwing a homecoming party to mark the occasion.

To celebrate the end of MIF17, Ceremony, a live film event by Turner Prize-nominated artist Phil Collins, will take place at the NCP Bridgewater Hall carpark this Sunday 16 July followed by a celebration party at First Street.

The film documents the journey of a Soviet-era statue of Engels, which over the last few months has been driven across Europe from the Ukraine, and will be permanently installed at First Street’s Tony Wilson Place. The statue will be erected in recognition of the two decades Engels spent in Manchester observing the working-class conditions of the city.

The unveiling of the statue at its new home on First Street will see the people of Manchester joining forces to create a performative film event, mixing footage from the road trip across Europe with live coverage of its inauguration. This will include a soundtrack by Mica Levi and Demdike Stare, a new anthem by Gruff Rhys, and stories of today’s Manchester workers who Collins met and filmed during his year-long MIF17 residency. Performances in and around Tony Wilson Place will be broadcast at a free event in the NCP Bridgewater Car Park, as well as live-streamed.

Following the filming, the audience will be invited back to First Street to view the statue which is located on the plaza at Tony Wilson Place. Up to 1000 guests are expected at the viewing and, from his new perch in Tony Wilson Place, Engels’ statue will oversee the celebrations at First Street on Sunday evening. Many of the estate’s tenants, including independent operators HOME, INNSIDE Manchester hotel, The Laundrette, The Gasworks Brewbar, The Liquor Store and Indian Tiffin Room, will be joining in the celebrations to offer MIF after-partygoers a triumphant end to the festival.

The First Street estate is owned and developed by leading real estate investment manager PATRIZIA, which is a corporate sponsor of this year’s MIF.

Commenting on First Street and PATRIZIA’S involvement in the inauguration of Engels’ statue, Mike Tyler, Head of Asset Management at PATRIZIA UK, said: “First Street is no stranger to artistic endeavour, with the estate’s anchor occupier HOME hosting theatre and dance shows, independent films and art installations every week. For First Street to become the permanent location of Engels’ statue, a joint art project by MIF, 14-18 NOW and HOME, is testament to the cultural significance First Street is having on the city, and the impact it will continue to make now and for many years to come.”

Ceremony takes place on Sunday 16 July, NCP Bridgewater Hall Car Park. The Engels statue at Tony Wilson Place at First Street can be viewed straight after the live performance.

Ceremony is co-commissioned by Manchester International Festival (MIF), 14-18 NOW – the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and HOME, Manchester.

You can also experience Ceremony live and online at mif.co.uk/live.