Joy Divi­sion and New Order have had a pro­found effect on the cre­ative arts, inspir­ing not only musi­cians but artists, writ­ers, illus­tra­tors and film mak­ers. Their visu­al lega­cy is now being doc­u­ment­ed in a new exhi­bi­tion open­ing in Man­ches­ter as part of the Man­ches­ter Inter­na­tion­al Fes­ti­val (MIF17).

Tak­ing place at Man­ches­ter Art Gallery from 30th June, True Faith brings togeth­er a rich seam of works by artists inspired by the band and illus­trates just how far-reach­ing their visu­al impact has become.

The polit­i­cal and social land­scape which gave rise to the for­ma­tion of the band has been the sub­ject of much dis­sec­tion in film and exhi­bi­tions, such as the Joy Divi­sion 2007 doc­u­men­tary by Jon Sav­age, direct­ed by Grant Gee; Anton Cor­bi­jn’s 2007 film Con­trol, and in a show at Open Eye Gallery, Liv­er­pool ear­li­er this year, North: Iden­ti­ty, Pho­tog­ra­phy, Fash­ion, which fea­tured Raf Simons’ 2003 col­lec­tion parkas, pro­duced in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Peter Sav­ille of Fac­to­ry Records, and now high­ly col­lectible pieces. 

menswear fall win­ter 2003

True Faith will bring togeth­er art­works inspired by the bands, includ­ing Paint­ing for Ian Cur­tis (from “Orna­men­tal Despair”) (1980) by Julian Schn­abel, Steel Har­mo­ny (2009) by Jere­my Deller and Dream Eng­lish Kid 1964 – 1999 AD (2015) by Mark Leckey.

Artist Liam Gillick will cre­ate a new ver­sion of his Scale Mod­el Of A Social Cen­ter For Teenagers For Milan (AC-DC Joy Divi­sion House), 1993 and Mar­tin Boyce will re-cre­ate his 2002 instal­la­tion Our Love is Like the Flow­ers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours (below). The exhi­bi­tion will fea­ture Peter Saville’s cov­er designs along­side pro­mo­tion­al videos and posters by John Baldessari and Lawrence Weiner.

Mar­tin Boyce

Vis­i­tors to True Faith may do well to vis­it anoth­er exhi­bi­tion which hap­pens to be show­ing con­cur­rent­ly: Shirley Bak­er’s pho­tographs of the post-war slums of Man­ches­ter and Sal­ford in Women, Chil­dren and Loi­ter­ing Men. This is the land­scape, the back­drop against which Joy Divi­sion came togeth­er. My piece about the show is here

I was delight­ed to meet Natasha Howes, Cura­tor at Man­ches­ter Art Gallery, and hear about the New Order gigs planned. See­ing New Order is rarely an ‘inti­mate per­for­mance’ these days, so it’s good to hear that the band are going to do five small live per­for­mances. They will take over Stage 1 of Old Grana­da Stu­dios as part of MIF17. The shows are cre­at­ed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Liam Gillick. NOTE: These are now SOLD OUT. 

True Faith – New Order singe 1987

True Faith
From Fri­day 30 June, dai­ly 10am – 5pm (9pm on Thursday)
Exhi­bi­tion con­tin­ues to 3 September
Man­ches­ter Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Man­ches­ter, M2 3JL
Free, no tick­et required
A pro­gramme of events will accom­pa­ny the exhi­bi­tion, see for announcements.

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