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Economics the Blockbuster
– It’s not Business as Usual

30 June – 22 October 2023
How can artists reimagine the economy?

Economics the Blockbuster
– It’s not Business as Usual

How can artists reimagine the economy?

Live Events ProgrammeWe are excited to announce a new project by the Whitworth, presented as part of this year’s Manchester International Festival MIF23.

Economics the Blockbuster is a group exhibition about art, economy and community action. It brings together 10 extraordinary art projects by artists, collectives and art organisations that demonstrate art as real-world economic systems. Together they propose new ways of 'doing business', driven by the needs and concerns of the communities in which they are created.

Economy is an everyday activity. It includes many things, from the exchange of gifts, money and finance, to caring for others, building trust and sustaining the environment. It happens not only in factories, shops, or offices but in parks, on the streets, and in museums.

From a community-led drinks company to an art collective reclaiming plantation land, the exhibition includes new artist commissions, merchandise with a purpose, business collaborations and our live programme of events.

The exhibition presents work by: Association de Arte Útil, Cercle d'Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) and Renzo Martens, Company Drinks, Goldin+Senneby, Kathrin Böhm and Kuba Szreder (Centre for Plausible Economies), lumbung Kios, Owen Griffiths and Alessandra Saviotti, Rosalie Schweiker, The Alternative School of Economics (Ruth Beale and Amy Feneck) and Tŷ Pawb. About the Artists

A project by the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, and presented as part of Manchester International Festival.

Manchester International Festival 2023 In collaboration with partners across the city and the globe, Manchester International Festival invites an extraordinary range of artists, from a huge range of art forms and backgrounds to create brand-new work for Manchester. MIF23 runs from 29 June – 16 July 2023 and takes place in venues across the city. To find out more about the Festival visit

Project credits The exhibition was initiated by Alistair Hudson (former Director at the Whitworth, now Artistic- Scientific Chairman of Zentrums für Kunst und Medien (ZKM), Germany) and is shaped by a collaborative group led by Poppy Bowers, Interim Head of Exhibitions at the Whitworth, and including: John Byrne (Liverpool John Moores University), Kathrin Böhm and Kuba Szreder (Centre for Plausible Economies), Ismail Ertürk (Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester), Alessandra Saviotti (Asociación de Arte Útil), Vicky Carr and Chris Shearston (Textbook Studio), Holly Shuttleworth (Executive Producer, HS Studio), Whitworth staff: Ed Watts, Head of Civic Education & Engagement, and Hannah Vollam, Curatorial Assistant.

About the Artists
Click this link and discover more about all the artists featured in Economics the Blockbuster: It’s not Business as Usual.

Live Programme 

As part of the exhibition, we have a live programme of free events taking place at the Whitworth throughout the duration of the exhibition. These events are your opportunity to find out more and explore the projects, artworks, and artists in the exhibition. The dates and times of the events are added regularly and can be found here in the live events programme.

30 June – 22 October 2023


Image: Members and regular pickers of Company Drinks, a community-driven drinks business, forage for hawthorn at Eastbrookend Country Park in Dagenham, East London/Essex. Photo courtesy of Company Drinks.