Hippodrome Presents International Video Art Exhibition ABOUT TOWN: VIDEO ART IN SOUTHSIDE, Nov. 13-16
About Town is an exhibition of international video art in Birmingham's Southside district taking place 13 - 16 November 2014. Presented by Hippodrome Plus in partnership with Ikon, About Town showcases a wide variety of free night-screenings by artists from the UK and abroad, in unusual urban spaces.
New commissions inspired by their location, alongside pieces from Ikon's recent programme, will explore everyday city life and reflect on how we shape and are shaped by our surroundings. About Town audiences will intersperse their artistic experiences with short walks through streets brimming with local interest.
The Gallan Car Park, Hurst Street will see a combination of large scale installations, transforming it into a vast indoor landscape of moving imagery and ambient sound. Beat Streuli's New Street (2013) will display projected sequences of photographic stills across three large screens, capturing the summer atmosphere of Birmingham's streets. Gillian Wearing's Broad Street (2000) focuses its attention on Birmingham's frenetic night-life. Oliver Beer's film Pay and Display (2011) documents his collaboration with the city's Ex Cathedra choir to create an experimental music video shot in a stairwell in the Pershore Street Carpark.
Birmingham Hippodrome will host a number of works in its foyer areas, on staircases and landings. Adel Abdessemed's Happiness in Mitte(2003) depicts stray cats drinking, one by one, from bowls of milk left by the artist outdoors in Berlin's Mitte district. In Hiccup #2 (2006) Canadian artist Kelly Mark documents a five day performance on the steps of the old Birmingham Library, repeating the same routine of simple actions while other people, undirected by her, are busy being otherwise occupied.
A new commission, by emerging local artist Dean Kelland is based on 1970s British sitcoms. Other films to be shown include Marjolijn Dijkman's Wandering Through the Future (2007), a montage of film clips, and Cornelia Parker's Chomskian Abstract (2007), both speculating on the nature of the end of the world as we know it. Nightingale (2003), by Birmingham-born Grace Ndiritu, explores racial stereotyping.
There will be numerous other works visible from the street, including Junebum Park's Parking (2002) and Vladimir Logutov's Twilight (2005), and Heather and Ivan Morison's Colours and Sounds in Ivan Morison's Garden (2002).
About Town is presented by Hippodrome Plus in partnership with Ikon and supported by Arts Council England and Southside Business Improvement District.
Birmingham Hippodrome is an independent, not-for-profit, registered charity. The unsubsidised Hurst Street based venue averages over 500,000 visits annually making it the most popular single auditorium in the UK. With no public revenue funding, it is home to Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange, presents all of Welsh National Opera's repertoire, welcomes the best in international dance, West End and Broadway musicals and is home to the world's biggest Pantomime. www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Birmingham Hippodrome is currently expanding its Creative Programme - Hippodrome Plus - building on its successful work with young people and in the community, and with free outdoor performances. With partners including Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and private funders, the Hippodrome has recently enjoyed co-producing and producing new events including International Dance Festival Birmingham, The Voyage (for the London 2012 Festival), Summer in Southside and the 4 Squares Weekender, a weekend of outdoor arts performances in celebration of the opening of the Library of Birmingham on behalf of Birmingham Arts Partnership (2013). Hippodrome Plus recently presented the British premiere of Minimum Monument by Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo. Minimum Monument featured 5,000 hand-sculpted ice figures as part of the city's WW1 commemorations.
Ikon is an internationally acclaimed art gallery situated in central Birmingham. Housed in a magnificent neo-gothic school building, it is an educational charity and works to encourage public engagement with contemporary art through exhibiting new work in a context of debate and participation. The gallery programme features artists from around the world. A variety of media is represented, including sound, film, mixed media, photography, painting, sculpture and installation. Ikon's off-site programme develops dynamic relationships between art, artists and audiences outside the gallery. Projects vary enormously in scale, duration and location, challenging expectations of where art can be seen and by whom. Ikon is open Tuesday - Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 11am - 6pm. Admission is free. Ikon Gallery is supported using public funding from Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council. www.ikon-gallery.org
Over the past decade, Southside has emerged as a distinctive quarter within Birmingham's expanding city centre. Encompassing Chinatown,Theatreland and The Gay Village, Southside is recognised for its diversity and vibrance. A change in the area has been driven by a unique mix of developments including the Birmingham Hippodrome and Birmingham Royal Ballet complex, the Radisson Blu Hotel and O2 Academy alongside other independent retailers, hotels, theatres, cinemas, bars, clubs, warehouses, car parks and restaurants. www.enjoysouthside.co.uk