About Town Explores International Video Art In Birmingham Urban Spaces

A new exhibition of international video art in Birmingham’s Southside district presented by Hippodrome Plus in partnership with Ikon is happening this Autumn in November. 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-bornGrace Ndiritu, explores racial stereotyping.

Image Left: Adel Abdessemed Happiness in Mitte 2003 Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner Image Right: Grace Ndiritu The Nightingale 2003 Courtesy Lux and the artist

About Town is taking place 13 – 16 November 2014

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