Vivid Projects’ acclaimed 33 REVOLUTIONS programme concludes this winter with Bring Your Own Beamer, a one-night event curated by Antonio Roberts.
Armed with projectors, artists will beam responses to Vivid Projects’ eight-month opening season, 33 REVOLUTIONS, onto the walls of the space, creating a collective Revolution 33 through a giant audio-visual environment.
Exhibiting artists include: Pete Ashton, George Benson, Dom Breadmore, Ashley James Brown, David Checkley, chromatouch, Roxie Collins, Vlad C Costache, DACHHU VISUALS, faisfx, Soraya Fatha, Anna Horton, Sebastian Lenton, Michael Lightborne, Sam Alexander Mattacott, Mark Murph, Tim Neath, Walter Newton, Natalie O’Keeffe, Chris Plant, Antonio Roberts, Daniel Salisbury, Sellotape Cinema, Dan Tombs, and Ben Waddington.
Music on the night will be provided by Pete Ashton, Alex Juno and Swoomptheeng DJs.
Bring Your Own Beamer (BYOB) is an international series of one-night exhibitions inviting artists, armed with films and projectors, to convene and explore the art of projection in an immersive environment of moving light, sound and performance. BYOB is an idea originally conceived by Berlin-based artist Rafael Rozendaal and BYOB events have been held in over 40 international cities.
In the early 1990s, long before social media and blogs, a revolution started in Olympia (US). An uprising of bright, angry girls broadcast their solidarity by way of art, activism and a DIY aesthetic. The movement died out in the mid 1990s however the ideas that fuelled riot grrrl have continued to shape the lives of many artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, and activists.
Combining moving image, documentary, music and discussion, Rebel Girl brings together artists, writers, speakers and makers to explore the legacy of riot grrrl twenty years on from Kathleen Hanna’s Riot Grrrl manifesto.
Based on lyrics from Sleater Kinney, Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, Riot Grrrl Alchemy Film combines 16mm b&w and colour film neg danced on with sneakers, sprayed with cherry tomatoes, and rubbed with cinnamon, butter buns, strawberries and candy bars.
Quiet RRRiot (The Bikini Kill Story) is one in a series of seven videos that make up the project For Those About to Rock. The videos, formatted as movie trailers for never to be made films, tell the truncated story of different indie rock bands, culled from rumor, innuendo and legendary gossip.
Lucy Thane It Changed My Life: Bikini Kill in the UK (1993)
Documentary following Bikini Kill and Huggy Bear on their 1993 UK tour. The film also features the Raincoats, Sister George and Skinned Teen alongside interview footage with band members and female audience members at the shows.
Regular contributor to contemporary feminist website The F Word, and zine scene veteran with fanzines including Aggamengmong Moggie (1993-99), Real Girls (2001), and Harlot’s Progress (2002-06) under her belt, Cazz Blase joins Vivid Projects to examine the UK riot grrrl scene.
We’ve invited Birmingham’s very own Atta Girl, promoters of women in music, to curate a special Riot Grrrl playlist in advance of their clubnight at the Hare and Hounds on 28 September, so listen out for that during the weekend too!
Bristol Radical Film Festival join us for a special screening of films on the Black Panther Party, a black revolutionary socialist organisation active in the United States from 1966 to 1982.
Eldridge Cleaver: Black Panther [dir: William Klein, 1970] follows the minister of information for the Black Panthers as he exiles himself to Algeria, attending the the Pan-African National Congress and pondering his fate as a black militant being pursued by the U.S. authorities. The film provides insight into the trajectory of the Black Panther Party, and, chillingly, into recent events around the pursuit of dissenters like Edward Snowden.
Who Are the Angola 3? [dir: Hugo Levien] is a film about three men have spent over 30 years in solitary confinement, simply for being members of the Black Panther Party. The film places their situation within the historical context of slavery, while looking at the continuing corporatisation of the U.S. prison system.
The screening is followed by a Q&A discussion with Anthony Killick (Bristol Radical Film Festival) and director Hugo Levien.
The Bristol Radical Film Festival showcases a radically different kind of cinema. As well as running a range of events throughout the year, they also host an annual festival in the last week of February, screening socially and politically engaged documentary and fiction films from around the world in a variety of community based venues.
Twin brothers from The Bronx, Mike and George have created a do-it-yourself cinematic style that celebrates the common man but does so in style oozing with “kitchen sink” Hollywood excess.
Starting in the mid-50s with a string of shorts shot on the regular-8 format, they switched to 16mm around 1965 and began making their own films. George sadly passed away in 2011, so Little Joe, a magazine about queers and cinema, mostly, have teamed up with Copenhagen-based Jack Stevenson to honour both brothers, presenting a selection of their work from Jack’s own 16mm collection.
Comments Off on Free School – Poetry, Carnival, Politics
Poetry, Carnival, Politics aims to interrogate notions of art, revolution and the controversial figure that was Michael X, through music, film and spoken word.
The programme explores the complexities of the burgeoning black community’s experience of life in Britain during the 50s and 60s – socially, culturally and economically. The programme adopts the principal of the revolutionary ‘London Free School’, a community action group launched in 1966 in Notting Hill, opening up Vivid Projects space for artists and the public to create their own dialogue.
Thursday 05 September, 6.30pm SCREENING: Who Needs a Heart? [dir John Akomfrah, Black Audio Film Collective].
Who Needs a Heart? is a parable of political becoming and subjective transformation and one of Black Audio Film Collective’s most controversial films.
The film explores the forgotten history of British Black Power through the fictional lives of a group of friends caught up in the metamorphoses of the movement’s central figure; the countercultural anti-hero, activist and charismatic social bandit Michael Abdul Malik, formerly known as Michael X and christened Michael De Freitas, who left England in 1970 and was tried and executed for his role in an unsolved murder in Trinidad in 1975.
Running time: 78 mins. Courtesy LUX.
Friday 06 September, 6.30 – 10pm An evening of film and music curated by Ian Sergeant
A collaborative performance between DJ, musician and composer Bobbie Gardner, artist Matt Watkins and dub-griot Kokumo, revealing the contrasting incarnations of the protagonist from Michael De Freitas to Michael X to Michael Abdul Malik.
Jerk Chicken and Rum Punch available from 6.30pm.
Tickets £3 on the door.
Saturday 07 September, 10.30am – 2pm WORKSHOP & PRESENTATION: Free School: Who Am I?
Who Am I? is all about bringing young people together to experience, explore and express through art, who they are and what it means to be a citizen in this country. Participants are invited to work with an artist from one of the following fields – photography, poetry/ spoken word, drawing or painting.
For this event, the workshop will bring together participants from Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton to discuss and share some of their ideas and experiences to date as part of the project.
“The minute you know you’re on safe ground, you’re DEAD.” – David Bowie
From the moment he first appeared on the nation’s TV screens as Ziggy Stardust on Top of the Pops in 1972, David Bowie changed lives. Vivid Projects hails one of the most revolutionary artists of all time – David Bowie.
Immerse yourself in the sound and vision of a man whose influence is apparent in both punk and soul, on Madonna and Jarvis Cocker; on street style and sexuality. As Charles Shaar Murray observes, “who else has duetted with Bing Crosby and dabbled in drum-and-bass, recorded with both Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Pet Shop Boys, produced both Lou Reed and Lulu?”
Turn and face the strange…
Revolution 18 is presented as part of Warwick Bar’s Summer Fete, a moveable feast of art, culture and food on Saturday 27 July, 12-6pm at Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street.
with contributions from Leon Trimble, Chromatouch.
Comments Off on Revolutions 15–17: Forward Back Together
Forward Back Together is a new commission from artist Simon Pope exploring the material transformations of Raymond Mason’s Forward (1991), commissioned by the city council, given as a gift to the people of Birmingham and later destroyed by that very same ‘public’.
Using a participatory methodology, this dialogic work took the form of a series of meetings with key participants and a script-development workshop held at Vivid Projects on 11th June 2013. The work explores how various publics, produced at each points of the statue’s transformation, might improvise a fictional account of Forward’s life as a public artwork – from the point-of-view of the statue itself – from artists proposal and commissioning process, manufacture and installation, burning and removal.
Simon Pope will be in conversation with Dr Saskia Warren on Saturday 6th July, 2pm at Vivid Projects – a limited edition of the transcript of the workshop will be available.
You can also catch Simon Pope on Radio BBCWM speaking with Carl Chinn on Sunday 23 June from 12pm.
Workshop Leader: Caroline Jester Participants: Michael Diamond, John Hammersley, Simon Pope, Ben Waddington and Dr.Saskia Warren. With thanks to: Nigel Edmonson, Simon Redgrave, Lorna Hards and Helen Oliver at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Commissioned by Vivid Projects and curated by Kaye Winwood.
Alan Lomax (1915-2002) was one of the greatest American field collectors of folk music of the 20th century. Featuring rarely seen footage shot during Lomax’s North American travels between 1978 to 1985, alongside folk blues, gospel, esoteric, international and punk music from Mississippi Records’ extensive library, the film features artists including Abner Jay, Rev. Louis Overstreet, RL Burnside, Algae May Hinton, Bishop Perry Tillis, legendary folk singer Michael Hurley and many more.
“Eclectic independent record label named after the record store located in Portland, Oregon, Mississippi Records specializes in vinyl reissues of American roots, blues, gospel, art punk, and world music, among other recorded obscurities.”
Comments Off on Revolution 01: Ladies and Gentleman, How Long Will They Last
Ladies and Gentleman, How Long Will They Last? is a metaphor for the journey of husband and wife through the most trying period of their lives; a manifestation of the sheer exhaustion they endured, together with their uncompromising resilience and fortitude.
The commission – comprised of performance, sound and spectacle – saw a couple dancing over a ten-hour period, Physically and emotionally holding each other up, a metaphor for the grueling strains of the cancer and its and treatment.
Onlookers were only permitted into the space for the last hour as the dancers are agonizingly tired. Their focus is immediately drawn to the moving couple in an incongruous desire to glimpse their downfall whilst encourage their success.
During this final hour the slow, hypnotic moves of the dancers, and the sonic repetition of “Ladies And Gentlemen, How Long Will They Last?” shifts from question to mantra, holding the performers under the audience’s scrutiny but then slowly dissolving through the manipulation by the artist’s hand. It is here that the breakdown and transformation of the work really begins.
Towards the end of the piece, the introduction of a handmade synthesiser brings into the space further granulated, organic noises followed by the onset of the horn section and finally chanting voices. The audience begins to sense the disquiet, the pain and intensity experienced by the dancers. Will they look away, or will they join in the chant?
Whilst Ladies and Gentleman, How Long Will They Last? has a very personal significance to the artist, it also embodies the personal struggles in the epic and beautiful battle of life that are familiar to everyone.
Justin Wiggan is an artist who works across sound, visual media and the written word. This new commission, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, How Long Will They Last?” is a timely, thought provoking work informed by the acts of endurance lived through by people through our society everyday – often silently, invisibly.
The performers are British dancer/choreographer Rosie Kay and Brazilian dancer Guilherme Miotto, who first collaborated in 2005, with the acclaimed ‘Asylum’ for Edinburgh Festival, DanceXchange and Dance Umbrella. The soundscape was created by Justin Wiggan in collaboration with Louis Robinson and his horn Group. The choir is led by Clare Edwards, music director for Birmingham choir Notorious.
Curated with Antonio Roberts, who previously worked with us to produce the first GLI.TC/H festival in the UK (http://gli.tc/h/2011) Dirty New Media was a one day event for the University of Birmingham’s Arts and Science Festival. Bringing a very different audience to The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the ethos was to bend and warp public perceptions of what you might experience at The Barber.
Dirty New media included performances and interactive installations from digital artists, hacktivists and new media explorers from the West Midlands and GLI.TC/H Chicago. Artworks took the form of hacked and customised hardware, data necklaces, glitched textiles, generative software, data-mangling, video projection and more.
Dirty New Media artists utilize hacked electronics and improvisation to create works of art that are so wrong they’re right! This engaging day of performances and interactive installations from digital artists, hacktivists and new media explorers from the West Midlands, Chicago and beyond features artworks in the form of hacked and customised hardware, accessories, demos, lectures, data-mangling, projection and more.
Audio Visual Performances:
Minuek / Norah Lorway / Circuit Ben
Modulate, Carrie Gates, Theodore Darst, Antonio Roberts, Nick Kegeyan, Jennifer Chan, Kevin Carey, Michael Lightborne, Sian Macfarlane, Bryan Peterson
Jon Cates / Dan O’Hara
Optical Theremin Workshop with Circuit Ben
Exhibition Interventions throughout The Barber:
Benjamin Gaulon [aka Recyclism], Jeff Donaldson, Dec Ackroyd, Jason Soliday, Charlotte Frost and Rob Myers, Kate Pemberton, Jamie Boulton , URRRGH, Stef Lewandowski