This year, there has been an exhibition, “Birmingham 68”, overseen by the Flatpack Film Festival in tandem with Birmingham City University, and a ‘radio-film’ broadcast on Brum Radio, “Resistance 68”, created by Darryl Georgiou and Rebekah Tolley-Georgiou. Both address the spirit of counterculture in 1968, and examines the parallels we can draw within today’s society.
I attended the Flatpack Festival Volunteer Meeting on Saturday 31 March, and decided to make some notes about what to expect for what was going to be their 12th festival within Birmingham, which will run from 13 – 22 April. What I saw that morning was effectively a whistle stop tour through the extensive programme, which you can find at all good arts venues and hubs city-wide. This, I thought, was only a small fraction of a curator’s choice, not, as you’ll find out, by any means exhaustive.
It’s become customary in this blog to dip into the murky world of music journalism, with my bi-yearly interviews with the artist now known as Bandleader MPH aka Matt ‘The Lip’ Hale (formerly Miles Perhower) of super Bearwood beat combo The Day Ends.
They’ve got two gigs coming up over the next month, the first on Saturday 17 February at The Windsor Snooker Club in Bearwood, and the second on Sunday 25 March at the Sunday Xpress at Centrala. Both gigs are going to be live-streamed on the new Day Ends TV channel, but, as you can see some the strong words below, a splendid time will be guaranteed for all live and in person…
Darryl Georgiou and Rebekah Tolley-Georgiou are broadcasting a special edition of Sleeve Notes (Session #91) on Brum Radio on Thursday 15 February.
Their sound-art installation, ‘Magician Walks into the Laboratory’ debuted at the CET Building in Coventry last year. The work, and the following discussions that arose, will be a departure point for Thursday’s show, a ‘radio-film’ developed especially for Sleeve Notes. The ‘Magician’ project is part of a trilogy spanning three decades, set against the backdrop of Europe’s Iron Curtain, with its core themes stemming from surveillance techniques and intelligence gathering methods used by CIA, the Stasi, and the KGB.
Darryl Georgiou and Rebekah Tolley presented “Magician Walks into the Laboratory” in collaboration with Professor Jack Klaff as part of The Future, shown throughout the inaugural Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art in October. During the exhibition, Professor Klaff was invited to talk about the installation and its deeper meanings, which for me raised some very interesting points, particularly surrounding hauntology, 21st century paranoia, and genius loci – notions on how places feel, which will be referenced further in the next part of their trilogy “Walking Back The Cat” which deals with Stasi surveillance.
As a volunteer for Fierce 2017, I decided to make best use of the possibilities that were opened up to me by writing a few guest blogs for the event. I will be covering two events during Saturday daytime and evening, yet I went along to the opening night at the Festival Hub (Quantum Exhibition Centre on River Street in Digbeth) and this is what I saw.
The exterior walls of the Open Eye Gallery are etched with the memories of those who have engaged with the space throughout its 40 year history, quotations from those who have had their work exhibited, and what it means for them and their community, and how they have been given a helping hand.
That day I was there to see the opening of the Culture Shifts: Local programme, which will be in part presented in this main hub until the 22nd of December.