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Birmingham - The Magic City

Date uploaded: September 17, 2012

Birmingham - The Magic City
15 September – 25 November

Artists: BAZ, Helen Brown, Home of Metal, Napalm Death, plan b, David Rowan, Bedwyr Williams

We Are Eastside presents Birmingham The Magic City. Welcome to hidden undergrounds, blushing civic pride and future visions of our ‘magic’ city.

‘The Magic City’ is borrowed from a proposed artwork by BAZ, inspired by the sign that originally welcomed visitors to Birmingham, Alabama, USA. BAZ want to build a new version of the sign next to the planned hi-speed rail station destined for Eastside, Birmingham, UK. BAZ believe everything Birmingham does is magic!

Eastside and Digbeth are the oldest parts of Birmingham. Birmingham’s reputation as an industrial city started here, with foundries, metal workshops and tanneries dating back to medieval times. The area’s factories and warehouses now contain galleries, studios and creative organisations producing a visionary programme.

Birmingham The Magic City is a snapshot of overlapping perceptions, an exploration of the unknown underground sub-infrastructure of the city, a collage of 1980s Grindcore fanzines from the birthplace of heavy metal, a day in the life of walkers of Birmingham, an orgy of civic boosterism and a reconstruction of a ‘creepy’ wooden lath wall.

Home of Metal, Napalm Death
Grindcore: Cut N Paste, 2011-12
Grindcore: Cut N Paste is a selection of the Home of Metal installation of fanzines, letters and other metal paraphernalia. The installation explores the relevance of Birmingham’s metal past to its current state through the fanzines’ coverage of riots in the recent and not-so-recent past.

David Rowan
Pacha Kuti X, 2012.
A single screen film projection explores the unknown underground sub-infrastructure of Birmingham. The name Pacha Kuti refers to an Inca apocalypse legend, a time of duality and change and roughly translates as ‘the time when the world will turn upside down’. Pacha Kuti X is the 10th End of The Known Universe according to the Inca legend.

Helen Brown
Novelette, 2011.
A scripted monologue edited from recorded dialogues at Eastside Projects starting in 2009. The participants came from all walks of life: Novelette, cleaner; Joe, architect; Bella, school pupil; Alex, actor; Kate, gallery assistant; Dennis, factory worker; Nina, office intern; Hana, administrator; Ben, video producer; Becky, philosophy student; Norman, car washer.

Flatpack Festival
A Better Lifestyle (Promotional films from down the ages), 2012
An orgy of civic boosterism ranging from 1940s to the present explores how Birmingham has sold itself over the years.

BAZ (Matt Westbrook & Chris Poolman),
Welcomes to the Magic City, 2012.
Billboard poster inspired by a promotional poster inviting visitors to Birmingam, Alabama, USA

Berliningham Bar, 2012
The bar will be displayed throughout the duration of the exhibition. Drinks were available on launch night only.

Bedwyr Williams
Lath Wall, 2012
During a performance a traditional lath wall was plastered from the inside.

plan b
A Day in the Life-Walkers of Birmingham, 2012

We Are Eastside is a consortium leading independent arts in Birmingham formed of Capsule, Eastside Projects, Flatpack Festival, Fierce Festival, Grand Union and Ikon Gallery.

Organised by Capsule, Eastside Projects, Fierce Festival, Flatpack Festival, Grand Union, Ikon Gallery.

Lead Sponsor: BIAD/Birmingham City University.

Visit liverpoolbiennial.co.uk/whatson/current/all/521/birmingham---the-magic-city/