‘things that seem to happen by chance’ was a programme of playful and political interventions by artists Amelia Beavis-Harrison, Margaret Diamond, Anna Falcini, Sophie Hedderwick and Katie Stafford. Interacting with a range of public sites across Birmingham city centre, the five artists’ works connected to performance and the body, drawing and the line, and food and the festive season. The programme also looked toward Birmingham as both a historically unique city but one which shares similarities with many others in the UK and elsewhere.The programme was curated by Anneka French, Alice Hsu and Polina Panteli.
The full programme of activity running from Monday 2nd December – Friday 6th December 2013 was as follows:
Monday 2 December: Sophie Hedderwick uses film, light and movement in her work. In a new performance titled ‘Traces We Leave Behind’ she explores temporality and rhythm in a night-time street dance performance. Tracing lines in the darkened space, the dancers’ develop a lyrical dialogue between body and place.
Tuesday 3 December: Katie Stafford’s practice incorporates installation and participation to produce revealing experiences of space and how we inhabit it. Her new site specific installation ‘Untitled (Pigeon Park)’ is activated through bodily experience, and a playful engagement with space and materials via a minimalist intervention.
Wednesday 4 December: Anna Falcini’s new work dedicates this date as ‘John Baskerville Day.’ Baskerville left an indelible mark upon Birmingham’s history, yet his achievements remain discreet, perhaps forgotten. Through a series of drawings and writing at locations significant to his life and death, Centenary Square and Warstone Lane Cemetery, Falcini offers these works as a gift to his memory.
Thursday 5 December: Margaret Diamond shows two sculptures with a life of their own, ‘Formula Driven #5 (Greggs)’ and ‘Formula Driven #1 (Starbucks).’ They relate to the duplication of chain stores that result in identically cloned high streets and shopping centres. Their distinctive logos are frequently seen on the litter of our streets.
Friday 6 December: Amelia Beavis-Harrison explores the parameters of performance. In her new work, ‘5 artists sit on a bench eating ice-cream in December’ she questions the reality of a situation by placing a commonly occurring action out of season and multiplying this. The artist turns a simple gesture into something questionable.