A surprise awaits you at 99 New Street, Birmingham…
Between Monday 3rd and Sunday 23rd September 2012, Little Earthquake and Tin Box curated the Three-Week Window Festival, right in the heart of Birmingham’s bustling city centre. Every day for 21 consecutive days, a new artist or company took over an enormous shop window to present an array of work designed to intrigue, attract and engage thousands of passers-by.
The Festival featured both emerging and more established artists — working in the fields of theatre, dance, music, photography and visual art — and alongside the Birmingham contingent, they hailed from as far afield as Manchester, Lancaster, Sheffield…and even Brazil. Three weeks. One window. And limitless possibilities.
The line up consisted of:
MONDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER: Barry Robinson
I will be putting up pictures of Birmingham people in various media including a slide-show on a laptop, large canvases, a QR code-link to a photoblog and “snap-shots” arranged across the window. The photographer will be situated outside the window periodically throughout the day and will photograph passers-by and viewers.
TUESDAY 4th SEPTEMBER: Hayley Phillips
An original look at gender roles in the 21st century, reflecting on the role that the media has to play in shaping gender identity.
WEDNESDAY 5th SEPTEMBER: Chris Reader — The Fragile Heart
I shall be making a cyanotype collage of the heart, a representation of all we expect of the heart both physically and emotionally. The image will evolve during the day, fragile and yet with strength, pieced together with materials, cyanotype photographs, words of fact and love.
THURSDAY 6th SEPTEMBER: Tin Box Theatre — Not Known at This Address
Obsessed by the secret world of letters, Martin Simons, a post office worker, has collected 1463 of them. Peer through the window into Martin’s world and see his letters come to life! Tin Box is currently developing Not Known at This Address, which will premiere at mac on Wednesday 3rd October.
FRIDAY 7th SEPTEMBER: Nodding Dog Theatre — Play more / Shop less!
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Put down those shopping bags and come out to play, a window of wonder awaits you!
SATURDAY 8th SEPTEMBER: David Payne / After Dark Entertainment
I will be creating an interactive crime scene. Passers-by can look through the window at a murder scene and be challenged to work out whodunnit. Visual clues and wanted posters of the suspects will be provided and shoppers will be invited to submit solutions and potentially win a prize.
SUNDAY 9th SEPTEMBER: Little Earthquake — The Nocturnal House
Peek into a mysterious twilight world, where night and day have been reversed! Squint through the darkness at two shy and secretive creatures emerging from the shadows! See for yourselves how Sloth and Bat spend their day — and share your photos and observations of them live on Facebook and Twitter!
MONDAY 10th SEPTEMBER: Charlotte Farrow
My plans for my day in the window will be to display all my current artwork and demonstrate how I create my images. With my use of vibrant colours, life-like images and huge portraits, I want to transport passers-by from mundane Monday into a colourful and creative world…
TUESDAY 11th SEPTEMBER: Josh Coates – Never Let Me Down
A man stands by a window. His hand pressed up against the glass. He waits for someone to place their hand up against his. This is an invitation to be influenced by your curiosities and take a moment to stop. A mix of mime and interaction presented through a plane of glass.
WEDNESDAY 12th SEPTEMBER: Espirito Brum
Inspired by the hidden treasures of Birmingham’s cultural underground, Brazilian artists Expurgação will work alongside Birmingham based artists, including illustrators Wild Ilk, around the theme of “hidden treasure”, to produce a window display that draws in passers by, evoking questions around what is valuable.
THURSDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER: Phillip Thompson – Watch This Space
The shop window throughout the day will tell a story about a moment in life, filled with energy, emotion, feeling and illustrating it. This will be presented through the art of minimalism via expressive bold strokes on massive canvases, vivid and stark lighting, ‘brushstroke’ sounds and visually arresting video displays.
FRIDAY 14th SEPTEMBER: Laura Markham / Daytwentyfour Theatre – Zzz…
In between. In between sleep. In between the bed-sheets, tossing, turning. A surreal state, punctuated with peculiar thoughts, memories and images… Time and space have no limits or constraints. Peer through the window, share your story to follow HER journey through the spaces ‘in between’ in the Bedtime Story Exchange.
SATURDAY 15th SEPTEMBER: Old Joint Stock Theatre
Throughout the day, The Old Joint Stock Theatre will be presenting a variety of performances showcasing the productions and events from our exciting new autumn programme, including musical theatre, comedy, live jazz, belly dancing and lots more!
SUNDAY 16th SEPTEMBER: Spiltmilk Dance – Spiltmilk Say Dance
Spiltmilk Dance will be performing extracts of their work Spiltmilk Say Dance in the shop window. See the company turn social dance on its head, putting their unique spin on familiar favourites such as Hand Jive and The Twist.
MONDAY 17th SEPTEMBER: Rambling Heart
A little girl lost in a clothes shop is drawn into a new world: storms of receipts, giant shopping bags and T-shirts that move all by themselves… Her mother looks for her, hopes, despairs, wishes and waits. A short story told through puppetry from Rambling Heart: little moments played big.
TUESDAY 18th SEPTEMBER: Hannah Dalby and Stacey Johnstone – Clunk
We are taking people watching to the next level: watching how people interact on the street and creating improvisations and short repeatable choreography in response to the environment and people we encounter. We will play with our interaction with passers-by, playing with the idea of manikins though stillness and movement.
WEDNESDAY 19th SEPTEMBER: Edgbaston Arts Forum — Through The Looking Glass
If you stand still and look at us — act if you want to — we will draw your outline on the window. Help us draw pictures of people in the street…but who is looking at who?
THURSDAY 20th SEPTEMBER: Kindle Theatre
Through the window witness the filming of a pop video as Kindle Theatre perform the song “Are You Angry Yet?” from their live show, The Furies. Imagined domestic scenes are re-enacted as Clytemnestra vows to avenge her bullish lover Agamemnon (inspired by the Greek myth of The Furies).
FRIDAY 21st SEPTEMBER: Nikky Norton Shafau – Digging Deep
101 Ways of trYing and Failing to gO to slEep. Sky The Reluctant Hero is suffering from On-and-on–nia. She is isolated. She’s on Facebook. Maybe you add her… Digging Deep will be celebrating Peace of Mind on 21st September as part of International Day of Peace.
Follow the journey at: www.identitydetective.wordpress.com
SATURDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER: Not Entirely Ourselves — Damien Hirst ate my Homework
New Street is Birmingham’s capital of capital. Thousands of people indulge their spectacular urge to consume here every day; their minds addled with the kind of dizzying sensation that can only be induced by Starbucks arabica or microwave linguini. ‘Damien Hirst ate my Homework’ is a white-cube homage to your favourite products. It’s art, as you have always seen it before.
Email: notentirelyourselves [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot] uk
SUNDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER: Freshold Theatre — The Rebel Dolls
How is success measured in women? By their brains or sexual allure? The Rebel Dolls responds to the construction of the female image in today’s society and media. Using powerful visual performance, an all-female ensemble exposes a culture encouraging women to model themselves on the perfect ‘living doll’ image.