PRECARITY CENTRE ORGANISED BY THEY ARE HERE
Grand Union, Birmingham (5 February – 23 March 2016)
We transformed Grand Union into Precarity Centre, a framework for an interdisciplinary programme of talks, videos, performance & installation exploring precarity. It was also an experiment in social space, seeding interaction between local precarious groups.
The main space featured the improvised sculpture M.A.S.S. (2016), built on site by Ioanna Pantazopoulou, comprised of 600 kg of scrap foam sourced from a local industrial factory. This was complimented by our own work 21 Variously Sized Blocks of Foam (2016), which doubled as a modular seating system for various events. The alcove hosted a changing program of moving image work, including Masking Tape Intervention: Lebanon 1989 (2013) by Helene Kazan among others.
Events included ‘Fear is a bad advisor': a screening and talk by artist Seecum Cheung, which took place on 3rd March, exploring the rise of the extreme-right across Europe and the role of mainstream media. On 12th March, psychiatrist Dr Khaldoon Ahmed hosted a discussion relating precarity to mental health and on 19th March, artist Madeleine Botet De Lacaze led a workshop in astrology.
A number of events emerged through responses to an open call out, for example, on 18th March, Nikki-Dee Haddleton hosted a discussion around the work of SIFA Fireside, a progressive Digbeth-based charity supporting homeless people.
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Installation documentation: Stuart Whipps, James Allan, Marcin Sz & Ines Elsa Dalal