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Fierce Festival returns to Birmingham

  • Date: 24 February 2011
  • Area: Midlands
A women on the ground wrapped in a microphone lead

Action Hero Frontman. Credit: Bex Singleton

Fierce Festival is excited to announce its return. From 22-27 March 2011, Birmingham once again plays host to the festival of live art, welcoming artists from around the world as they create boundary-pushing performances and installations. 

For 2011, Fierce, which receives regular funding from Arts Council England, aims to reanimate Birmingham's familiar spaces through unexpected encounters.

Lundhal & Seitl take visitors on a new sensory exploration of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in the UK premiere of Symphony of a Missing Room.

French architectural collective EXYZT (pronounced 'exist') transform the abandoned Eastside Green space near Curzon Street Station (a site on the proposed HS2 route) into Burning Ham, a sculptural intervention creating Hollywood-style letters, a public feast and a chance to help imagine the future of public space and empty land in Birmingham.  

Everyday life in some of the city's iconic locations, including Broad Street on a Saturday night, is commented on 1970s sports-pundit style in local theatre company Stan's Café's The Commentators (also broadcast live online).

Post-industrial buildings in Digbeth will become temporary performance spaces, most significantly the festival hub Dirty End, which will be shared between Fierce, Flatpack and VIVID, and designed by Juneau Projects and art-food-event experts Companis.

Also in Digbeth, at The Old Library, South African artist James Webb presents Prayer. This multi-layered audio installation features recordings of over 100 of the city's faith groups in prayer, chant or sacred song, gathered by the artist during the first three weeks of March. Prayer provides the city with a portrait of itself, rich with diversity and cultures. Webb also creates There's No Place Called Home, an installation of tropical birdcalls in the trees of Cannon Hill Park near mac.

Other works include plan b's A Day in the Life - The Walkers of Birmingham, an installation monitoring the daily movements of people around Birmingham using GPS trackers, plus new performance works by Dominic Johnson (who receives a tattoo live on stage), Shiela Ghelani, Kim Noble, Action Hero and The Irrepressibles.

This is the first Fierce Festival to be curated by new artistic directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison, appointed to their roles in 2009 following successful stints at Battersea Arts Centre.

Together, McDermott and Morrison aim to build on the rich, decade-long legacy of Fierce. During the week, the public will have the rare opportunity to engage with challenging performance art in unusual venues, as well as witness large-scale interventions in the public domain that create talking-point moments of inspiration and intrigue.

For more information and to find out how you can get involved visit the Fierce Festival website.