City Arcadia – launch – Coventry – 31/7/2015
The City Arcadia project has officially announced the first 10 artistic propositions that will become the future, soon to be appearing across Coventry throughout 2015 and beyond.
Artists from across the UK have engaged with the City Arcadia project including creators from Coventry, Manchester, London and Kent.
Birmingham artist, Ryan Hughes, kicked-off the event with his Marking the Internet and the Physical. With an unseasonably generous amount of sunlight, the shopping arcade was transformed into a cathedral of light, highlighting the new ruins already sentenced to demolition, currently remade into a meeting/exhibition/dining/exhibition space in its last throes. Ryan’s work featured several (I counted ten…) red translucent perspex geo-coding pointers, similar to plectrums or pizza slices that gracefully orbitted above visitors, warping beams of sunlight and casting red teardrop shadows on the arcade walkway.
City Arcadia Co-curators and Directors, Laura Elliot and Michael Mayhew introduced the launch with a nod towards future opportunities for people to find out more about the forwards/backwards, modernity/progression ethos behind the project. With funding and support from Coventry City Council and Arts Council England, City Arcadia has sparked renewewed external interest about local arts partners in a scene that was already quietly flourishing, albeit unseen by many outside the city.
The propsitions range from post-zombie-pocalypse-fallout, ripping sound from two-toned ringroad vibrations, lanlocked surfaces reimagined as a fantasy beach, a traditional card-game divining the future and many workshops, performances, and talks.
Find out more about the 10 propositions – coming soon:
At the very least, a city should gift its citizens freedom, threaten them with new possibilities – this is an ongoing tussle in the appropriation and control of public space by local authorities, dividing opinions over construction and planning atrocities carried-out in the name of The People – witness the bland, pedestrianised human highways of fixed furniture and too-green grasses approaching Coventry train station.
City Arcadia is a unique opportunity to exploit Coventry’s existing spaces and striking post-war architecture to snare fresh audiences into art made strikingly accessible and exciting, in a way that static presentations can sometimes remain uninviting – a direct challenge; an intervention, is needed – indeed a few people in transit wandered through the event and took more than a passing glance, on the cusp of asking questions and getting involved – small steps are required towards greatness.
The most exciting notion of the propositions offered and yet to be fulfilled is the raw potentiality of an initial concept and its becoming; what it will/won’t deliver – and everything that might still change during its creation – City Arcadia is a journey into an unknown optimism for the arts in Coventry.
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