Artists Francis Alys, Rafael Ortega, Pierre Huyghe, Beat Streuli and Gillian Wearing took Birmingham as their subject in this exhibition. Specially commissioned video, installation and photography captured the artists’ various responses to this fascinating city, constantly re-inventing itself.
Inspired by a historic tradition of battle paintings, Francis Alys collaborated with Mexican film-maker Rafael Ortega to film an epic crowd scene. Pierre Huyghe’s installation was developed out of his Concrete Requiem, a 10-part orchestral composition based on sounds of the city synchronised with projected video. Beat Streuli’s photographs focused on young people from various ethic communities in public spaces and Gillian Wearing returned to her home town to make Broad Street, a video installation that took frenetic, drink-fuelled nights in and around dance clubs as its subject.