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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Metropolis: Reflections on the modern city

The Ikon Gallery, in partnership with Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and The New Art Gallery Walsall, aim to establish a new and ambitious international collection of contemporary art for Birmingham and the West Midlands region, using the theme ‘Metropolis: reflections on the modern city’.

Metropolis, which is currently on show at the Gas Hall in Birmingham,  presents visions of life in modern cities around the world. With approximately 50 works in various media including digital projection, painting, sculpture, photographic installation and video art, it considers themes such as architecture, movement and consumerism, as well as the marginalised people and places of the metropolis.
Metropolis is the largest public exhibition of this nationally significant collection which includes work by 25 major artists from India, China, Europe and the USA such as Miao Xiaochun, Zhang Enli and Grazia Toderi. ARTicle 14 by internationally renowned West African artist Romuald Hazoumè is on display as is Mohamed Bourouissa’s powerful and significant Périphérique series – translated from the French as both ‘peripheral’ and ‘ring road’ – which offers a cast of young, mostly male, characters, each scene reflecting a carefully staged moment of physical or emotional tension set in the bleak housing estates that encircle Paris. In addition, German artist, Christiane Baumgartner has been commissioned to make new work, specifically about the urban landscape of Birmingham.
As Emma Crichton-Miller has written in Prospects, "There is a strong emphasis on photography and film, perhaps because these forms are particularly adapted to the fleeting, elusive life of cities, where significant events can erupt in moments and innumerable human interactions take place daily against a backdrop of mute architecture." This is particularly so with Baumgartner’s diptych Ladywood inspired by reflections of a railway bridge onto the canal and Nicolas Provost's hypnotically beautiful Storyteller which scans and merges views of Las Vegas.


Kraftwerk - Metropolis.

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