Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens

Autumn Almanac, Ikon’s annual weekend festival of music, returns this November with an exhibition and sequence of events exploring the treasures of the human voice.

Autumn Almanac The Voice and the Lens 8 – 11 November 2012Guest curated by Sam Belinfante and Third Ear, The Voice and the Lens features representations of the voice in film and performance, with contributions from artists including Turner Prize nominee Elizabeth Price, Venice Biennale Golden Lion winner Christian Marclay, Kurt Schwitters, Alvin Lucier, Yoko Ono, Birmingham Opera Company and Ex Cathedra.

On Ikon’s first floor, five new film commissions wrestle over the relationship between voice and camera. Established and emerging artist film-makers Sam Belinfante, Amy Cunningham, Bruce McLean, Jayne Parker and Imogen Stidworthy present these new works, made in partnership with leading vocal performers Adam de la Cour, Loré Lixenberg and Elaine Mitchener. Alongside these, artists from Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD) and vocalists from Birmingham Conservatoire contribute their own responses.

In the second floor galleries there are recent and historic iconic performances by over 20 artists, composers and directors including Robert Altman, Jean-Luc Godard, Helen Petts, David Toop, Jennifer Walshe, Mikhail Karikis and Eric Whitacre. Contributions from Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Birmingham Opera, Ex Cathedra, Artprojx and the Giant Screen at Millennium Point complete the picture.

A number of talks and events complements the exhibition programme, with guests including Birmingham Opera Company’s dynamic director Graham Vick and Scottish film director Don Boyd.

Booking opens late September 2012. Check for details.

Autumn Almanac: The Voice and The Lens, 8 – 11 November 2012


Thursday 8 November

Launch, screenings and performance

6–8pm – FREE

Launch of the new commissions, a performance of Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting In A Room using video plus a new performance by Laura Cooper working with local residents.

Friday 9 November

The Voice and the Lens: Part I

7–9.30pm – tickets £6 (£4 students)

Artprojx presents works by David Blandy, Rashaad Newsome, Terry Smith, Kota Ezawa, Mel Brimfield and Dara Friedman. Adam de la Cour performs works by Bruce McLean and Kurt Schwitters, also Amy Cunningham, Neil Luck & Fiona Bevan.

Saturday 10 November

Talks and screenings, 11am–4pm – FREE

A series of talks throughout the day with speakers including Graham Vick, Director, Birmingham Opera, Director/Producer Don Boyd, art theorist Barbara Engh, and others.

The Voice and the Lens: Part II

7–9.30pm – tickets £6 (£4 students)

Loré Lixenberg performs new works by Jayne Parker and Imogen Stidworthy, with countertenor Nicholas Clapton and treble Oscar Richardson. Elaine Mitchener performs with Sam Belinfante alongside works by Christian Marclay, David Toop. Mikhail Karikis and Jennifer Walshe. Ravi Deepres and Andy Ingamells also present their new collaborative work.

Sunday 11 November

Talks and screenings, 12–1.15pm – FREE

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir, Elizabeth Price, Sonia Boyce & David Bickerstaff, Anna Best & Paul Whitty, and Amrit Sembhi’s specially-commissioned documentary with tenor Ashley Turnell, Ex Cathedra.

Don Boyd, 2–3.15pm – FREE

Boyd talks about his life in film, including screenings from Aria (Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Altman and others) and his feature film Lucia.

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