The third Coventry Biennial will take place from October 2021 until January 2022 across Coventry and Warwickshire in a wide range of artistic, heritage, business and community locations. Titled Hyper-Possible, referencing the radical nature of Coventry’s history, exploring the legacies of artist-led networks, activisms and pedagogies that have emerged from and through the local area since the 1960s. These mark the city as an outstanding exemplar of innovative, experimental and radical artistic practice.
Far Gosford Street, Coventry CV1 5ED Show on map
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Guideline Audience Age Range: 12+
Phoenix City 2021, Duncan Whitley’s new commission for the Biennial, examines the Coventry’s relationship with the phoenix. Stemming from Donald Gibson and Basil Spence’s use of the mythical bird as a symbol to represent their respective town- planning and cathedral proposals (realised in the 1950s), it also examines the hypothesis that UK City of Culture is conceived as the city’s next ‘phoenix moment’. The film is Whitley’s second collaboration with renowned electronic musician Abul Mogard, and also his second time of working with Coventry’s Jaguar Land Rover Band, who also feature in Things Fall Apart.
Filmed from 2013-14, Things Fall Apart follows Coventry City Football Club supporters as their club is uprooted 35 miles from Coventry to Northampton during a dispute with a stadium and casino complex. With an international hedge fund appearing to hold all the cards, the film shows the impact on the city and fans, depicting a disenfranchised community and their local battle for identity and belonging.
Duncan Whitley is an artist and filmmaker who grew up locally and has recently returned to live in Coventry. He was Coventry Biennial artist in residence at Coventry University’s School of Media & Performing Arts from 2018 to 2020. For this special screening event Whitley will perform a live spatial sound mix of the Phoenix City 2021 and Things Fall Apart soundtracks.
Part of CineCov – a 12-month programme that will transform the whole of Coventry into a cinema for its year as UK City of Culture. Brought to you by Flatpack on behalf of Film Hub Midlands with support from the BFI using funds from the National Lottery.
Coventry Biennial is a festival of contemporary art taking place across Coventry & Warwickshire within and supported by UK City of Culture 2021. Expect new work by local and International artists, workshops, performances, talks, tours and much more. For more information visit: www.coventrybiennial.com
Content Guidance: Adult Language, Adult Themes
Image: Duncan Whitley, Phoenix City 2021, Production Still, 2020