Fierce Festival is an annual cross-artform performance event that occurs across Birmingham in a sequence of ‘out-of-the-ordinary spaces’. Live Art. Collision. Hyperlocal. Supernow. These are key words that define the festival’s approach to programming all of its events and performative works. For one of this year’s highlight, Fierce commissioned London-based duo Neil & Simone to explore the city in Permutations in the City. Their performance involves a series of movement interventions responding to the transient urban surroundings.
I was asked to write a review for online art magazine This is Tomorrow. Undertaking research to develop the writing, I went to view a number of their interventions and informally interviewed them afterwards. What struck me was the commitment to the duality of their performance, their creative thinking and their bodies constantly in tension against each other – and to the architecture – to complete their performance.
They spoke of a number of discussions between themselves and other artists in order to develop their work. A fluid conversation that influenced their performance. These collaborative discussions formed the basis of my review. Work in progress (and the artistic process) is not often revealed. However, from their discussions, many interesting points became apparent when connecting this to their movements. And so their discussions, as exchanges via email, were recorded and saved in a single document. Extracts were taken and worked around further descriptive and analytical points.
The fragmented nature of the text becomes representative of their own relationship between themselves and the city; constantly referencing each other and generating counterpoints for interpretation.
The full review can be viewed here: thisistomorrow.info/articles/fierce-festival-neil-callaghan-simone-kenyon-permutations-in-the-city