I WISH I had enough disposable income to attend the entire festival, paid events included, I really do. I love Brighton Festival. However, I’m up to my eyeballs in student debt and I’m realistic about what I can afford. Some people would say that attending an arts festival in your own city is a bit extravagant, which is why it’s so brilliant that Brighton Festival puts on so many free events. This year looks FANTASTIC, and I’m going to do a quick runthrough of what I think look like the best performances, installations and shows for 2013…:
1. Heteropias and Other Domestic Landscapes
I have a real thing for art installations that aren’t just putting the art on display, and I love that this one has a flow. The idea that the exhibition becomes lighter and brighter as you progress up through the gorgeous Regency Town House is genius, and I particularly love that the spectator’s viewpoint is manipulated by lenses and light. It seems to me to play on perspective, and the shady, dank basement is the part that will really stand out, I think.
2. Under the Shadow of the Drone
This looks fantastically creepy. From what I can glean, the idea is that a drone passes overhead and that’s about it. I really hope it glides quite close to the ground, and that it’s a well-lit area for something really dramatic. I remember when I went to the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, I physically shuddered at the magnitude of these machines, and I hope to find this a similar experience, but obviously a more dynamic take on it.
There are two performances of this, but I’ve linked to this one because it takes place in my old college’s car park, which is bizarre but great. I’ve seen one of these big outdoor fire-fuelled performances at the Festival before, and it was very atmospheric. This reworking of Goethe’s tale promises flapper dancers, flaming cocktails and explosions, which will surely encapsulate the vigour of the 1920s in a rip-roaring descent into debauchery.
I’m incredibly excited about this one. It seems like a brilliant manufactured sort of voyeurism, and I always have so many questions about the people I pass in the street and what everything is doing there that I reckon that this will be one of the highlights for me. The description of the event as ‘witty and intimate’ basically gives me everything I want, and the fact it’s in such a normal setting will be intriguing.
This is the one I can’t wait for. It plays on the strange, unexplained quirks of life, weaving together fate, myth and coincidence, inviting the visitor to interact and produce their own unique experience of the exhibit. There is a theme of altered reality, where things aren’t quite as they seem, but that’s OK because you’ve made it happen. You make the magic and you immerse yourself in the trickery and illusion of the occasion for unexpected results.