The 52nd Brighton Festival is coming up fast! Today marked the launch of this year’s brochure, featuring the entire festival lineup. David Shrigley, this year’s Guest Director, unveiled the progamme today, which features some of his own work, as well as performances very close to his heart. The guest director is a Brighton resident, who moved to Brighton for a change after living in Glasgow for a number of years. When asked about his feelings regarding Brighton he said he felt he had made a commitment to the city, and wished to build his art practice and base his creative life here.
“(Brighton) punches above its weight culturally” – Shrigley
When asked about the Brighton Festival he stated: “people don’t always appreciate how vast it is, how special it is. You could move to another provincial city and you’d realise how special it is.” He also argued we should celebrate the diversity of the Brighton Festival’s audience, emphasising the fact that not simply the artistic professionals, but all kinds of people attend and appreciate the events.
“people understand the value of the festival” – Shrigley
Although the director urges audiences to see everything the festival has to offer, some of Shrigley’s personal favourite acts include:
Deerhoof + Stargaze
This is a musical collaboration featuring the San Fransisco band Deerhoof, who are “one of the best live bands you’ll see” according to Shrigley. They have a “peculiar and interesting” sound. The band formed in 1994 and are currently made up of founding drummer Greg Saunier, bassist and singer Satomi Matsuzaki, and guitarists John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez.
Listen to Deerhoof below
This talented painter has never before shown outside the USA, but Shrigley is keen to expose him to the world – he will be showing in Brighton’s Phoenix gallery. Goodroad grew up in Montana and now lives and works in San Fransisco. His work has earned him a number of awards including the Millay Colony for the Arts, NY, Vermont Studio Center and the Tournesol Award, Headlands Center for the Arts.
This singer is heralded as an “amazing performer” and “brillian songwriter” by Shrigley. The American singer/songwriter currently tours both solo and with his band The Visions. Furman self-released his own album, The Year of no Returning, without a label, by through Kickstarter.
Listen to Ezra Furman below
David Shrigley’s own works in the festival include Life Model II, an installation that will see a lifesize model of a woman placed in the middle of Fabrica gallery for participants to draw. She will blink like a human life model, and the drawings produced of her will form part of the exhibit.
Premiering on Monday 21st May at Duke of York’s Picturehouse is another of Shrigley’s works, A Shit Odyssey. This is a film documenting the making of an opera that Shrigley wrote the libretto to in 2011. The opera was called Pass the Spoon and played to sell-out theatres in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.
Other projects guaranteed to wow and delight include The Voice Project, which promises participants a night of lullabies and entertainment as they sleep. Lexicon, a new piece by the internationally renowned NoFit State Circus, guarantees its audience a magical evening of wonderment. Cuckmere: A Portrait of Environmentalism 2.0, will be a beautiful pairing of silent footage from the Cuckmere river and live classical music played by The Orchestra of Sound and Light. Following the performance, Caroline Lucas and Tony Juniper will discuss the future of the environmental movement.
This is but a drop in the vast, diverse ocean that is the Brighton Festival. There are over 100 events taking place over its course, from May 5th-27th. The festival’s lovingly designed brochure is now available, featuring a delightful, quirky cartoon code on the back to make identifying your perfect event even easier.