(Issue 152)
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With a headful of boohoo we wave off summer while two-facedly pretending to welcome seasonal also-ran autumn. Chin-up, faithful reader, because with it arrives mind-wrinkling new arty structures and a fusion of European talent. Ikon simultaneously launched three new exhibitions at its Brindleyplace mission control on Friday. Our thoughts for a penny. (Less the penny. We'd never do that to you.)
Getting straight to the main event, New York-based Lithuanian artist Žilvinas Kempinas is presenting a series of installations. Characteristically elemental, Kempinas’ work involves unprecious everyday objects and materials. And the magnetic. Plenty of it. Bearings (pictured above), is a floor-sitting black box-like object with thousands of steel bearings laid down in oil on its surface. Initially, they appear to be in a static formation, but on closer inspection there is occasional movement – the bearings are slowly shifting, one by one, rearranging and re-positioning themselves into an infinite work in progress.
The disorientating persists with Verticals and Kempinas' Illuminator works (both pictured). Suspended magnetic rods and tape make up the former, which you experience by navigating your way through the installation, while the latter resembles surfaces of a full moon – a bright sphere in a dark sky — but are in fact circles of flat rough wall, lit along their perimeters. And should you still have enough of your balance, be sure to ride through Kempinas' upside down forested landscape, which forms part of a completely new installation the artist has created for the occasion.
Who says work should be vertical, and idleness horizontal? Introducing the lazy boy work lounger (our name), conceived by French design student Philippine Hamen (definitely his name). The piece, which you can view in the Tower Room, is inspired by David Lodge’s short story, The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up and includes a handy ‘face hole’ to enable the user to read or work lying face down, which though undoubtedly good for your back health, has raised some questions in the office about likely productivity. In any event, don't bother trying to trademark this one.

Ikon's triple helping of new exhibitions continues 'til November 27 and also includes the work of Sara Barker. Entry is an entirely consistent absolutely nothing.



Who’d have thought one of the most politically angry American films of 2016 would come from the director of Lone Survivor, the star of the Transformers fifth edition, and be endorsed by Hollywood to the tune of $150 million? Director Peter Berg puts on his Paul Greengrass hat and thrusts Mark Wahlberg into a nightmarish recreation of the events that led to 11 men dying on the eponymous oil rig in 2010, and although the succeeding ecological disaster barely gets a look-in, that’s all old news. The careful presentation of how corporate pressure on the skilled hands of crew led to the catastrophe never feels heavy-handed, and their heroic efforts to limit the damage feels compellingly, almost overwhelmingly real. Not one to enjoy if you work for BP. Times & trailer


"Get your ass to Mars" via Regency Wharf where a much needed Broad Street-annexing continues with the launch of the Rum Runner Yard. Named after The Rum Runner (deduct a gazillion Brummie points if you didn't know what that was) the outdoor event space is slap bang on top of where the famous gig venue once sat. Adjacent to the Hyatt and next door to Gas Street Basin, they'll be showing space-based 1990 Arnie epic Total Recall on Friday October 7. Original Patty Men will be crafting an ode to Arnie burger — expect Mars-style red bun, sauerkraut, pickled pink onions, beef patty etc — while Rub Smokehouse are on free marshmallow or bacon and maple popcorn. Cocktails will be 2-4-1, tickets (£15) won't. But they will include your boiger.


If you're up for every aspect of Come Dine With Me except the obligatory character assassination delivered in the form of a jaunty northern voiceover, Yumzee is probably your jam. A new kind of supper club, you can host a meal, or attend one. We went for the latter and — forward thinking though we are — weren't sure we were quite Shoreditch enough for an evening of raw vegan food. That our host for the evening turned out to be an established private chef certainly avoided the need for a midnight drive through on our way home, as well as making for three beautiful plates of food. Kamila Szewczyk specialises in artisan raw puds (pictured), but the beetroot soup with which she kicked off proceedings makes us confident her talents extend to all areas of the kitchen. Extending to all areas of the globe are the forthcoming Yumzee meals which you can sign up to, starting at £15. Though you can of course go with a chum, we went stag and couldn't have asked for a better table of food appreciators. De-light-ful.


When Carl Finn throws a party, you show up, even if it starts before your alarm more typically goes off. He invented The Church for chris'sake. Rise and rave and yoga (and eat some eggs) in the JQ from 6.30am on Wednesday October 19, then troop off to your day job and feel what researchers are predicting is at least seven times better than you usually do. It's all to do with the Praise You Project. Yoga will be ongoing, while brekkie's served from 8am. Tickets are £5. 


Stranger Things is said to have pulled in more than 8.2 million viewers within 16 days of dropping. To put that into context, House of Cards managed just under 4.8 million. And HOC did not a Birmingham-made pin badge receive. The Upside Down (pictured) went on general release at 12.01am on Tuesday, thanks to those sentient folk at Pin Game. The enamel number comes on a limited edition backing, and at £7, includes UK shipping. 
Venue: Gusto, The Grand Hotel, Colmore Row, B3 2DA; website
Choice: Italian fried courgettes (£3.50) Chooser: Sebastian, Waiter

Gusto is a solid addition to Colmore Row, and together with sister cocktail bar The Alchemist — which opened simultaneously next door last Friday — will change the way the CBD looks and feels, especially on a gloomy winter's eve. The food is good rather than great. Wins included a pan-fried sea bass fillet which we had as a starter (£12.25), the Italian fried courgettes (£3.50) a side which our most excellent waiter Sebastian insisted we try, and a Nutella-filled Calzone (£6.25), because we are in fact six years and almost two months old. More of a pull than the food was the feel of the place. Well lit, buzzy and with a quality of service far greater than the five days for which the restaurant had been open when we visited, Gusto is a safe pair of hands for a business lunch and has a well priced pre-7pm supper menu which will be deservedly popular with the post-work Colmore crew. Don't bother with the steaks. Do bother with an Aperol Spritz. Menu
  • As the subject of sample sales go, Reiss is pretty close to our top pick. Opening at 9am today and continuing until Sunday, items start at £10 and new clothing will be added daily. More
  • Book to the Future includes the creator of Line of Duty, as well as Man Booker shortlisted Clare Morrall. Register for one of its free events (Oct 13 to 15)
  • Curry King of Birmingham will be crowned on Oct 14, and (*lottery voice*) it could be yooouuuu. Get a table here. Or contact Love Brum for individual bookings
  • Kraftwerk is bringing its 3D German-ness to the Symphony Hall on June 13. Tickets go on sale at 10am tomorrow
"If I am not me, then who the hell am I?"
- Douglas Quaid, Total Recall
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WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew LowryTom Cullen
IMAGES: Courtesy of artist, Galeria Leme, Sao Paulo, Galerija Vartai, Vilnius and Ikon (Kempinas; Hamen); Ross Jukes (Rise & Rave)

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