Bill Drummond, 'The 25 Paintings' (2014) Photo: Stuart Whipps, Courtesy of: Eastside Projects

In Conversation #3
Eastside Projects & Hotel Charleroi
Thursday 5 February, 18:00

The third event in this series brings together Eastside Projects and Hotel Charleroi. After an initial meeting at Brussels Art Fair, where Hotel Charleroi had a not-for-profit stand, Eastside Projects have invited them to consider undertaking a project in Birmingham. Initial conversations have taken place around post-industrial cities, landscapes, culture and the differences between Charleroi and Birmingham. As a productive next step, Hotel Charleroi will spend time in both Birmingham and Nottingham, with the event at Primary reflecting on where this collaboration might go next.

“Our initial conversations were enough to whet the appetite and demand that we should get to know each other better, share ideas, question each others practice and look out for mutual situations where we could plan and improvise art into being. We both seem to be interested in responding to context, doing more with less, making drafts and reworking, reverse engineering and layering. We both play roles of host and guest. What else might we share? Where do we differ?” Gavin Wade, Eastside Projects

Eastside Projects makes art public. We are an international centre of excellence based in a free public gallery imagined and organised by artists, in partnership with Birmingham City University. We commission, produce and present experimental art practices and demonstrate ways in which art may be useful as part of society. Our influential Extra Special People programme develops UK talent positioned in a hyper-local and super-international context. Eastside Projects provides vital infrastructure and supports best practice by establishing and exercising new models for artists and curators to research, produce and thrive. We believe in working collaboratively towards change and do so to support the cultural growth of Birmingham. We do not make art for the public. We are the public that makes art. The artist-run space is not a stopgap. The artist-run space is a public good.

HOTEL CHARLEROI is a research project initiated by Adrien Tirtiaux, Antoine Turillon and Hannes Zebedin in 2009 through artist residencies and exhibitions in Charleroi. Located 60km south from Brussels, Charleroi is a decaying industrial town with all associated symptoms – high unemployment, rising crime, corruption affairs, etc. In response we organise sleeping facilities in Charleroi and invite artists and other professionals for informal residencies. We propose that residents use the city as a studio or laboratory for research and artistic interventions, and ask them to question the meaning of arriving as a guest in a city in terms of contemporary art production. The physical location of Hotel Charleroi changes every year, so do the local institutions with whom we collaborate and the topics on which we focus. We understand our non-institutional status as an advantage to create a dynamic platform, able to adapt itself to every occasion it encounters.

This event has been supported by Bundeskanzleramt Österreich


This strand of activity invites guest organisations to physically present something that demonstrates an aspect of their working approach. These events are framed by a set of Paravent Crates – a type of folding screen – that can be reconfigured to divide the project spaces at Primary in a variety of ways. This structural device, along with what each organisation presents, provides an environment to hold this ‘in conversation’ event.

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