images of the ziggurat

28Apr10

The Digbeth Ziggurat: a performance lecture with 72 housebricks.

…where the canal crosses the dregs of the river, at the heart of the old town, there is a steep bank of industrial detritus resembling the wall of some ancient iron-age fort. I stumble through a break in the dilapidated fencing, clamber up to the top… and there, behold a hallowed space – a seeming graveyard of stacked, abandoned skips.

…anticipating the chimes at midnight a local celebrity dj galvanizes the crowded square with a frenzied call to arms -“scream if you think this city is the best city in the world”, he says. I want to scream… but maybe not for the right reasons.

…part recession-busting Rockefeller Tower, part Roman Pantheon, part Sagrada Familia. The Ziggurat will be a monument to those whose lives have been shaped from this well-spring plot, with earthworks as foundation to a mighty structure that will nuzzle the clouds. It is a place of rest and contemplation, a continuously growing platform from which the magnificence of the city can be viewed.

…built by the people of this city, for the people of this city, visited upon by the people of this city and ultimately containing the mortal remains of the people of this city. Your ashes – compacted, plastinated into a brick, which will face its glittering exterior.

…shall I have the courage to ask my dad about his death? Discuss what circumstances he’d like to depart this life? Ask him where his remains might be scattered? Shall I tell him of the mighty Ziggurat, built in his honour? Shall I gift for him the first brick in my mausoleum of the People?

Boy:  Dad? What is a ziggurat?

Man:  Well, it’s…. at the moment, it’s just an idea.

Boy:  Can I help you build it?

Man:  (pause) Yes. You can.

Boy:  And dad? It’s late… Can we go home now?

Man:  Yes, Archie. We can. (they leave)

The Digbeth Ziggurat (a work-in-progress) was presented at Pilotnight 19, AEHarris Factory, Birmingham, 1st April 2010. It was curated by Paul Warwick (Chinaplate) and co-pilots Kindle Theatre. Photos by Alicja Rogalska

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2 Responses to “images of the ziggurat”

  1. Why didn’t I know about this?

  2. Because I’m a rubbish friend? Either that or because I threw the piece together very quickly and was concerned that it might be rubbish – hence the lack of invites. It wasn’t rubbish and I will engineer a development of the project…and I will invite you x


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