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Unmasking || Remapping: Masked Ball with utopian_realism and Naoibh McNamee

Plane Structure7 June 20246–10pm

The final event in the Unmasking | Remapping programme is a Masked Ball, with live performances from artists Naoibh McNamee and utopian_realism, followed by a DJ set – ending the programme with a celebration. Following the workshops held earlier in the day with Babeworld and Bunny Bissoux, we encourage people to wear the masks created and allow themselves to be free from social expectations on the dance floor.

This event riffs on the themes of Babeworld’s exhibition surrounding social implications and cultural criticism, and guides people to think about the importance of the true self.


Following on from the mask-making and Deco Keyring workshops with Babeworld and Bunny Bissoux earlier in the afternoon, the masked ball will begin.


The materials from Babeworld’s mask-making workshop will be left out and available for you to create something until supplies run out, so you’ll still be able to get involved with the masked ball fun if you can’t make the earlier workshops.

For the Masked Ball, Naoibh McNamee will be performing their work ‘Caught Me In The Spotlight’. This performance links the artist’s childhood experiences of music and how it made them feel with the freedom and safety they felt when first experiencing the gay club scene. Dancing on a go-go box in a handmade costume, Naoibh will share music from their formative years and songs of importance to their queer, disabled identity.


About Naoibh McNamee 

Naoibh McNamee’s practice focuses on queer and disabled themes; following their own personal experiences in an attempt to understand and explore their position within the world. Naoibh’s work plays with viewers’ expectations and perceptions of disability and queerness, drawing attention to the very things that other them in society while celebrating the communities they find their home within. The artist’s most recent works have explored their queer, autistic and Brummie-Irish existence, using alien and non-human forms to illustrate their very human experiences. 


utopian_realism will present a live DJ set inspired by the themes explored in ‘Love is Real, and it’s Inside of My Computer’. Built around samples ranging from pop music to anime and video games and influenced by internet-native genres like nightcore and breakcore, this new live set will channel the euphoric highs and dreadful lows of navigating artistic practices through obsession.


About utopian_realism 

utopian_realism (Alessandro Moroni) originates from a fascination with the aesthetics and communities revolving around internet-native music genres and explores concepts of nostalgia cycles, controlled escapism, commodified utopian narratives and collapsing myths of progress. 


More information will be available soon.

The Masked Ball is the final event in the Unmasking || Remapping programme, a series of events designed and planned by students from MA Art History and Curating at University of Birmingham. The programme is curated in response to themes of neurodiversity and inclusivity, drawn from Babeworld’s exhibition ‘Love is Real and its Inside of my Computer’.

We’d like to take a moment to share some access information for these events to make sure your visit is as comfortable as possible. 

The workshops and the masked ball will take place in Plane Structure, a ground floor, accessible unit in Minerva Works, and in gazebos outside Plane Structure. Grand Union staff and students will be wearing bright pink lanyards so they will be easily identifiable. Please ask one of us if you need anything throughout the event. 

We have hired an accessible, gender-neutral toilet for the event, which will be located in the Minerva Works car park. 

We will also have quiet spaces available should you need a moment to take a breather, have a rest, or for anything else you would prefer privacy for. Just let a member of staff know, and we can let you into the Bothy or the Grand Union office for however long you need. 

We understand that Digbeth First Fridays can be quite busy and overwhelming. There will also be loud music from the performers and DJs during the masked ball, as well as varied ambient lighting from fairy lights and disco lights. We will have earplugs available should you require them; just ask a member of staff and they will be provided.

Please note that alcohol will be served on our pay bar, alongside a variety of soft drinks. 

The events are free and don’t require booking. There is no dress code, and if you don’t feel comfortable wearing a mask for the ball don’t worry, there is no pressure to do so. 

The programme is curated in response to themes of neurodiversity and inclusivity, drawn from Babeworld’s exhibition 'Love is Real, and its Inside of My Computer'.