Art Night 2016:

Art Night

The first edition was curated by the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), with curator Kathy Noble, who presented a series of artists’ works and new commissions in unusual locations across Westminster. 

Alexandra Bachzetsis at Two Temple Place
Alexandra Bachzetsis presented the UK premiere of Gold (2004) performed by Lenio Kaklea. The work addresses the languages of dance and the commodification of a performer’s body in contemporary pop videos. The project was supported by the Swiss Cultural Fund UK.

From 5pm until 2am, audiences for Art Night 2016 experienced a unique trail of art, architecture, dance, video and music – all for free.

Alexandra Bachzetsis at Two Temple
Artist, performer and choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis presented a new solo dance performance at Two Temple Place as part of Art Night. PRIVATE: Wear a mask when you talk to me (2016), explores gender identity through movement and music. Through a series of postures, gestures and bodily rituals Bachzetsis’ performance expresses the way sexual identity unfolds in everyday human behaviours and visual culture. The project was supported by the Swiss Cultural Fund UK.

Alexandra Bachzetsis presented this new work in the rooms of Two Temple Place, a highly ornate building designed by one of the foremost neo-Gothic architects of the late nineteenth-century, John Loughborough Pearson, completed in 1895.

Nina Beier at 190 Strand
Nina Beier presented Anti-ageing, a cycle of performance sculptures that were inserted into a luxury show apartment, in order to draw attention to the relationship between life and the constructions of its image. Anti-ageing was originally commissioned by Swiss Institute as part of Performa 15, with the support of the Danish Arts Foundation, curated by Laura McLean-Ferris. The project was supported by St Edward, currently developing 190 Strand.

10 leading international artists presented new commissions and UK premieres in extraordinary venues.

Anti-ageing is a selection of performance sculptures made over the past five years by Nina Beier, each troubling the relationship between life and its image. The works have been brought together in the marketing show-home of 190 Strand by St Edward, a new development of luxury apartments.

In this staged domestic space, which is designed so that potential homeowners might be able to project an idealised form of lifestyle onto it, Beier’s choreographies draw attention to the anxieties that underwrite the creation of public images.

Echoes of the generic gendered images staged in the show-home can be registered throughout, in the arching of torsos or a solitary smoker.

Cecilia Bengolea at Covent Garden
Bengolea, Wallace and Miyauchi also presented a live public performance and participatory workshop, inviting members of the audience to dance with them and echoing the long tradition of street performance in Covent Garden. The project was developed by the artist whilst in residence at Delfina Foundation, with the support of Capco and Delfina Foundation.

Art Night aims to enable greater numbers of people to engage with contemporary arts.

As a response to Covent Garden’s long history of street performance and the location of the Royal Opera House, Bengolea also presented a live public performance and participatory dance workshop on the West Piazza.

Cecilia Bengolea at Covent Garden
Dance artist Cecilia Bengolea also presented a new video installation in Covent Garden Piazza using the mirrored facades that currently cover the façade of market place. Multiple projections combined Jamaican dancehall and classical ballet – created with her regular collaborators the dancehall artist Damion Wallace and the ballerina Erika Miyauchi.

Anti-ageing was originally commissioned by Swiss Institute as part of Performa 15, with the support of the Danish Arts Foundation, curated by Laura McLean-Ferris. The project was developed by the artist whilst in residence at Delfina Foundation, with the support of Capco and Delfina Foundation.

Celia Hempton at 180 Strand
Celia Hempton created a new site-specific installation in a new creative space called The Store, in a section of the iconic brutalist building 180 Strand that overlooks the Thames.

Hempton created a new theatre set-like environment that combined abstracted landscapes and bodies, relating specifically to the source of the River Thames...

... that considers the river as a historical and metaphorical object – one that is ever changing and amorphous in form and gender. The project was presented in collaboration with Vinyl Factory and The Store.

“There were some great works and the fantastic choice of sites made it all the more impressive”
- Londonist

Koo Jeong A at the Disused Jubilee Line Platform
Artist Koo Jeong A created a new sensory installation, 'Odorama', in the disused Jubilee Line platform at Charing Cross Underground Station. An environment of scent and light aimed to alter the sense of reality and resonate with the Underground as a place of movement and bodily encounters. The project was co-commissioned with Art on the Underground and Transport for London, with a creative collaboration with International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), and supported by the Korean Cultural Centre UK and Scentys.

“A great concept, well organised, very interesting and great venues.”
- Audience Feedback, Art Night 2016

Joan Jonas and Jason Moran at Southwark Cathedral
Art Night presented the UK premiere of Reanimation by artist Joan Jonas and the jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran in the monumental gothic architecture of Southwark Cathedral. Reanimation is a playful elegy to the natural world that poetically considers the ever-changing nature of the environment and worlds we inhabit – physically, psychologically and emotionally. Jonas’s and Moran’s epic performance was inspired by the novel Under the Glacier (1968) by Icelandic writer Halldór Laxness and was originally created for dOCUMENTA (13).  The project was supported by Southwark Cathedral, Steinway & Sons, Mondrian London.

In 606 a Convent was established on the south bank of the River Thames where we see the present day Southwark Cathedral, this is the place from which the ferry used to cross over to the City of London.

“I thought it was rather brilliant“
- Frieze Magazine

Linder at Duke of York Steps, ICA
Linder presented a new durational performance: Destination Moon. You must not look at her! for the Duke of York Steps next to St James’s Park. The work features over sixty performers, including tap dancers, singers and catwalk models, coming together to create a live collage that mixes pop music with original composition. Linder’s work pays homage to architects Alison and Peter Smithson’s House of the Future and Jacques Demy’s 1970s classic Donkey Skin drawing on the original commonality of these works: the idea of the home as a site of transformation. The performance was created in collaboration with composer Maxwell Sterling, with costumes by Christopher Shannon, Louise Gray, James Theseus Buck and Luke Brook. Musicians include The Fourth Choir, Professor Surinder Singh and The Raj Academy. Dancers perform Northern Soul, ballroom and tap.

Linder is an artist and musician who began her career in the punk music scene in Manchester in the mid 1970s.

“London follows in Paris’s footsteps with a night of free public art – and the results are promising.”
- Evening Standard

Linder works with photomontage and performance to create complex imagery and live projects, often in collaboration with other artists, designers, choreographers and musicians – mixing art, literature, music and pop culture, with more esoteric spiritual ideas and her own autobiography.

Laure Prouvost at Admiralty Arch
Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost transformed a number of historic rooms of Admiralty Arch, bringing together new and existing work to take viewers on a conceptual journey. Hidden behind a door is After After, a small, blacked out room in which sculptures, paintings and objects placed throughout the space flicker into sight with the flashes of a strobe light, giving rise to what the artist calls “a different kind of 3D film”. The viewer must take on the role of a detective, examining the objects as clues of evidence from the events in Prouvost’s earlier film The Wanderer, 2011, inspired by Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, 1915. After After was initially funded by the Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Arts. The project was supported by Prime Investors Capital.

Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost took visitors on a journey through the rooms of Admiralty Arch, an iconic London landmark and Grade I listed building, opened to the public for the first time in history.

Jennifer West at Saint Mary Le Strand
The new work Film Title Poem (2016) is an etched, hand-painted 35mm digitised film comprised of collaged words, images, patterns and glitches shot from over 500 movie title cards and set to a musical soundtrack. West describes the new film as "a psychic montage of my inner-history of film in alphabetical order." The film is structured using a computerised sorting process, with numbered films followed by movies in alphabetical order.

The public is invited to write and draw their own memories onto 70mm filmstrips.

Jennifer West at Covent Garden Apple Market
Film Title Poem is part of a wider project considering the idea of the “remembered” film and how fiction weaves itself into our lives and memories – and how our viewing experience, and thus memories, has changed with the digital and internet revolution.

The public was invited to write their own memories onto 70mm filmstrips, which will later be digitized into an animated high-definition film.

Xu Zhen Produced by Madein Company
Xu Zhen presented the first mass performance of the ongoing project Physique of Consciousness, in the courtyard of Somerset House, presented in collaboration with hundreds of participants taking part from across London, produced by MadeIn Company. Described as the first “cultural fitness exercise” ever made, Physique of Consciousness takes the form of a performance comprising movements derived from dance, gymnastics and different forms of exercise, alongside spiritual and cultural rituals. Physique of Consciousness plays with the history and politics of mass exercise in China, alongside ideas of health, well-being and spirituality and the industries around them that we consume today. The project was presented in collaboration with Somerset House and is part of UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility – Four seasons of events, exhibitions and new commissions celebrating the idea of utopia to mark the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s influential text. The project was supported by Dslcollection, the Art of this Century and ARTtouch Consulting.

“Great curation, excellent branding and magnificent venues. Great work. I look forward to next year’s edition!”
- Audience Feedback, Art Night 2016

Physique of Consciousness plays with the history and politics of mass exercise in China, alongside ideas of health, well-being and spirituality and the industries around them that we consume today.

Credits: Story

Photography Credits:
'Alexandra Bachzetsis at Two temple Place': Danilo Moroni
'Nina Beier at 190 Strand': Jacques Damina
'Cecilia Bengolea at Covent Garden West Piazza': Danilo Moroni
'Cecilia Bengolea at Covent Garden East Piazza': Jacques Damina
'Celia Hempton' at 180 Strand': Jacques Damina
'Koo Jeong A at Disused Jubilee Line Platform': Lewis Roland
'Joan Jonas and Jason Moran': Hugo Glendinning
'Linder at Duke of York Steps, ICA': Hugo Glendinning
'Laure Prouvost at Admiralty Arch': Lewis Roland
'Jennifer West at Covent Garden Apple Market': Jacques Damina
'Jennifer West at St Mary Le Strand': Lewis Roland
'Xu Zhen Produced by Madein at Somerset House': Hugo Glendinning

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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