To celebrate the opening of the V&A’s Exhibition Road Quarter designed by the Stirling Prize-winning British architect Amanda Levete and her practice AL_A, the museum has announced a one-off festival. REVEAL is a free, week-long public festival running from 30 June to 7 July 2017. Art and design commissions, performances, fashion, family activities and collaborations with neighbouring Albertopolis institutions will be on offer.
“The completion of the V&A’s Exhibition Road Quarter is a hugely exciting moment for the V&A – Tristram Hunt, Museum Director
Opening on 30 June 2017 as the Museum celebrates its 165th anniversary, the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter is the Museum’s largest architectural intervention in the last 100 years. This innovative and ambitious project will create beautiful new public areas and gallery spaces for London, transforming the experience of the V&A for visitors, and revealing historic facades of the V&A’s existing Grade I buildings for the first time.
To celebrate these new spaces, the V&A will stage a festival themed around the word REVEAL, inviting the public to explore the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter’s unique combination of heritage, modernity and technology with a series of events that bring the architecture and collections to life.
Visitors will be able to enter the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter through the arches of the renovated 1909 Aston Webb screen, opening up the Museum to its neighbours on Exhibition Road. The new spaces include:
The Sainsbury Gallery is a versatile, 1,100m sq column-free exhibition space purpose-built for the V&A’s world-leading programme of temporary exhibitions.
The Sackler Courtyard is the world’s first all-porcelain public courtyard, inspired by the rich tradition of ceramics at the V&A.
The Blavatnik Hall is a new entrance into the V&A that will transform how visitors experience and discover the Museum and collections.
The festival will open with a special music and digitally-themed Friday Late on 30 June, hosted in collaboration with Boiler Room, which will bring audiences to the V&A and beam the Museum out to the world. It culminates on Friday 7 July with Fashion in Motion, four special catwalk shows in the new Sainsbury Gallery featuring Molly Goddard, British Emerging Talent winner at the 2016 Fashion Awards.
Throughout the week, featured artists and site-specific commissions will include an immersive light experience by Simon Heijdens; a special performance by Julie Cunningham & Company responding to Yoko Ono’s ‘Dance Pieces’; an ambitious new hybrid opera by Anat Ben-David with art direction and costume by Boudicca, staged in collaboration with the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University; musical performances with the Royal College of Music and Albert’s Band from the Royal Albert Hall, and many other exciting activities, performances and resources for the whole family.
In the spirit of Albertopolis, the Victorian vision for a city of arts and sciences in South Kensington, the V&A is also collaborating on a range of events and activities supporting the REVEAL theme throughout the Museum with partners from across Exhibition Road, including: Discover South Kensington, Imperial College London, Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Royal College of Music, and the Science Museum.
Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, says:
“The completion of the V&A’s Exhibition Road Quarter is a hugely exciting moment for the V&A. Our largest architectural intervention for 100 years revives the pioneering spirit of Albertopolis, reconnecting us to Exhibition Road and our world-class cultural partners. I am delighted to announce 30 June as the public opening of London’s latest cultural landmark. That week we also launch our exciting REVEAL festival, which will celebrate this stunning fusion of history and modernity, art and performance, tradition and innovation – as only the V&A can.”
Early highlights from the REVEAL festival announced today include:
Friday Late – as the first and original Friday Late programme in London, this special music and digitally-themed event will be held in partnership with Boiler Room, the global online music platform. The V&A will bring an electric mix of international musicians, DJs and artists to the V&A, both in person and virtually through live online streaming. There will be interactive experiences, playful interventions, workshops and performances. (30 June)
Simon Heijdens – in the first commission for The Sainsbury Gallery, artist Simon Heijdens will create an immersive experience of augmented natural light that reveals the unusual architectural details of the Gallery. The work filters natural sunlight from the Gallery’s Oculus skylight into a kaleidoscope of light and shadow. Choreographed by varying wind