Art Night is a new annual contemporary arts festival that will transform London for one unforgettable night on 2 July 2016. From a luxury flat on the Strand to a disused Jubilee line platform in Charing Cross Underground station, a range of buildings and public spaces across Westminster will form the stage for a series of large-scale art installations and performances for one night only. A group of Art Night Guides will be present at each site, with information hubs for visitors at Covent Garden Piazza and ICA on The Mall. The Art Night Guides programme is supported by the Art Fund, drawing on their Student National Art Pass network.
The festival is conceived and organised by Unlimited Productions who, each year, will invite a leading cultural institution and curator to work in a different area of London, exploring the history, culture and architecture.The first edition is curated by the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), with curator Kathy Noble, who will present a series of artists’ works and new commissions in unusual locations across Westminster, forming a trail running from Admiralty Arch to Temple. In 2017, Art Night will focus on the East End in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery. The festival is generously supported by international auction house Phillips.
Gregor Muir, Director of ICA, said:“Art Night builds on the ICA’s experiences of working in unusual locations with our Off-Site programme and adds to its rich history of presenting ambitious cross-disciplinary work by leading artists. We are delighted to be devising the programme for the inaugural Art Night in the year of our 70th birthday, and to work with Kathy Noble, on letting art and performance infiltrate the streets of London.”
From 6pm until the early hours, audiences for Art Night 2016 will experience a trail of art, architecture, dance, design and music, including: Artist and choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis will present new work in the rooms of Two Temple Place, a highly ornate building designed by neo-Gothic architect John Loughborough Pearson. A series of performance “still lives” by Nina Beier in a luxury flat at 190 Strand by St Edward, altering the reality of the lavish domestic space. A new video series by choreographer and artist Cecilia Bengolea will be projected in the East Piazza of Covent Garden, developed whilst in residence at Delfina Foundation, with the support of Capco and Delfina Foundation. Celia Hempton will transform part of the iconic brutalist building 180 Strand with a series of site-specific wall paintings, creating a theatrical scene, in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory. The uncanny disused Jubilee line platform in Charing Cross Underground station will be transformed into a sensory installation by Koo Jeong A, co-commissioned with Art on the Underground. The UK premiere of the performance Reanimation by artist Joan Jonas and jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran in Southwark Cathedral. Linder will create an ambitious new performance for the Duke of York Steps (ICA) in collaboration with fashion designer Christopher Shannon, composer Maxwell Stirling and The Fourth Choir. Historic rooms in the iconic Admiralty Arch will be taken over with an installation by Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost. Jennifer West will present a new film at St Mary Le Strand that explores the history of cinema via personal memory and will invite audiences to write their own memories onto 70mm film, to be incorporated into a future feature film. The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court of Somerset House will be taken over by hundreds of performers in Physique of Consciousness by Xu Zhen produced by MadeIn Company, a work described as the first “cultural fitness exercise”, in collaboration with Somerset House for UTOPIA 2016.
The Art Night event, which will take place across central London on 2 July