IFO Spotted Over King’s Cross

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, its King’s Cross’s IFO by French artist Jacques Rival

Once a month, the night sky over London’s King’s Cross is set to be given a sparkling makeover, due to the installation of IFO (Identified Flying Object) – an illuminated artwork by French artist and architect Jacques Rival. By day, the 9m high, dome-shaped cage will come to rest on the ground so that visitors can sit and play on the swing at its centre. By night, the bars of the cage will be brightly illuminated in a rainbow of colours.  And, once a month, the cage will be lifted high into the air by a crane.

IFO has been commissioned as part of RELAY, an art programme designed to contribute to the King’s Cross redevelopment, with the aim of making the area a hub for international contemporary art. Curators Michael Pinsky and Stéphanie Delcroix have been selected to coordinate the first three years of the nine-year arts programme. The title of the programme has been inspired by the relay journey of the Olympic flame, and also alludes to the transfer of travellers at King’s Cross from one means of transport to another.

Pinsky and Delcroix believe that Jacques Rival’s response to King’s Cross is ‘both poetic and pertinent’, with the ‘nomadic sculpture’ following ‘the flux and flow of this new district which is evolving day by day’. The explain how, over the coming months,  IFO ‘will be found over coffee kiosks, amidst the construction sites, on buildings and, of course, in the sky’, with its structure set to ‘host seminars, cafes, gardens and performances’. 

The spokesperson for King’s Cross Central, Anna Strongman, has commented on how ‘It’s great to have such an exciting piece of art created especially for King’s Cross’, adding that King’s Cross ‘has always been of interest to artists and that [that this] is something we want to build on in the future with projects like this’. She is convinced that this project will ‘add to the diversity and vibrancy of the site, which continues to come alive with the opening of the UAL campus, King’s Boulevard, eat.st and now the unveiling of RELAY.’ 

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