Block Universe, London’s international performance art festival, is back for the third year running, from 29 May to 4 June 2017, with a programme of newly commissioned performances, UK premieres, talks and workshops.
Week long festival presenting work by some of the most exciting UK-based and international artists working in performance art today:
Liz Magic Laser
Young In Hong
Collaboration between Kim Coleman, Zoë Poluch and Cara Tolmie
In post-Brexit Britain, this year’s festival theme will explore ideas surrounding political bodies, both personal and public, addressing identity politics and notions of nationhood set against a changing socio-political landscape. Looking at networked communities and the power of collective voices, Block Universe will champion work that questions the status quo in divisive times.
With four UK premieres and five site-specific commissions in noteworthy settings across central London, the works include: choreography modelled on the Gwangju uprising taking place in the public square of the Royal Academy of Arts courtyard by Young In Hong; Stina Nyberg’s choreographic work questioning Swedish physical ideals from the 1920s through a visually described performance; Rory Pilgrim’s collaboration with a youth group exploring sci-fi robotic support systems of care set in a Quaker Hall; and Isil Egrikavuk’s performative dinner exploring parallels between Pluto’s demotion from our solar system with the UK’s exit from the EU, amongst others.
For the second year, Pop is celebrating the best bank holiday of the year (and the official start of summer) with an all day celebration.
Craft workshops will let guests create their own flower crowns, free festival face-painting will be on offer to all, and live music and DJs will be performing through the day and night.
To get you ready for the spring spirit, there will be craft workshops by InBloom.Studio – Everlasting Flower Styling and Workshops to let guests create their own flower crowns and free festival face-painting by StarlightBoutique will be on offer to all.
Buds & Bees floral stylists will be around from 12-5pm with the freshest seasonal flowers combined with eye catching exotics you can buy, including bee-friendly flower seeds!
Soundtracking your night we’ll have live music and DJs will be performing through the day and night, including Babilondon, Coffeepot Drive and more!
Mercure Hotels is inviting food lovers of all ages to join them to celebrate the great British tradition of the summer picnic, with a free event at London’s beautiful Somerset House.
As a sponsor of Picnic Week, Mercure Hotels will offer a fun-filled day out for families and friends of all ages – offering visitors a chance to relax in the sunshine, enjoy an alfresco bite to eat or take part in a range of activities perfect from wine tasting to playing some giant sized board game classics. Whether you’re looking for an après work sun-downer with friends, or a family day out with the little ones – there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Guests are welcome to take their own picnics along with them to enjoy in the beautiful surroundings of the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House.
There will be a fantastic range of Tom’s Kitchen picnic goodies for you to purchase on the day, as well as delicious Mercure Picnic Hampers by Tom’s Kitchen. Picnic hampers feature homemade baguettes, great classics like scotch eggs and delicious desserts. A deliciously refreshing bottle of Mercure ‘Picnic Perfect’ Prosecco is also available within some hampers and to purchase on the day, which has been exclusively selected by wine experts Susie Barrie and Peter Richards, from BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen.
Fun-filled activities and entertainment will be provided all day – including live music from acapella group, AfterParty live and interactive wine tasting with Susie and Peter, and plenty of fun and games for the little ones.
Foundling Fellow Cornelia Parker has invited over sixty outstanding artists from a range of creative disciplines to respond to the theme of ‘found’, reflecting on the Museum’s heritage.
Combining new and existing work with found objects kept for their significance, this major exhibition unfolds throughout the Museum, interacting with historic works in the Collection and with each other. Parker’s inspiration has in part been taken from the Museum’s eighteenth-century tokens – small objects left by mothers with their babies as a means of identification should they ever return to the Foundling Hospital to claim their child.
Artists participating in FOUND include: Ron Arad RA, Phyllida Barlow RA, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Deacon RA, Tacita Dean RA, Jeremy Deller, Edmund de Waal, Brian Eno, Antony Gormley RA, Mona Hatoum, Thomas Heatherwick RA, Christian Marclay, Mike Nelson, Laure Prouvost, David Shrigley, Bob and Roberta Smith RA, Wolfgang Tillmans RA, Marina Warner, Gillian Wearing RA and Rachel Whiteread. Twenty-two Royal Academicians have contributed to the show, echoing the role that the Foundling Hospital played in the development of the Royal Academy. Founded in 1739 to care for babies at risk of abandonment, the Foundling Hospital was supported by the leading artists of the day, many of whom donated work, thanks to the revolutionary involvement of the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. The Royal Academy’s origins can be traced to the collective mobilisation of artists and the promotion of British art that took place at the Hospital during the eighteenth century.
Experience classic films with live orchestral accompaniment in the spectacular surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall. Absolutely unique venue to enjoy classics unlike anything else.
Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 October
£33.10 to £68.80 book online
Maximus Decimus Meridius will have his vengeance again, accompanied by an on-stage orchestra, as Gladiator Live returns to the Royal Albert Hall due to staggering popular demand.
Ridley Scott’s legendary swords-and-sandals epic is coming back to the iconic London venue – its auditorium famously based on a Roman amphitheatre – following four incredible, sold-out shows in 2014.
The event will see Gladiator screened in high definition on a 20m screen, as Hans Zimmer’s stirring score is performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and English Chamber Choir, with guest vocalist Lisa Gerrard, who features on the original soundtrack. Conducted by Justin Freer.
Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe as a vengeful former general doing vivid battle with a corrupt emperor’s son, is one of the most acclaimed films of recent years, winning five Oscars including Best Picture, as Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard’s memorable music scooped Best Original Score at the Golden Globes.
Independence Day Live
Thursday 22 September
£33.10 to £73.90 book online
Aliens will invade one of London’s most iconic buildings this year to the unforgettable accompaniment of a classic David Arnold score, when explosive 1996 action blockbuster Independence Day is screened at the Royal Albert Hall, accompanied by a live orchestra.
This 20th anniversary event will kick off with a pre-show talk from composer David Arnold, discussing his work scoring Independence Day, Sherlock, five 007 films and the London 2012 closing ceremony, before the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Dodd, take to the stage to provide live orchestral accompaniment to the movie on the big screen above.
Independence Day, directed by Roland Emmerich, is a thrilling, all-action movie which follows a bunch of disparate Americans banding together to see off a terrifying alien invasion.
Friday 14 October
£33.10 to £73.90 book online
Winner of eight Academy Awards, four BAFTAs and four Golden Globes, Amadeus – the most acclaimed film ever made about classical music, will be brought to vivid life at the Royal Albert Hall.
This remarkable screening of the film will feature live music performed by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, who recorded the original film soundtrack, and the Philharmonia Chorus, conducted by Ludwig Wicki.
Amadeus (1984), directed by Miloš Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and written by Sir Peter Schaffer, tells the scintillating story of the rivalry between vindictive composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), and petulant genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). The film was named one of the American Film Institute’s best 100 movies of the century, and remains one of the most beloved movies of all time.
Sunday 6 November
3:00pm and 7:30pm
£28.00 to £68.80 book online
James Cameron’s 1986 science-fiction action horror film Aliens will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a special screening at the Royal Albert Hall, accompanied by James Horner’s score performed in full by live orchestra.
Aliens, starring Sigourney Weaver, is a stand-alone sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979). Nominated for seven Oscars, and having won two, the film is recognised as one of the greatest action movies ever.
The original and beloved 1986 theatrical cut will be screened while the memorable score, composed by celebrated composer James Horner, will be performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted by Ludwig Wicki.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in Concert
Wednesday 28 December
2:00pm and 7:00pm
£28.00 to 68.80 book online
Director Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming masterpiece is one of the brightest stars in motion picture history. Filled with unparalleled magic and imagination, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial follows the moving story of a lost little alien who befriends a 10-year-old boy named Elliott.
Experience all the mystery and fun of their unforgettable adventure, complete with John Williams’ Academy Award®-winning score, performed live and in full by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted by David Newman, in sync to the film projected on a huge HD screen!
Barbican has commissioned the award-winning Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi to create a new body of work for The Curve.
For his first major London commission, Qureshi presents Where the Shadows are so Deep, a series of exquisite miniature paintings, drawing upon The Curve as a motif in this tradition. Beginning with gentle scenes of nature, the sequence of works gradually introduces darker elements, subtly implying the uncertainty of what lies around the bend. Hung at varying heights along the dramatic 90-metre span of the space, these delicate, jewel-like paintings lure the visitor in, demanding an altogether different kind of looking.
The work of one of South America’s greatest artists, Blackboard Theatre bring Mario Benedetti’s profound Pedro and the Captain to the London stage for the first time in 30 years.
Within the intimate confines of an interrogation room, two human beings are pushed to their limits, as the eponymous Pedro fights to retain his humanity in the face of an oppressive regime. This psychological battlefield offers up a timely universal reflection on states of oppression and dehumanization wherever they are found – war zones, refugee camps, boardrooms or bedrooms.
The story of Pedro’s disappearance will extend beyond the stage, and we invite you to follow as its effects are felt on social media, throughout the Vault’s many spaces, at demonstrations and on the streets around Waterloo.
Over 100 works to show the impact of computer and Internet technologies on artists from the mid-1960s to the present day.
The exhibition title is taken from a term coined in 1974 by South Korean video art pioneer Nam June Paik, who foresaw the potential of global connections through technology.
The exhibition is ordered in a timeline with works made at the arrival of the new millennium, and ends with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T), an iconic, artistic moment that took place in 1966. Key moments in the history of art and the Internet emerge as the exhibition travels back in time.
Featuring new and rarely seen multimedia works, together with film, painting, sculpture, photography and drawing. From Cory Arcangel, Jeremy Bailey, James Bridle, Constant Dullaart and Oliver Laric, to Roy Ascott, Judith Barry, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Ulla Wiggen, over 70 artists spanning 50 years are included.
Interactive sound installation by Studio PSK. Originally commissioned by the Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion and developed in collaboration with musician Reeps One, the installation is inspired by the inherent joy of using playgrounds as a child.
Taking the archetypal elements of a playground: swings, slides, climbing frame and combining them with advanced musical engineering, the end result is a landscape of playground activities transformed into a giant musical instrument.
The installation includes a timber framework, built recreating iconic playground pieces to an adult scale. Using conductive paint, tape and yarn to create MIDI triggers out of steps, slides and swings the structure will spring to life & evoke the joy of the playground under the archways of House of Vans London.
Throughout the run, this iteration will be accompanied by an array live performances where musicians will explore the structure as an instrument through experimentation and rehearsals in front of a live audience.
After successful shows at Art Basel Miami & Salone del Mobile – Fashion Space Gallery ,Studio PSK and Reeps One are…
Red Bull Studio Collectives series launches with a focus on bringing artists together in a cross-disciplinary project. Collectives sees artists select a young collaborator to work with and, combining creative minds both emerging and established, together they are challenged to create unique and exciting pieces of art that push limitations and provoke viewers. Based across three east London locations with one-of-a-kind collaborative installations for you to experience.
Leif Podhajsky and Eva Papamargariti @ Hoxton Gallery
(28th January – 8th February)
Combining their common interests, Leif and Eva are using their partnership to explore the individualism of interpretation in relation to visual language. Pursuing a symbiosis between Eva’s digital techniques and Podhaisky’s trademark patterns; “The Language of dreams” explores the meaning of a visual language, bringing to life thoughts, ideas and dreams through visual manifestations.
Alice Dunseath and Matteo Mastrandrea @ DreamBagsJaguarShoes (28th January – 13th March) Expanding on their own individual projects, Matteo and Alice have drawn influence from Object Oriented Ontology, a philosophy based on the idea that everything is connected, contrary to the egocentrism of humanity. In a room filled with the central colours of the spectrum, one can ponder one’s place within the web of existence, while experiencing some of Dunseath’s crystal formations taking on a life of their own.
Netta Peltola and Hortense Duthilleux @ No. 90
(29th January – 9th February)
“Latitude’ utilises No. 90 as a public space, remaining open to all for the exhibition’s duration. With this organic flow, the installation will respond to the relative amount of energy and collective movement within the space at any one time, revealing and concealing fragments of choreographed light. Using the passage of the sun as a means to express energy throughout the course of the day, ’Latitude’ creates an immersive, interactive space.