06. Jun 2014

Bending the rules

Text: Joachim Ritter
Photos: Bethany Clark/Getty Images, James Medcraft, Sidd Khajuria, UVA

For lovers of art, music, theatre, dance and film The Barbican Centre in London is either a regular hang-out or high on the list of got-to-see’s. It is the biggest performing arts and conference venue centre in Europe, and home to the London Symphony Orchestra. At the heart of the Barbican there is an exhibition space known as The Curve, a 90-metre long exhibition space that wraps around the back of the Concert Hall. This unique gallery offers space in which to present new and recently produced work by contemporary artists through a programme of temporary exhibitions. The multi-disciplinary art and design studio UVA (United Visual Artists) were recently commissioned to create an installation for The Curve.

UVA is an award-winning London based art practice that combines a wide range of disciplines including sculpture, installation, live performance, and architecture. Their prime focus is the tension between real and synthesised experiences: the questioning of our relationship with technology, and the creation of phenomena that transcend the purely physical. Their work has been exhibited at institutions and galleries around the world. The concept they came up with for The Curve comprises an immersive installation combining light, sound and movement, which they have called “Momentum!” Drawing on physics and digital technology, UVA have turned The Curve into a spatial instrument, installing a sequence of pendulum-like elements throughout the 90-metre long gallery to create an evolving composition of light and sound. The pendulums – sometimes moving in unexpected ways – project shadows and planes of light across the six-metre high walls and curved floor of the space. UVA see man’s internal model of time, movement, mass and space as being based on a lifetime of experience, perhaps even genetically encoded. But what happens when we build a new model? What happens when we bend the rules? That is what this installation sets out to discover. Visitors enter a relatively dark space in which the sequence of pendulums fitted with specially designed luminaires revolve above their heads, tracing circles, curves and lines of light in the darkness through the smoky atmosphere. In addition, each of the twelve pendulums is equipped with its own sound system, which produces a metallic sound, similar to a bell ringing, which – together with the revolving light effects – transports the visitor into an almost hypnotic, meditative mood. […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 93
And our PLD magazine app (iPad App Store) contains a media-enhanced version.

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