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Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening - Barbican

Olaf Breuning smoke performance

Exhibition preview

FROM Saturday, June 27 to Sunday, July 26, 2015, the Barbican is staging the only international stop of Station to Station, American multi-media artist Doug Aitken’s experiment in spontaneous artistic creation.

A ‘living exhibition’ taking over the Barbican’s indoor and outdoor spaces (Art Gallery, The Curve, Concert Hall, Cinemas, Lakeside Terrace and Sculpture Court) for 30 days, Station to Station draws together an inspiring and diverse fusion of international and UK-based artists from the world of contemporary art, music, dance, graphic design and film – much of it created live in the space.

Encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration among artists from different backgrounds, the month-long event includes FREE access for audiences to all daytime activities, with special ticketed evening performances in the Art Gallery and Concert Hall.

Over 100 artists are already programmed as part of Station to Station at the Barbican. Highlights include: a Concert Hall performance by Suicide presenting new music and classics from their back catalogue; Terry Riley composing and improvising in the Art Gallery for five days, culminating in a Concert Hall performance of new material written during the residency; 100 cactus omelettes prepared for diners to Ed Ruscha’s special recipe; Lawrence Weiner presenting a new commission…

Tal R’s Rosa Pagoda woodblock studio making fresh prints daily; Pedro Reyes’ spiritual speed-dating and his People’s United Nations (pUN) Library Readings; an 88-cymbal-players performance in the Concert Hall led by the Boredoms; Light Echoes, a specially commissioned interactive laser installation by Aaron Koblin and Ben Tricklebank, transforming the Curve gallery…

… immersive yurt installations constructed by Kenneth Anger, Urs Fischer and Liz Glynn on the Lakeside Terrace and Sculpture Court; outside spaces also hosting Olaf Breuning’s multi-coloured smoke installation (pictured) and late evening screenings of Winslow, Arizona 9/19/13Stephen Shore’s photographic slide show of 180 images shot over one day. Also taking part, among others, are Marcus Coates, Martin Creed, Olafur Eliasson, *Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Anri Sala and Savages.

Throughout Station to Station, the Art Gallery is transformed into a living environment for creativity by a series of residencies, one-off performances, interviews and workshops. Choreographers
Siobhan Davies, Trajal Harrell, New Movement Collective with ScanLAB Projects and Ann Van den Broek take over the Art Gallery for a week each, rehearsing and leading workshops.

Musicians in residence include: LoneLady, Nozinja, Haroon Mirza with Factory Floor and Shiva Feshareki, and Terry Riley. Designers Abäke and Fraser Muggeridge are in residence for a fortnight each, making interventions and creating products for display and purchase.

Other one-off performances and residencies involve, among others, artists Josh Bitelli and Felix Melia, Abraham Brody, Mike Figgis, Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts, Isabel Lewis, Angelica Mesiti, Albert Oehlen, Miet Warlop, Richard Wentworth and Design Marketo.

Station to Station partner The Vinyl Factory’s mobile vinyl pressing unit The VF Press is installed at Silk Street Entrance, everyday printing limited edition copies of Station to Station recordings, with vinyl sold in the gallery shop and featuring artwork produced by the resident graphic designers. Students of London Film School, learning partners for Station to Station, are also in residence during the project.

Doug Aitken said: “The Barbican is unique, as a cultural institution that embraces all mediums. Within this environment, Station to Station will generate creative experimentation and collaboration as part of a living exhibition that welcomes the unexpected.”

Station to Station at the Barbican builds on from Doug Aitken’s Station to Station project which first crossed North America by train from the Atlantic to the Pacific over 23 days in September 2013.

Over the course of the journey, a constantly changing group of creative contributors joined and took part in ten events in major cities and off-the-grid locations. What began as a train journey across North America has evolved into a platform for cross-collaboration between mediums and non-commercial creativity, with London being the next iteration.

Station to Station at the Barbican is continuously evolving, with new works introduced, created, performed and shown every day as part of a programme of live rehearsals, performances, talks, interviews and workshops.

Introducing the project, on Friday, June 19, the Barbican hosts the UK public premiere of Doug Aitken’s Station to Station feature film, a high-speed road trip through modern creativity comprised of 62 one-minute films documenting the 2013 journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Previously unseen content from the journey will be screened as part of an immersive Gallery video installation for the whole duration of the project at the Barbican.

Ensuring that the creativity emerging during the 30 days lives on and reaches the broadest possible audience, an Art Gallery-based recording and rehearsal studio captures spontaneous performances and interviews, while online channels, as well as the Barbican dedicated microsite disseminates its artistic content. Audiences are encouraged to contribute to this process using social media.