Ron Arad’s installation Curtain Call is a digital diorama, a ring of futuristic-style plastic rods and sensurround sound; a walk-through panoramic canvas for large-scale video projections that can be viewed from inside the installation as well as outside it. Curtain Call, has been created specifically for the circular space of the Roundhouse in north London by designer and artist Ron Arad, responding to the space by creating a circular ‘curtain’ installation of 5,600 silicon rods suspended 8-metres high creating an 18-metre diameter circle.
Arad’s intention is for installation to be as interactive as possible: “Walk in, penetrate, cross the moving images to get inside the cylinder. You’ll be engulfed by the moving images- a captive, but also a creator. It’s amazing what exciting things happen on both sides of the curtain”.
It is an exciting and dramatic experience when, after parting the curtains, you are encircled by 360 degree projections, unsure about the beginning or the end. However, with works on such a grand scale within such a grand space and enhanced by such remarkable sound engineering and acoustics, one starts to wonder if any visual projection would not incite a similar response when magnified to such a monumental degree.
Arad has adopted the role of ‘anti-curator’, and invited installations by Babis Alexiadis, Hussein Chalayan, Paul Cocksedge, Mat Collishaw, Ori Gersht, Greenaway & Greenaway, Gabriel & Shira Klasmer, Christian Marclay, Javier Mariscal, SDNA and David Shrigley.
Christian Marclay’s Pianorama features edited footages of the pianist Steve Beresford playing different keys, with the length of the keyboard altered to project the entire circular length. Greenaway & Greenaway’s ROUNDHOUSE adopts the architectural imagery of the Roundhouse in fast-paced, three-dimensional animations. Matt Collishaw’s tropical landscape Sordid Earth portrays flowers in various states of decay, with flies attracted to their rotting remains as waterfalls cascade with tremendous force.
David Shrigley’s Walking is an animation of a hairy naked men partake his clunky black boots, thumping – literally in circles – and grumpily halting midway to let out and exasperated moan before heavy-heartedly continuing his circular journey: ending full circle without explanation.
Curtain Call will also feature selected students from the design department at Royal College of the Arts, where Arad was Professor of Design Product, and will also combine it’s experimental design with live performances by cellist Steven Isserlis, Innervisions (a music label from Berlin) and The London Contemporary Orchestra as well as other free events.
Live Events at Curtain Call – August 2011
17: Cellist Steven Isserlis with a performance of solo suites by Bach and Britten
19: Berlin-based electronic music label Innervisions featuring a screening of 1920’s classic, The Cabinet of Dr Calgari, accompanied by a live score
23: The London Contemporary Orchestra performing Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis and other modern pieces on ancient themes
Additional Free Events
- Rude oracle live interaction with American author Jonathan Safran Foer in New York.
- Singer/ songwriter Lail Arad
- Multi-instrumental duo Cat’s Eyes
- ‘Call to Create’- a chance for emerging artists to collaborate with visual label, EYES ON THE WALL
- Designer Paul Cocksedge will be heating and moulding old LP’s to give them new life as vinyl speakers, amplifying music from smart phones
Venue: Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH
Dates: 9-29 August Opening hours: Mon-Wed & Fri 12pm-7pm (except 17, 19, 23 & 24)Thu: 12pm-10pm; Sat-Sun 10am-7pm. Box office: 0844 482 8008
Tickets: Pay what you can: there’s no fixed price
Special events: Tickets range from £12-25
Bloomberg is the official sponsor of Ron Arad’s Curtain Call
Text by Nadine Tallala