American artist Doug Aitken is in town, and he’s brought some friends with him. For the next 30 days, the Barbican will play host to his legendary multi-disciplinary project, Station to Station, which draws on international talent from the worlds of contemporary dance, art, music, film, and graphic design.
Aitken’s Station to Station was first shown in the US, where it travelled 4,000 miles in 24 days by train. Now it has pulled up at the Barbican, where it will unpack new works by 100 artists.
Many of the installations and performances take cues from the Brutalist building itself, or give its spaces a new charge. Here, we round up 10 must-sees.
Olaf Breuning’s Smoke Performance
Saturdays and Sundays, at 2pm and 4pm / Thursdays and Fridays, at 6pm
Olaf Breuning is bringing his Smoke Performance – shown as part of the 2013 Station to Station – across the pond. His brightly coloured explosions will fill the Barbican’s Lakeside space throughout the month, the first taking place on Saturday. Get there early to avoid missing out.
Jeremy Deller presents: Factory Records Live
1.30-2pm, 3-3.30pm / 19 July
Fresh from the Venice Biennale, where he presented his ‘Factory Records’ jukebox of industrial sounds, Jeremy Deller will perform a live interpretation of his factory soundtrack in collaboration with ex-Guildhall percussionist George Barton.
Hisham Akira Baroocha and Patten
12-6pm / 30 June-1 July
New York-based Japanese artist Hisham Akira Bharaoocha (aka Soft Circle) and London experimental project Patten will collaborate on a new musical score pulling sounds from the building and the artists’ environments. Their new tracks will be pressed to vinyl by VF Press.
7.30 pm / 7 July
Portland based musician and visual artist EMA will take over the Art Gallery with her immersive installation on 7 July. Constructed in collaboration with Zach Krausnick, I Wanna Destroy blurs the lines between the physical and digital world by combining a bespoke Oculus Rift suburban virtual environment with a music and spoken word performance.
6.30pm / 9 Jul
Director Joanna Hogg takes the viewer inside an emotionally charged domestic world in new film, Exhibition. Ex-Slits frontwoman Viv Albertine and conceptual artist Liam Gillick star as two artists preparing to sell the home that has been at the centre of their relationship – and work – for two decades. As the process moves along, tensions rise between the two…
7.30 pm / 10 July
LoneLady is Manchester-based musician Julie Campbell, whose distinct sound merges British post-punk with funk elements. During her residency at the Barbican, she’ll be developing works inspired by the building’s Brutalist form, culminating with a live audio-visual performance on 10 July that combines wrap-around film footage with Brutalist-inspired beats and synth fragments.
Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
6.30pm/ 26 July
For some the Barbican is an urban utopia, but to others it’s a concrete hell. Fitting then that its architecture and atmosphere will form the backdrop of Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s new film riffing on Milton’s Paradise Lost. The pair will be filming over the course of the month, and their rushes will be screened during the latter part of Station to Station, with the finished piece premiering on 26 July.
Aaron Koblin & Ben Tricklebank: Light Echoes
12-8pm / daily
LA-based digital artists Aaron Koblin and Ben Tricklebank will create a new site-specific interactive laser show at The Curve, in which they map the journey of participants moving through the gallery’s space.
Yurt Installations by Kenneth Anger and Urs Fisher
Sun-Weds 12-6pm / Thurs-Sat 12-10pm
When is a yurt not just a yurt? When it’s a luxuriously appointed ‘honeymoon suite’. Designed by Urs Fisher, it will be installed at Sculpture Court alongside another tent dedicated to legendary filmmaker Kenneth Anger.
Over at the Lakeside, Ernesto Neto and Liz Glynn have also set up yurts in which to explore the history of the universe and stimulate your senses…
Doug Aitken’s Station to Station
Last but not least, the man himself: Doug Aitken will be in residence for the duration of Station to Station, along with collaborator Austin Meredith. Together, the pair will be working with students from London Film School to create new films of the installations and events.
Previously unseen footage from the US Station to Station project will be screening daily in the Art Gallery and Aitken also be hosting a series of talks throughout the month with Richard Wentworth.
You can also catch the full-length Station to Station film at the Barbican Cinema.