’Choreographing You’ exhibition, London
Those of you who find yourself continually fighting the urge to touch artworks in exhibitions will find thrills aplenty in Choreographing You - a new show at London’s Hayward Gallery. Not only can you touch, tread on - even hang from - the works on show, you can actually become part of them. The sculptures and installations created by artists and choreographers over the last 50 years invite you to be both participant and performer. In fact, even your movement through the gallery is carefully choreographed, thanks to a series of undulating origami-like structures cleverly devised by Amanda Levete Architects. Here, we take a look at some of their early drawings for these configurations.
’Inspired by the photographic motion studies of the human body of Etienne-Jules Marey and Eadweard Muybridge, we have created a collection of spatial dividers which are defined by a serial transformation of a single material: a sequence of folded oscillations of Dupont Tyvek,’ they explain. The resulting translucent, folding fabric ribbons are a counterpoint to the brutality of the building, and act as way finding devises, partitions, suspended ceilings and portals. ’The structure and bespoke detailing of the paper-like ribbons was also inspired by those found in kites, developed in close collaboration with fabricators, Kite Related Designs,’ the architects add.
Amanda Levete Architects’ spatial configurations lead visitors to a fluid and communal experience of the interactive objects and installations by the likes of Bruce Nauman, Robert Morris, Franz West and Christian Jankowski. These artists all share an interest in making the viewer move, propelling them through space to see how they react.
Highlights include William Forsythe’s ’The Fact of Matter’, featuring 200 gymnast rings suspended at varying heights from the ceiling, which visitors precariously attempt to traverse. Then there’s Mike Kelley’s ’Adaptation Test Room Containing Multiple Stimuli Known to Elicit Curiosity and Manipulatory Responses’, which draws out the child in you, with oversized objects that are meant to be touched and interacted with in a playroom-like space. During the exhibition dancers animate this installation with choreography by Anita Pace.
Not all the experiences are so public. Where a more personal, contemplative encounter is required, such as for Isaac Julien’s multi-screen Ten Thousand Waves video installation, Amanda Levete Architects’ ribbons are used to enclose, cocoon and define smaller, more intimate spaces.