Tom Hingston and friends relive the rebellious spirit of British music in immersive experience
Launched just four years ago, Veuve Clicquot’s Widow Series has already leveraged the curatorial nous of Nick Knight, FKA Twigs and Carine Roitfeld. This year the champagne house turned to London-based star creative director Tom Hingston.
Hingston’s client list includes a clutch of blue-chip luxury brands but he is perhaps best known for his work with rock ‘n’ roll royalty, from David Bowie through U2 and the Rolling Stones to Nick Cave and Massive Attack. ‘Rebels’, which runs until 17 November at the Bargehouse on London’s South Bank, sees Hingston and a crack squad of collaborators explore the vitality and experimentation of British music.
Part warehouse party over four floors, part experiential ramble, ‘Rebels’ opens with Manifesto, a three-screen video installation featuring Mercury Prize-winning Scottish trio Young Fathers, directed by Hingston himself, and ends with Fields of Dreams (Unity and Celebration), a fantasy wildflower meadow enhanced and augmented, rather than trampled and trashed, by festival infrastructure. A collaboration between artist Rebecca Louise Law and lighting designer Chris Levine, here lasers become sheltering summer sky rather than salvo or cheap spectacle while Massive Attack’s Teardrop is twisted and stretched into a six-hour soundscape.
The Bargehouse on London’s South Bank is lit up with the exhibition’s title
Along the way Savages lead singer Jenny Beth and the band’s producer Johnny Hostile serve up the entrancing video erotica of C.A.L.M (Crimes Against Love Manifesto); Nick Knight stays still but widescreen to honour the on-going influence of punk in The Revolution; and set designer Anna Burns makes aquatic in The Sunken Cargo to celebrate the 2010 discovery of a batch of 19th-century Veuve Clicquot champagne (the oldest drinkable champagne in the world) in a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea.
The installation, essentially a giant sound system, sways to new music provided by Neneh Cherry. The standout though is provided by photographer and film-making duo Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones who explore, to startling effect, gender fluidity in virtual reality and with an animatronic head cast from model Vivien Solari, all set to a soundscape created by James Lavelle.
Libations are served in The Comet Bar, a nostalgic nod to the second summer of love with a five-hour acid house tinged soundtrack from Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and staff uniforms by designer Liam Hodges. §