Advertisement

London’s Roundhouse presents Ron Arad’s Curtain Call

14 August 2016 | Stephanie Brandhuber

In order to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Roundhouse is once more hosting Ron Arad's Curtain Call, an incredible, immersive art installation that will excite all your senses .


Architect and designer Ron Arad has returned to the Roundhouse with his masterfully created 360° installation Curtain Call, and he couldn't be more excited to be back.

"I'm very excited, but it's a completely different excitement than the last time. When we first showed it, I didn't get to see it until right before there was a queue of people here waiting to come in. I saw it of course on my computer, and when it was being rendered. But that was very exciting when people walked in for the first time and saw it. Here, this time, the excitement is different. It is like a very pleasurable déjà vu; like re-enacting a good memory."

The installation, which was first unveiled at the Roundhouse in 2011, is an impressive floor-to-ceiling artwork made of 5,600 silicon rods suspended from an 18 metre diameter ring, providing a canvas for films, live performance and audience interactions. Visitors are invited to engage with the curtain, by walking in, around, and through it, taking in the all-encompassing nature of the colossal piece of art. Curtain Call is very much a multi-sensory experience, combining spectacular visuals projected onto the curtain by artists hand-picked by Arad, and musical artists performing in and around the curtain, heightening the feeling of being truly immersed in the curtain's art.

For Curtain Call's 2016 comeback, Arad is keeping things fresh by featuring a host of new collaborators, both visual and musical. These include Mercury Prize nominee ESKA, Kutiman, Daniel Landau, Marshmallow Laser Feast, and Universal Everything.

When asked how he conceived  the idea for this immersive art installation, Arad, pointing towards the street running just outside of the Roundhouse says: "I was walking on that sidewalk there and ran into Marcus Davey, the Art Director of the Roundhouse, and he said 'Ron, will you do the next August installation for us?', and I said jokingly, yeah, let's do something round because it's the Roundhouse, let's do something round, and big! Let's do something with 360° seamless images that will allow people to walk through them. And then we had to find a way of doing it."

Working tirelessly with his team of designers, Arad's immense art installation has once more been erected in the Roundhouse's main space, a venue that Arad holds very dear to his heart."The Roundhouse is fantastic", he says, "It's the best venue in the world, maybe?" And indeed, the Roundhouse is deeply woven into the fabric of Camden's neighbourhood, its legacy as a hub for creativity and performance being well-known and highly esteemed.

"On the opening night in 2011, we were all very happy, and there was a dinner after the opening", Arad recalls. "And then the riots started outside. And all the windows of the nearby shops were smashed . We were locked in here, in the Roundhouse, and they whisked us from where we were eating to the curtain. We stayed there until 3am. But the heart-warming thing was that, we all looked at our phones and saw that the rioters tweeted each other 'DON'T TOUCH THE ROUNDHOUSE', 'LEAVE THE ROUNDHOUSE ALONE'  because they knew the Roundhouse is there to look after them, and give them culture, opportunities, education. Somehow the word spread, and I just couldn't believe it. It was incredible."
 
The love Arad and Londoners as a whole have for the this venue is highlighted in Curtain Call itself. The opening piece being  projected on the art installation is called RH and is about the Roundhouse, having been shot in the beloved Camden venue. Making the Roundhouse a part of the art brings out how much the building itself is the subject matter of Arad's creation, and how much the work strives to celebrate this amazing performance space.  

Because of the interactive and immersive nature of Curtain Call, no two performances are ever the same. This exciting element of spontaneity and curiosity heightens the sense of wonder and discovery as visitors weave in and out of the art. In past performances, people walked with giants, and were dwarfed by huge piano keys being played by wild, giant hands. What will be in store this time? There's only one way to find out - the curtain is calling you. 

Curtain Call will run at the Roundhouse from the 6th - 29th August 2016. Book tickets online.
Advertisement

Most popular

What to See at The Cinema
What to See at The Cinema
Advertisement
Top Theatre of the Week in London
Top Theatre of the Week in London
Advertisement
The Best Exhibitions in London Right Now
The Best Exhibitions in London Right Now
Advertisement
Top Gigs of the Week in London
Top Gigs of the Week in London
The Best Street Food Markets in London
The Best Street Food Markets in London
Spotlight on: Gay’s the Word
Spotlight on: Gay’s the Word

Your inbox deserves a little culture! Get our monthly newsletter

Advertisement