Art Night

22 June Art Night

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A night of performances and exhibitions as part of London’s largest free contemporary art festival

The British Library is delighted to be taking part in Art Night 2019, London’s largest free contemporary art festival.

Art Night 2019 takes place in Walthamstow and King’s Cross on 22 June with a range of commissions and an associated Art Night Open, with over 40 independently curated projects.

The Library showcases free presentations of performed works by Katherine E. Bash, Athena Padadopoulos and Demelza Watts alongside our current temporary exhibition, Imaginary Cities by Michael Takeo Magruder.

17.00 – 18.00 Poets Circle

Demelza Watts
Poems from the Planets, A performance of seven stories

In July 2002, Antony Gormley installed Planets, eight boulders with incised human forms placed on existing plinths around a circular space in the front piazza of the British Library. According to Gormley, “The work celebrates the dependency of the body on the material world in this library, which is the repository of the fruits of the mind.”

With its orbit, planets and ancient stones, Planets refers to timeless connections between man and environment and the physical properties and natural elements that they share. In response to this work, Demelza Watts will work with local school children of Maria Fidelis Catholic School to collectively compose seven illustrated poems for a special one-off performance at the Poet’s Circle at the British Library. Each of the students will perform their poems in front of the relevant planet sculpture, leaving the earth spot empty.

Presented by Chalton Gallery

17.00 – 21.30 Entrance Hall Gallery

Michael Takeo Magruder
Imaginary Cities

Fantastical cityscapes created by artist in residence Michael Takeo Magruder. Traditional materials combine with cutting–edge digital technologies to remix images and live data from the British Library’s collection of urban maps into fictional cityscapes. Explore pieces combining algorithmically generated imagery and virtual environments with precious metal gilding and historical woodworking techniques.

Presented by the British Library
Supported by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library

18.00 – 19.00 Upper Ground Floor

Katherine E. Bash
The Light of Consciousness

Katherine E. Bash, in collaboration with additional performers, presents The Light of Consciousness, a Still-Film, realised as a site-specific installation and poetic sonic performance situated in the Café surrounding King George III’s Library, a symbol of the Age of Enlightenment.

In this setting, the work challenges the Enlightenment concept of objectivity by emphasising chance associations that happen within the viewer between poetry, photography and site as changing flavours of experience blossom into and out of being.

This is an offering and an invitation to the public to inhabit the space and to experience a transformation of worldly emotion into aesthetic experience through the medium of conscious awareness. The Still-Film in book format, of the same title, will also be screening.

Presented by Chalton Gallery

19.00 – 20.00 Treasures Gallery 

Athena Padadopoulos
A Tittle-Tattle-Tell-A-Tale Heart: A Reading

Athena Padadopoulos’ book, A Tittle-Tattle-Tell-A-Tale Heart, read from start to finish by the artist herself, in the context of the remarkable ‘Treasures of the British Library’ display. Inverting the way in which we often consume novels, serialised in excerpts and chapters; this performance will deliver the experimental narrative of the artist’s first book in one fell swoop.

A novel that is variously a diary, a detective narrative, a love story, and a collage, the book is an artwork comprising of two parts. The first composed in eyeliner, and the second a frantic retelling of the previous. The live event will further this ‘Russian-doll/telephone game’ effect, shifting meaning, both in the narrative, and in how the book is experienced by an audience.

Pre-registration recommended here / walk-ins will be admitted depending on capacity.

Presented by Zabludowicz Collection


Name: Art Night
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Free Event: £0.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546