United Visual Artists (UVA): MomentumThis exhibition is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
The Curve, Barbican Centre, London UK
13 February – 1 June 2014
Wednesday 12 February, 10am – 1pm
Barbican has commissioned the multi-disciplinary art and design studio United Visual Artists to create a new work for the Curve. Coinciding with their 10th anniversary, UVA present Momentum, an immersive installation that combines light, sound and movement. Drawing on physics and digital technology, UVA are turning the Curve into a spatial instrument, installing a sequence of pendulum-like elements throughout the 90metre long gallery to create an evolving composition of light and sound. The pendulums – sometimes moving in unexpected ways – project shadows and planes of light across the 6metre-high walls and curved floor of the space . Visitors are invited to explore the room at their own pace, and their movement through the gallery shapes their individual experience. United Visual Artists: Momentum opens in The Curve on 13 February 2014.
UVA said: “ Our internal model of time, movement, mass and space is based on a lifetime of experience, perhaps even genetically encoded. What happens when we build a new model? What happens when we bend the rules?
United Visual Artists (UVA) is an art practice that use design processes to combine a wide range of disciplines including sculpture, installation, live performance, and architecture. The studio has an open approach to collaboration, uniting diverse skills to continuously evolve new technologies and materials, which in turn suggest new artistic directions. UVA's lines of enquiry include the tension between real and synthesised experiences - the questioning of our relationship with technology, and the creation of phenomena that transcend the purely physical. In all their work, they aim to distill complexity down to its essence. Based in London, UVA was founded in 2003 by Matthew Clark, Chris Bird and Ash Nehru.
UVA’s installations consider each space an immersive environment where the visitor’s point of view plays an important role in the outcome. In High Arctic, 2011, visitors were invited to explore a vast abstracted arctic landscape made with sculptures, light and sound, in a monument to an Arctic past. Similarly, their installation Volume, the first commission for the John Madjeski Garden at the V&A Museum in 2006 transformed the space over the dark winter months. Audiences immersed themselves in a field of luminous, sound-emitting columns that responded to visitors’ movements to create an immersive, constantly shifting visual and musical experience
Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts, Barbican , said, “Combining sophisticated research-led technology with a minimal aesthetic, UVA are known for site specific works of great beauty and clarity, in which the visitor is always an active participant. We are delighted to present Momentum, our first pure light and sound installation in the Curve.”
UVA has been commissioned by Artwise Curators, The Creators Project, La Gaite Lyrique, National Maritime Museum, Opera North, Royal Academy of Arts, Victoria & Albert Museum and YCAM Japan. Their work has been exhibited at institutions and galleries including the South Bank Centre, the Wellcome Collection Durham and The British Library. Internationally UVA have shown in Barcelona, Beijing, Hong Kong, Melbourne, New York, Paris, São Paulo, St. Petersburg, Taipei and Tokyo. Their designs for live performance have led to commissions for venues such as the Tate Modern Turbine Hall, Serpentine Gallery and Madison Square Garden in New York. In 2007, UVA’s responsive light and sound sculpture Volume won a yellow pencil at the D&AD awards, and featured in the London Design Museum’s ‘Design of the Year’ show in 2008. Speed of Light was nominated for ‘Design of the Year’ in 2010, and High Arctic nominated in 2011. UVA were awarded a distinction for their kinetic installation Chorus at the 2010 edition of Prix Arts Electronica. In 2011, Speed of Light was awarded a Creative Review Annual and listed in the Annual as ‘Best in Book’.
UVA are currently working on a solo show at the Towner Gallery Eastbourne which opens in April 2014. UVA has also been commissioned by the Wellcome Trust to design a permanent lighting sculpture suspended in a 7 level staircase. The art work will launch in September 2014.
Notes to Editors
For further information, images or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Ann Berni, Media Relations Manager +44 207 382 7169,
Ariane Oiticica, Media Relations Officer +44 207 382 6162, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Curve, Barbican, London
Sat - Wed 11am–8pm
Thu - Fri 11am–9pm
Bank Holidays 12pm–8pm
Public information: 0845 120 7550 / www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery
The Curve is the Barbican’s free exhibition space that wraps around the back of the Concert Hall. Launched in May 2006, Curve Art is a series of new commissions in which contemporary artists respond to the distinctive architecture of the space. Artists who have previously made new commissions for the Curve are Tomas Saraceno (Argentina); Richard Wilson (Britain); Jeppe Hein (Denmark); Marjetica Potrc (Slovenia); Shirana Shahbazi (Switzerland/Iran); Hans Schabus (Austria); Huang Yong Ping (France/China); Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Mexico/Canada); Peter Coffin (United States of America); Clemens von Wedemeyer (Germany); Robert Kusmirowski (Poland); Céleste Boursier-Mougenot (France); John Bock (Germany); Damián Ortega (Mexico); Cory Arcangel (USA); Junya Ishigami (Japan); Song Dong (China); rAndom International (Britain); Geoffrey Farmer (Canada) and most recently Ayşe Erkmen (Turkey)
Barbican Art Gallery
One of the leading art spaces in the UK, Barbican Art Gallery presents the best of international visual art with a dynamic mix of art, architecture, design, fashion and photography. From acclaimed architects to Turner prize-winning artists, the Gallery exhibits innovators of the 20th and 21st centuries: key players who have shaped developments and stimulated change.
All Barbican Centre press releases, news announcements and the Media Relations team’s contact details are listed on our website at www.barbican.org.uk/news
About the Barbican
A world-class arts and learning organisation, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. Its creative learning programme further underpins everything it does. Over 1.5 million people pass through the Barbican’s doors annually, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and more than 300 staff work onsite. The architecturally renowned centre opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, the Pit, Cinemas One, Two and Three, foyers and public spaces, a library, Lakeside Terrace, a glasshouse conservatory, conference facilities and three restaurants. The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre.
The Barbican is home to Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra; Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia, and Associate Producer Serious. Our Artistic Associates include Boy Blue Entertainment, Cheek by Jowl and Michael Clark Company. International Associates are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
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