Cross-arts: Barbican September 2017 highlights Barbican September 2017 highlights
This September the Barbican presents Basquiat: Boom for Real, the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). The exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works, many never seen before in the UK. More than any other exhibition to date, Basquiat: Boom for Real focuses on the artist’s relationship to music, writing, performance, film and television, placing him within the wider cultural context of the time. The Grime and the Glamour: NYC 1976-90 , a major season at Barbican Cinema, complements the exhibition, giving audiences a taste of the blisteringly creative streets of late 1970s and 1980s New York. In The Pit, Basquiat is the source of inspiration for nitroBEAT Pit Party – Suckerpunch Boom Suite , a fluid theatrical gig which unites a vibrant community of collaborators at the forefront of experimental sound, lyricism and physical poetry.
To mark Sir Simon Rattle ’s inaugural season as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, and as Artist-in-Association with the Barbican and the Guildhall School, the Barbican and the LSO present a ten day celebration This is Rattle. The celebration features five evening concerts with the LSO conducted by Sir Simon; four concerts curated by Sir Harrison Birtwistle , Thomas Adès , Oliver Knussen and Helen Grime ; and installations in the Barbican foyers.
Transcender returns with its trademark mix of transcendental and hypnotic music from across the globe. Midori Takada performs a rare UK show; Iranian musician Kayhan Kalhor collaborates with jazz and period instrument performers Rembrandt Trio ; British Indian singer Susheela Raman and guitarist Sam Mills present new project Sacred Imaginations 1 ; and Different Trains 1947 , a response to the declaration of Indian Independence 70 years ago, features Actress and Jack Barnett of These New Puritans with Indian music producer Sandunes .
Other concerts in September include the Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner , exploring the musical legacy of the recently rediscovered mercurial New York composer ; Gainsbourg Symphonic , a tribute to legendary musician Serge Gainsbourg by his muse and long-time partner Jane Birkin ; live tributes to the soundtracks of American independent director Jim Jarmusch ’s poetic films featuring musicians Mulatu Astatke , Alex Kapranos and Camille O’Sullivan ; and The Magnetic Fields performing their landmark new album 50 Songs Memoir over two evenings.
Toneelgroep Amsterdam concludes its 2017 residency at the Barbican with After the Rehearsal/Persona - two Bergman screenplays reimagined for the stage.
The Barbican presents two silent films with live music, London Symphony accompanied by the Covent Garden Sinfonia and Sergei Eisenstein ’s landmark first film Strike accompanied by Wendy Hiscocks . Cinema Matters continues with a look at film’s ability to bring people together featuring the UK premiere screening of the 4K restoration of Gillo Pontecorvo ’s The Battle of Algier s and Barbara Kopple ’s Harlan County, USA .
Basquiat: Boom for Real
Thu 21 Sep 2017– Sun 28 Jan 2018, Barbican Art Gallery
Media View: Wed 20 Sept, 10am –1pm
Basquiat: Boom for Real is the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960—1988). One of the most significant painters of the 20th century, Basquiat came of age in the post-punk underground art scene in Lower Manhattan in the late 1970s. By 1982, he had gained international recognition and was the youngest ever artist to participate in Documenta in Kassel. Basquiat’s vibrant, raw imagery springs from an impressive erudition, seen in the fragments of bold capitalised text that abound in his works — offering insights into both his encyclopaedic interests and his experience as a young artist with no formal training. Since his tragic death in 1988, Basquiat has had remarkably little exposure in the UK – where there is not a single work in a public collection.
More than any other exhibition to date, Basquiat: Boom for Real focuses on the artist’s relationship to music, text, film and television, placing it within the wider cultural context of the time. Paintings, drawings and notebooks are presented alongside rare film, photography, music and ephemera in a design that aims to capture the dynamism of Basquiat’s practice. These exhibits are brought together for the first time in 35 years, allowing visitors to understand how Basquiat so quickly won the admiration of his fellow artists and critics.
To accompany the exhibition, the Barbican Cinema season The Grime and the Glamour: NYC 1976-90 celebrates the hometown of Jean-Michel Basquiat on screen..
For full press release and images please visit: www.barbican.org.uk/BasquiatNews
Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner
Sat 9 Sep, LSO St Luke’s, 7.30pm
Conceived by Jace Clayton , a.k.a . DJ /rupture , the Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner project brings fresh insight to the artistic legacy of Julius Eastman – the mercurial gay African American composer, pianist and vocalist who mixed canny minimalist innovation with head-on political provocation. Newly arranged for twin pianos, live electronics and voice, Clayton’s exhilarating sonic exploration is built around two of Eastman’s most important piano compositions: Evil Nigger (1979) and Gay Guerrilla (1980). Clayton live-processes the pianos of David Friend and Emily Manzo , using his own custom-built software. The performance will be interspersed with original material and short theatrical vignettes, performed by neo-Sufi vocalist Arooj Aftab , lending context and nuance to Eastman's saga, cut short with his untimely death in 1990 at the age of 49. Julius Eastman was a companion of Morton Feldman and John Cage in 1960s New York but died in poverty and alone. Recently he has been rediscovered as a central figure of the avant-garde scene.
The Magnetic Fields: 50 Songs Memoir
Sat 9 & Sun 10 Sep, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
The Magnetic Fields ’ latest album, 50 Song Memoir , chronicles the 50 years of prolific US songwriter and Magnetic Fields founder and lead vocalist Stephin Merritt ’s life with one song per year. The band will presents the 50 songs featured on the album over two nights at the Barbican.
Unlike Merritt’s previous work, the lyrics on 50 Song Memoir are nonfiction – in his own words, “a mix of autobiography (bedbugs, Buddhism, buggery) and documentary (hippies, Hollywood, hyperacusis)”.
In addition to his vocals on all 50 songs, Merritt plays more than 100 instruments on 50 Song Memoir . In the Barbican concerts, the music will be played and sung by a newly expanded Magnetic Fields septet including Stephin Merritt , Sam Davol , Christopher Ewen , Anthony Kaczynski , Quince Marcum , Shirley Simms and Pinky Weitzman . The stage set will feature 50 years of artefacts both musical (vintage computers, reel-to-reel tape decks, newly invented instruments), and decorative (tiki bar, shag carpet, vintage magazines for the perusal of idle musicians).
Co-commissioned by Barbican, Edinburgh International Festival, BAM, the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and Melbourne Festival.
This is Rattle
Thu 14 Sep 17 – Sun 24 Sep 17, Barbican Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall, Sculpture Court
To mark his inaugural season as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra , and as Artist-in-Association with the Barbican and the Guildhall School , the Barbican and the LSO present a ten day celebration This is Rattle . At the heart of these celebrations are five evening concerts with the LSO conducted by Sir Simon. His inaugural programme on Tue 14 Sep 2017, 7.30pm , which also opens the Barbican 2017-18 classical music season, will be dedicated to British music and features works by Thomas Adès, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Oliver Knussen, Elgar’s Enigma Variations and the world premiere of Fanfare by Helen Grime, specially commissioned for the orchestra by the Barbican. This concert will be relayed live to the Barbican Sculpture Court’s outdoor cinema screen. On 17 & 19 September Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust, featuring the London Symphony Chorus and a large chorus of children is performed; and on 21 & 24 September Rattle and the LSO perform the three complete Stravinsky ballets commissioned by Diaghilev for the Ballet Russes, The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring, all landmarks of 20th Century music.
Parallel to the LSO’s concerts in the Barbican Hall, the four living composers whose work Sir Simon Rattle has chosen to be showcased in the opening LSO performance ( Sir Harrison Birtwistle , Thomas Adès , Oliver Knussen and Helen Grime ) will curate their own concerts at Milton Court, presented by the Barbican. This series focuses on British music from last 50 years, with each programme reflecting the composers’ personal inspirations and musical influences. Oliver Knussen conducts the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in a programme to include works by Stravinsky, Patrick Brennan, Birtwistle and Knussen himself ( Sat 16 Sep 2017, 7.30pm ). Thomas Adès ’ concert features Guildhall musicians performing works by some of the most distinctive voices in classical music today and over the past century, including Per Nørgård, Nicholas Maw, Judith Weir, Niccolò Castiglioni, John Woolrich and Madness arranged by Adès ( Mon 18 Sep 2017, 7.30pm ). Britten Sinfonia performs in Helen Grime ’s curated concert, which includes music by Purcell, Britten, Grime, Knussen, George Benjamin, Colin Matthews, Adès, and Stravinsky ( Wed 20 Sep 2017, 7:30pm ). The series ends with Sir Harrison Birtwistle ’s curated concert, with BBC Singers and Martyn Brabbins performing a varied programme of music by Varèse, Machaut, Byrd and Birtwistle ( Sat 23 Sep 2017, 7:30pm ).
Oliver Knussen conducts the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in a programme to include works by Stravinsky, Patrick Brennan, Birtwistle and Knussen himself ( Sat 16 Sep 2017, 7.30pm ). Thomas Adès ’ concert features Guildhall musicians performing works by some of the most distinctive voices in classical music today and over the past century, including Per Nørgård, Nicholas Maw, Judith Weir , Niccolò Castiglioni, John Woolrich and Madness arranged by Adès ( Mon 18 Sep 2017, 7.30pm ). Britten Sinfonia performs in Helen Grime ’s curated concert, which includes music by Purcell, Britten, Grime, Knussen, George Benjamin, Colin Matthews, Adès, and Stravinsky ( Wed 20 Sep 2017, 7:30pm ). The series ends with Sir Harrison Birtwistle ’s curated concert, with BBC Singers and Martyn Brabbins performing a varied programme of music by Varèse, Machaut, Byrd and Birtwistle ( Sat 23 Sep 2017, 7:30pm ).
Two foyer commissions also form part of This is Rattle . The Barbican and LSO have jointly commissioned a new digital work from award-winning artistic duo Cleary Connolly . Less than Thirteen (Thu 14 Sep 2017 to Sun 7 Jan 2018) is a large-scale projected artwork, situated in the heart of the Barbican’s foyers, which interprets the movement of Sir Simon Rattle conducting. The silent, abstract videos reduce the human form to a series of animated dots based on motion capture of Sir Simon’s conducting of Elgar’s Enigma Variations . The work explores the inherent musicality of movement, investigating how the conductor’s movement, although silent, can conjure up an aural response from the orchestra. Less than Thirteen draws on Gunnar Johansson’s theories of motion perception, which showed that as few as thirteen moving points can be fully understood as a human body. The projections visualise Sir Simon Rattle in less than thirteen moving dots, further abstracting the motion whilst striving to evoke melody and music in the minds of visitors.
Interlock: Friends Pictured Within (Thu 14 Sep 2017 to Sun 7 Jan 2018) is a new interactive multimedia installation from musician Anna Meredith and artist Jonathan Munro devised by Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning together with over 100 community participants from east London. It also explores Elgar’s Enigma Variations , a piece Elgar wrote to characterise his closest friends, representing aspects of their personalities and memorable episodes in their relationships. The participants composed their own variations based on each other’s personalities; which are expressed in different art forms such as music, dance, illustration, poetry, visual art and animation. Each of these pieces interlock when placed into the interactive installation, bringing together the individual artworks. Visitors to the Barbican Centre will be able to trigger the different audio visual artworks using floor sensors, creating their own composition.
Both installations form part of the Barbican’s foyers programme which extend its programme beyond the walls of its venues and into its public spaces, giving visitors opportunities to experience outstanding art for free.
This is Rattle is a part of Culture Mile .
BBC Symphony Orchestra
The BBC Symphony Orchestra, Associate Orchestra at the Barbican, returns to the Barbican on Wednesday 27 September to launch its cycle of the complete Sibelius symphonies conducted by Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo, as part of an overarching Finnish theme running through the season. The BBC Singers launch their 2017-18 season with ‘This is Rattle: Birtwistle’ in Milton Court Concert Hall on Saturday 23 September , programmed by Sir Harrison Birtwistle and conducted by Martyn Brabbins.
Jim Jarmusch Revisited
Featuring Mulatu Astatke, Camille O'Sullivan and Jolie Holland
Wed 20 & Thu 21 Sep, Barbican Theatre, 7.30pm
The two upcoming Jim Jarmusch Revisited concerts in the Barbican Theatre are landmark live tributes to the soundtrack of American independent director Jim Jarmusch’s poetic films.
A stellar cast including musicians Mulatu Astatke , Alex Kapranos , Camille O’Sullivan , Kirin J Callinan and Jolie Holland will revisit the sonic world of Jarmusch’s cinema as well as the works of Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Screaming’ Jay Hawkins, Neil Young, John Lurie, Sqürl and more. All backed by a house band, assembled by musical director David Coulter ( saw, guitar, percussions) and also featuring Terry Edwards (saxophones, trumpet), Dave Okumu (guitar), Steve Nieve (piano), Tom Herbert (bass), Seb Rochford (drums), Carla Pallone (violin) and Gaspar Claus (cello).
These events form part of the Barbican’s Film in Focus series of world-class arts and learning projects that celebrate the medium of film throughout 2017.
Gainsbourg Symphonic with Jane Birkin
Featuring Heritage Orchestra and conductor Geoffrey Styles
Tue 26 Sep, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Gainsbourg Symphonic is a tribute to legendary musician Serge Gainsbourg by his muse and long-time partner Jane Birkin . A fashion icon, actress and iconic chanteuse, Jane Birkin created the first ever symphonic concert in tribute to Gainsbourg’s musical legacy last year, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of his death. Featuring the Heritage Orchestra conducted by Geoffrey Styles , Gainsbourg Symphonic was jointly created by artistic director Philippe Lerichomme and Japanese composer, arranger and pianist, Nobuyuki Nakajima , who will also be performing as the piano soloist.
Serge Gainsbourg (1928 – 1991), was a pianist, composer, poet, actor, film director, and French cultural icon who was also known for his provocative words and outrageous behaviour. Jane Birkin occupies an ideal position as an interpreter of his music as his long-time partner in both music and life.
Thu 28 Sep – Sun 1 Oct, Barbican Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall
The acclaimed annual Transcender series returns with four concerts. Featuring a trademark mix of transcendental and hypnotic music from across the globe, the series boldly juxtaposes traditional devotional music and more recent contemporary styles. Events feature musicians from Japan, India, Iran, the Netherlands, Greece, Syria, Ethiopia, Russia, UK and the US.
Cult Japanese percussionist and composer Midori Takada , seen as a touchstone for Japanese ambient music, performs a rare UK show with support from Portland-based electronic duo Visible Cloaks ( Thu 28 Sep, Milton Court ). Kayhan Kalhor , an internationally acclaimed Iranian musician and kamancheh player joins forces with the versatile jazz and period instrument performers making up the Rembrandt Trio ( Fri 29 Sep, Barbican Hall ). British Indian singer Susheela Raman and guitarist Sam Mills bring their ambitious project Sacred Imaginations 1 to the Barbican, in a special concert which gathers eighteen musicians from a range of Eastern Christian traditions to share their rich heritage in an explorative musical journey ( Sat 30 Sep, Barbican Hall ). Newly-commissioned global project Different Trains 1947 is an audio-visual collaborative response to the declaration of Indian Independence 70 years ago, featuring British musicians Actress and Jack Barnett (from These New Puritans) , with Indian music producer Sandunes , and support from electronic duo Darkstar ( Sun 1 Oct, Barbican Hall ).
Toneelgroep Amsterdam – After the Rehearsal/Persona
based on the films by Ingmar Bergman
Wed 27–Sat 30 Sep, Barbican Theatre
Press performance: Wed 27 Sep 2017, 7.45pm
Two Bergman screenplays are reimagined for the stage in a double bill about the chaotic lives of theatre people, exposing the fine line between art and reality, illness and normality.
After the Rehearsal : For Hendrik Vogler, a director obsessed by his work, rehearsals are like notes in his diary, performances his autobiography. Everything is subject to his control yet it soon becomes apparent that life cannot be kept at bay when ex-lover Rachel, and Anna, her daughter and his current star, breach his sanctum.
Persona : Celebrated actress Elisabeth Vogler falls mute and retreats into silence. It’s as though a short circuit has occurred, calling into question the roles she must play. She is cared for in hospital by Nurse Alma who then accompanies her to an island summerhouse in an attempt to coax her into speaking again. Tension between the two builds.
Citing Bergman among Ivo van Hove ’s favourite filmmakers, he directs four actors from his Dutch ensemble on a set that transforms from the sparse to the scenically breathtaking.
After the Rehearsal/Persona is performed in Dutch with English surtitles.
After the Rehearsal/Persona concludes Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s 2017 residency at the Barbican, which saw the return of Roman Tragedies in March, and continued with Obsession in London in April and May before embarking on a European tour.
nitroBEAT – nitroBEAT Pit Party – Suckerpunch Boom Suite
Fri 29–Sat 30 Sep, The Pit
Press performance: Fri 29 Sep 2017, 8pm
Pioneering New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is the source of inspiration for this fluid theatrical gig, which unites a vibrant community of collaborators at the forefront of experimental sound, lyricism and physical poetry.
This uplifting event sees theatre-makers, visual artists and performance poets draw on their past and present to envision a progressive future. Their pieces are set to free jazz, hip-hop, electronic and psychedelic funk played live by a band, engaging audiences in the party atmosphere.
Influenced by Basquiat, Suckerpunch Boom Suite responds to some of the themes and deeper truths present in his work. In this spirit, nitroBEAT ’s Artistic Director Diane Morgan curates an evening that celebrates freedom of expression through contemporary black culture, cross-fertilisation, liberation and inclusivity.
Silent Film and Live Music
London Symphony (U) + live musical accompaniment by the Covent Garden Sinfonia + panel discussion
Sun 3 Sep, Cinema 1, 3.30pm
UK 2017 Dir Alex Barrett 72 min
Alex Barrett presents a brand new artistic snapshot of London as it stands today, a city symphony celebrating its culture and diversity, followed by a discussion with the filmmakers and London history specialist Mark Rowland .
Strike (12) + live accompaniment by Wendy Hiscocks
Sun 10 Sep, Cinema 1, 4pm
USSR 1925 Dir Sergei Eisenstein 82 min
Using historical experiments in the art of montage alongside rapid editing, Sergei Eisenstein ’s landmark first film tells the story of a workers’ revolt in a factory in Czarist Russia. A remarkable example of Russian revolutionary cinema .
Cinema Matters Part. 5 – Collective Visions
Sun 10 Sep-Thu 26 Oct, Cinema 2 & 3
In an on-going season at Barbican Cinema , Cinema Matters Part 5 - Collective Visions look at film’s ability to bring people together, forming collective identities, and how cinema inspires ideologies, revolutionary ideas and dissident voices. Includes the UK premiere screening of the 4K restoration of Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algier s and Barbara Kopple’s Harlan County, USA .
Part of Film in Focus
The Grime and the Glamour: NYC 1976-90
Fri 29 Sep–Thu 5 Oct, Cinema 3
In a major season at Barbican Cinema, complementing Basquiat: Boom for Real in the Barbican Art Gallery, audiences get a taste of the sordid and blisteringly creative streets of late 1970s and 1980s New York , with a season of films that take us back to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s home town .
The Grime and the Glamour line-up includes Susan Seidelman ’s Desperately Seeking Susan , with Basquiat’s ex-paramour Madonna in her iconic turn as Susan; Jim Jarmusch ’s Permanent Vacation , which saw Basquiat himself using the film set as a makeshift crash pad; plus hip hop classic Wild Style , starring the legendary Fab 5 Freddy and Ramellzee , personal friends and musical collaborators with Basquiat.
Other films in the season feature a host of classic NYC haunts frequented by the artist as a young man including CBGBs, Times Square and legendary nightspot Danceteria. Remembering CBGBs – A Triple Bill featuring Patti Smith , The Ramones , Talking Heads and Blondie ; Smithereens (1982), starring Television frontman Richard Hell ; Chantal Ackerman ’s hauntingly beautiful News From Home (1977); female erotic fantasy Variety (1984); conflicting portraits of the former Puerto Rican enclave now uber-hip Brooklyn neighbourhood Williamsburg in Los Sures (1984) + Living Los Sures ; a documentary celebrating bohemian cabaret artiste and Warhol consort Tally Brown, New York (1979); an early offering from the cinematic king of New York’s underbelly Abel Ferrara , Ms. 45 (aka Angel of Vengeance ) (1981); and credited with capturing the last gasp of the downtown scene before its decline is Raul Ruiz ’s The Golden Boat (1990).
The Architecture Foundation, in association with the Barbican, presents Architecture on Stage – a programme of talks by the world's leading architects. For September, award winning Swiss architect Angela Deuber ( 11 Sep ) and Tom Emerson ( 18 Sep ) of acclaimed architecture practice 6a appear as part of the programme. Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen ( 26 Sep ) presents his personal project chronicling seven men who all publicly claim to be the biblical Messiah returned as part of Magnum Photos Now .
Notes to Editors
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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 1.1 million people attend events 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 Hall, the Barbican Theatre, The Pit, Cinemas One, Two and Three, Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, 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 , Associate Producer Serious , and Artistic Partner Create . Our Artistic Associates include Boy Blue Entertainment , Cheek by Jowl , Deborah Warner, Drum Works 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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For further information, images or to arrange interviews contact:
Sagar Shah, Communications Officer, +44 207 382 7321, firstname.lastname@example.org