Martin Creed

Key information
Martin Creed in a selection of hats

Izzy Lee-Poulton and Hauser & Wirth Gallery explore the Turner prize-winning British artist’s musical works ahead of his performance

Martin Creed is no stranger to the Barbican. On your way up to Milton Court, you’ll see Work No. 1637: FEELINGS – an iconic neon light piece, commissioned by the Guildhall School and developed in collaboration with the Barbican Art Gallery. FEELINGS is a bright green luminescent logo which remains suspended mid-air in the public foyers of Milton Court and is visible from the iconic surrounding areas of Silk Street, Milton Street and the Barbican high walk. Creed’s words continue to resonate and summarise the always intricate and sometimes humorous themes behind his creative works.

In fact, it’s no coincidence that Martin Creed’s work already lies within the Barbican. The foundation to his award-winning works are often found in the space between music and art and the complex feelings these art forms evoke. Creed is fascinated by the world and its inner workings – his creativity builds upon the various styles, forms, movements and elements that make up the rhythm of life.

His longstanding relationship with the Barbican also follows on from his residency at the centre in 2015, as part of the month-long Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening project and he also appeared as part of the Barbican’s season Dancing Around Duchamp in 2013. The centre seems to be a safe space for him, in which the arts remain intertwined.

Besides the Barbican, Creed’s background is and remains as diverse as his creative output. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2001 for Work 227: The lights going on and off, and since then he has becoming increasingly known for his hugely varied work which is by turns uncompromising, entertaining, shocking and beautiful.

In this show, Creed will play both seminal and new art-inspired musical works, including Work No.3025 for STRING QUARTET and music from Work No. 409 The Singing Lift with singer Linda Hirst (the piece which anthropomorphises a lift singing Oohs and Ahhs to its ups and downs) to complement his exhibition Toast at Hauser & Wirth. This will also be his UK premiere of Work No. 2890: BUM PIANO.

This concert forms part of the wider programming around Creed’s exhibition Toast, on view at Hauser & Wirth London from 30 November 2018 – 9 February 2019. The critically-acclaimed exhibition focuses on new sculpture, painting, drawing, tapestry, video, live action and music. It even features cameos from the likes of Lily Cole, whose mouth opens wide to reveal a partly masticated meal. This idea draws from his two-part song Princess Taxi Girl, which featured all the important women in Creed’s life opening their mouth mid-chew and ‘grossing people out, the way children do’. Once again, bringing beauty to life in his daftness.

Creed’s previous musical works have also included Words and Music – an improvised one-person show which ran at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017. He has also released several albums such as Thoughts Lined Up, which are distinct from the art-inspired compositions in this concert and take more of an indie-rock and guitar-based route. Creed was also commissioned for the opening of the London Olympics with Work No. 1197: All the Bells in a Country Rung as Quickly and Loudly as Possible for Three Minutes. With this piece, Creed expanded on his exploration into collective experience, making participation of people country-wide on the morning of the Olympic opening ceremony. It was even good enough for Big Ben to join in.  

IT'S YOU

WHATEVER YOU FEEL
WHATEVER YOU WANT
WHATEVER YOU DO
WHATEVER YOU DON’T
WHATEVER YOU THINK
WHENEVER YOU SINK
WHEREVER’S YOUR LAND
IT’S YOU AT THE FRONT
AND IT’S YOU AT THE BACK
IT’S YOU, IT’S YOU, IT’S YOU

WHATEVER YOU FIND
WHATEVER YOU MIND
WHATEVER YOU TOUCH
WHATEVER’S TOO MUCH
IT’S YOU ON THE TOP
AND IT’S YOU UNDERNEATH
IT’S YOU IN THE MIDDLE
AND IT’S YOU ON THE SIDE
IT’S YOU, IT’S YOU, IT’S YOU
IT’S YOU THROUGH AND THROUGH

Performers

Martin Creed Guitar, Piano and Vocals
Linda Hirst Soprano and Vocals

The Salomé Quartet
Haim Choi Violin
Ines Delgado Violin
Kasia Ziminska Viola
Shizulu Tatsuno Cello

Produced by the Barbican in association with Hauser & Wirth

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