Visitors to King’s Cross will be able to scan the night sky for an intriguing illumination from mid-November, thanks to an artwork that will be hovering over the area for the next two years.
IFO (Identified Flying Object) will light up the sky by night and come to rest on the ground by day as part of the RELAY art programme.
Anglo-French curating partnership Michael Pinsky and Stéphanie Delcroix have been selected to coordinate the first three years of a nine-year arts programme that is set to turn the King’s Cross area into a destination for discovering international contemporary art.
RELAY, the programme’s title, is inspired by the continual carrying and preserving of the Olympic flame and by King’s Cross as an international transport hub and a place in transition. RELAY plays with the notion of the human chain, the transfer from one means of transport to another and the phasing of the development scheme.
The first RELAY installation, IFO, is by French artist and architect Jacques Rival. The bars of IFO’s 9m high, dome-shaped cage are wide enough apart to walk through, so visitors during the day can enter the cage and sit on the swing at its centre, enjoying the surroundings from this unusual vantage point. By night, the bars of the cage will be illuminated in a brilliant array of colours and once a month the whole artwork will be hoisted up into the air by the biggest crane on the site.
“Jacques Rival’s response to King’s Cross is both poetic and pertinent”, say Pinsky and Delcroix. “This nomadic sculpture follows the flux and flow of this new district which is evolving day by day. Over the coming months IFO will be found over coffee kiosks, amidst the construction sites, on buildings and, of course, in the sky. Its structure will host seminars, cafes, gardens and performances”.
The area already has a rich tradition of artistic activity and is a hub for art lovers with Kings Place on the doorstep and 5,000 staff and students from Central Saint MartinsCollege of Art and Design, part of the University of Arts London, now based in King’sCross.
Rival is also contributing a piece to LUMIERE 2011, the light festival in Durham (17-20 November) for which 34 artists will create a dazzling series of installations and projections to illuminate Durham’s buildings, streets and bridges. “I Love Durham” will cover the controversial equestrian statue of Lord Londonderry, a much disliked 19th century pit owner. Rival’s outsize version of a tourist snow globe trinket will encase the unfortunate Londonderry in a snowstorm.
For more information on RELAY contact Alice at Theresa Simon & Partners 020 7734 4800 firstname.lastname@example.org