"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life."
The Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington is home to countless iconic exhibitions and displays, but have we ever celebrated the 165-year-old-museum itself? From Friday 30 June to 7 July 2017, the REVEAL festival introduces the new public areas and gallery spaces of the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter, which the Stirling Prize-winning British architect Amanda Levete and her practice AL_A had been working on with the museum over the past 6 years.
The week-long, free, public festival honours the museum’s architecture, heritage and history with a series of art and design commissions, performances, fashion shows and family activities.
Shade is an immersive experience of the interplay among skylight, shadow and the building created by Simon Heijdens. Being the first commission for the Sainsbury Gallery, it will kick start the festival alongside the monthly Friday Late.
“I am really excited that we will be collaborating with the Boiler Room for the June Friday Late—bringing an amazing set of live music and DJ’s to the evening!” says Bethan Johnson, the Friday Late Programme Coordinator. The global online music platform will liven up the space with a mix of international artists’ play with music and technology.
Performance art fanatics are in for a treat as a range of featured artists and site-specific shows will take place throughout the week: Mira Calix with her expressive presentations; the first major public performance of the new experimental opera Kairos directed by Anat Ben-David and costume by the avant-garde fashion studio Boudicca; Yoko Ono’s ‘Dance Pieces’-inspired dance by Julie Cunningham & Company will be performed across the grounds of the museum.
Fashion is in motion at the V&A as rising star of British fashion Molly Goddard’s highlight designs from her previous collections as well as new pieces are showcased. Family-friendly workshops, live concerts by The Royal College of Music, and the DesignLab series aim to keep people entertained while enriching the space with art and culture.
Left to right:
Shade by Simon Heijdens, 2010. © Simon Heijdens
Kairos by Anat Ben-David with Boudicca, 2017. Photography by Jet. Courtesy Stanley Picker Gallery
Molly Goddard, AW 2017 ©Molly Goddard
Catherine Ince of the V&A’s REVEAL festival curatorial team, says: “The V&A is such a rich source of inspiration, and it has been hugely exciting to see how a wide range of innovative and inspiring artists and practitioners have responded to the new architecture and our collections. We hope that the REVEAL festival will invite the public to explore and experience the V&A's collections, architecture, layers of history and our heritage in new and different ways."
Complemented with the fun-filled REVEAL festival, the Exhibition Road Building Project and its marvelous new installations and spaces will show the best of contemporary design as well as celebrating the beauty of the V&A original building, and the legacy and outlook of the museum have never seemed so bright.