Rivington Place's opening exhibition and event programme
The Rivington Place launch exhibition brings together two visual art forms, photography and moving image, which have transformed contemporary narratives of belonging, in order to explore the presence of many diasporic communities residing in Britain today.
5 October - 24 November 2007
In 1948 the calypsonian Lord Kitchener composed a new tune on board the SS Empire Windrush as it sailed from the Caribbean to Tilbury Docks. ‘I am glad to know my Mother Country' he sang; ‘I've been travelling to countries years ago, but this is the place I wanted to know, London is the Place for Me'.
‘London' was an almost mythological destination for many people dreaming to come to The West (along with perhaps Paris and New York) - it stood for a magical place where your dreams of freedom and comfort could be realised.
Curated by Autograph ABP & Iniva London is the Place for Me makes a direct link between the ‘Windrush generation' and contemporary arrivals to all parts of the UK from all over the world. The concept of ‘place' echoes both in the exhibition title and in the name of the new building, Rivington Place.
BARCLAYS PROJECT SPACE
Dinu Li will exhibit a new series of photographs, commissioned by Autograph ABP, featuring people from diverse communities calling home from international phone centres - those small shop/booths that have mushroomed in the UK's major cities. During the Windrush era, making an international call to one's distant motherland was an impossible dream for most migrants. Li's response was to create a set of portraits, entitled Press the * then say Hello, illustrating not only how circumstances have changed for today's diverse communities, but also revealing the interplay between closeness and distance as manifested by each individual caller's body language.
PROJECT SPACE 2
The moving image work presented by Iniva in Project Space 2 approaches the title of this exhibition both as a question and an affirmation. Installations of Mona Hatoum's Measures of Distance, Keith Piper's Go West Young Man, and Harold Offeh's Alien at Large, Oxford all expose the concept of ‘home' as a site continually under construction. Whether London, or Britain, or any place is ‘for us' will necessarily need to be negotiated through dialogues with difference.
Iniva and Brazilian artist Leticia Valverdes invite you to a special photographic studio at Rivington Place during London is the Place for Me. A contemporary version of the famous Harry Jacobs studio in Brixton where thousands of newly-arrived immigrants to the UK had their pictures taken in the 1950s - 1980s, this project documents the aspirations of arrivals to London. Choose between different backdrops and props to explore how you want to be seen in London and how you want to present your London life to loved ones elsewhere. Your photograph can be instantly printed in the studio as a postcard - which can be kept as a memento or sent to family and friends.
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Rivington Place Listings Information
Rivington Place, London, EC2A 3BA
Public opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 11am-6pm, Late Thursdays: 11am-9pm, Saturday: 12noon-6pm, Sunday, Monday: Closed
Rivington Place is fully accessible in all public areas
For parking & wheelchair facilities please call +44 (0) 207749 1240
Nearest tubes: Old Street & Liverpool Street
Some listings may vary, please check www.rivingtonplace.org for up to date details of events.
All events are free to the public unless shown otherwise.
Is London the Place for Me? with artist Leticia Valverdes
Oct 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27
Thursdays 6pm-8pm & Saturdays 12pm-6pm
Every year thousands of people arrive in London from all parts of the world and for different reasons. We invite people of all ages to create a studio postcard using your own props to send back home. You can use objects, clothes and backgrounds from Leticia's collection, or bring your own. In the process we will explore and discover their feelings, aspirations and dreams in this new land. Is London the place for them?
Presented by Iniva
Gallery talk: Press the * then say Hello
Oct 6, 3pm Barclays Project Space
Artist Dinu Li talks about his work and exhibition which opens Rivington Place.
Curated and introduced by Autograph ABP
David Adjaye in conversation with David A Bailey
18 Oct, 7pm Project Space 2
David Adjaye, designer of the landmark building Rivington Place, is one of Britain's leading contemporary architects, whose designs emphasise the experience as much as the function of architecture. David A. Bailey, Senior Curator at Autograph ABP, speaks to Adjaye regarding the range his influences from African art and architecture to contemporary art and music.
Conversations in the Front Room
25 Oct, 7pm Education Space
Curator Michael McMillan recreates the Front Room in the Education Space. Based on the West Indian Front Room exhibition, Michael invites people to share their stores about arriving and becoming part of London through their choices in décor and selection of objects for their living spaces. Guests are encouraged to bring an object dear to their heart and have a postcard portrait taken of them in a front room of their choice through the use of digital backdrops. Artist Leticia Valverdes will be present.
Curated and introduced by Teresa Cisneros Ledda, Iniva
Film Screening: Homecoming
A First Thursday Event , 1 Nov, 7pm Project Space 2
Homecoming presents a selection of short works by UK based artists who reflect on returning to their birth place, while others explore the trials and tribulations of arrival by Britain's diverse migrant communities. A discussion with the artists will follow the screening.
Curated and introduced by Cylena Simonds, Iniva
Spoken Word, Africa Beyond
15 Nov, 7pm Project Space 2
Join Africa Beyond for a night of spoken word and acoustic African music. Your host, and performer, on the night will be Zimbabwean poet Sifundo Msebele, who will be joined by Nigerian poet Ebele and Zimbabwean mbira player Linos Magaya.
In partnership with Cultural Co-operation
Curated and introduced by Africa Beyond
Alfredo Jaar and Paul Gilroy in conversation
22 Nov, 7pm Project Space 2
The 21st century has re-surfaced the question of the rights of the subject and the question of the body in relation to race and representation. These questions have been the central pre- occupations and evident in the work of the artist Alfredo Jaar and the academic Paul Gilroy. For the first time both these people will meet and explore the idea of sense of place and home which are key themes of the London Is The Place For Me season. Presented by Autograph ABP as part of the John La Rose Lecture series.
Rivington Place Funding Supporters
Arts Council England works to get more art to more people in more places. It develops and promotes the arts across England, acting as an independent body at arm's length from government. Between 2006 and 2008, it will invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and the National Lottery in supporting the arts. This is the bedrock of support for the arts in England. It believes that the arts have the power to change lives and communities, and to create opportunities for people throughout the country.
Barclays is the founding corporate partner of Rivington Place, contributing £1.1 m towards the project's development. The innovative partnership reflects Barclays history of supporting positive social change and making a real and lasting difference to the diverse communities in which it operates. Barclays is a committed corporate supporter with a focused programme of community support which last year totalled over £45 million - one of the most substantial in the UK.
The Rivington Place project has London Development Agency, City Fringe Partnership, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and Hackney Council funding for SME workspaces for cultural/creative industries in the building. It has received access funding from The City Bridge Trust. The Foyle Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation have also contributed funds to the project and the Brodksy Center and Clifford Chance have provided in-kind support.
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