A new, permanent, responsive sculpture by Random International entitled Self & Other (for the Albert Embankment) is today unveiled at Albert Embankment.
Design-led developer St James, part of the Berkeley Group, has worked with Futurecity to commission a series of unique artworks across the new expanse of prime riverside public space, including the work by Random International. The art installation is located next to St James' Merano Residences, a new residential building designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners at Albert Embankment. Albert Embankment is part of a fast-growing arts and cultural quarter contributing to the extension of London's South Bank.
Self & Other (for the Albert Embankment) represents Random International's first permanent outdoor public sculptural commission in the UK. Random International are the artists behind the renowned "Rain Room", which has been exhibited across the world, including the Barbican Centre in London, MOMA in New York, the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Sharjah Art Foundation. The collective's site-specific installations and artworks question aspects of identity and autonomy in the post-digital age. Random International are working with Future\Pace.
Self & Other (for the Albert Embankment) launches ahead of Art Night 2018, London's largest free contemporary arts festival, which will transform the city annually for one night only on Saturday 7th July with a series of artist projects in extraordinary locations. As part of the evening, Random International will be joined by long-standing collaborator Studio Wayne McGregor. A dancer from its world-class contemporary dance company will perform choreography by Wayne McGregor CBE in response to Self & Other (for the Albert Embankment), with music by Max Richter, throughout the evening.
ABOUT THE WORK
Self & Other (for the Albert Embankment) is Random International's first public, outdoor commission in London, and is the collective's latest work to explore identity, the representation and perception of the self-image, and the reflected human form.
The responsive nature of the work invites unexpected physical interaction and explores traits of human cognition. As the onlooker moves, an illuminated reflection follows with a slight delay. The subtlety of this delay of the reflection occupies an ambiguous position, somewhere in between the live reflection of a mirror and the static image of a photograph.
The onlooker's full-length reflection is translated into points of light, distributed three dimensionally and embedded within layers of glass. As it is built up through evenly-spaced glass sheets, the piece can present both literal and abstract images, depending on the vantage point of different viewers.
Florian Ortkrass and Hannes Koch, Random International, commented: "Creating works of this kind is a new venture for us - permanent, public works can provide a platform in an entirely different environment for a broader audience. It was a daunting project, but it's a great opportunity to create something that forms a part of the everyday landscape. Unlike works that are displayed in a museum or gallery, these pieces encourage unintended participation from passers-by, inviting us to engage with both the work and one another in unexpected ways."
Extended the South Bank
Situated between Vauxhall and Westminster on the southern stretch of the river Thames, Albert Embankment is one of the Capital's last central riverside regeneration areas. Located opposite Tate Britain, Albert Embankment also plays an important role in extending and continuing the South Bank's thriving cultural scene; creating a bridge between the existing and new riverside destinations and extending the success of the South Bank from London Bridge to Battersea Power Station.
The work by Random International establishes an engaging, visual gateway to the area's burgeoning gallery quarter, which now includes Damien Hirst's Newport Street Gallery, the Beaconsfield Gallery, the Garden Museum and Charles Asprey's Cabinet Gallery.
Mark Davy, Founder, Futurecity and Co-Founder, Future\Pace, said: "The Thames is fast becoming a 'cultural ribbon', with major artworks along its length. Random International's new permanent kinetic artwork will become an important cultural stopping point on that journey, and as with all St James investment in public art 'Self and Other' is free to the public."
Leading by design
St James is creating three residential-led, mixed-use developments at Albert Embankment, where over half of the new 1.6-acre site will be dedicated to public realm. It will include a new piazza with restaurants and cafés, landscaped open space, office space, and restored railway arches, all set to improve connectivity and bring a sense of place to an important riverside destination.
Art, design and outstanding quality architecture are integral facets of Albert Embankment's regeneration, used as a means of supporting St James' commitment to create vibrant new places. As part of this philosophy, each of the three award-winning developments boasts heavyweight architectural credentials, with designs by Foster + Partners (The Corniche), Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners (Merano Residences) and David Walker Architects (The Dumont).
St James has a cultural legacy that spans over 15 years, with over 25 art commissions, including artists such as Damian Hirst and Richard Wilson RA, and gallery partnerships with the Royal Academy and Royal College of Art.
Sean Ellis, Chairman, St James, added: "Interactive public space is fundamental to creating attractive destinations that are truly engaging. By installing this unique work at Albert Embankment will contribute to the dynamic extension of the South Bank. We're incredibly proud to have selected London-based artists to create spectacular works of art for this fantastic new place."
The new district will comprise a mix of 433 new homes and approximately 39,000 sq. ft. of commercial and leisure space. For further details on The Corniche, The Dumont and Merano Residences, contact 020 8246 4160 or visit www.stjames.co.uk.