Highlights include:
Culture Mile presents Tunnel Visions: Array a free light and sound installation in Beech Street tunnel, opposite Barbican Underground as part of Barbican OpenFest.
Created by Tony Award-winning artists 59 Productions and co-produced with the Barbican, with music by composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, the tunnel will be transformed for the first time in to an audio-visual performance space.
Barbican OpenFest returns for a second year welcoming everyone to explore the Barbican and its surrounding streets and Culture Mile venues.
A weekend of inspiring art and entertainment, Barbican OpenFest will include everything from art exhibitions, music and dance, to free tours, open rehearsals, showcases and workshops in and around the iconic arts and learning centre.
Highlights at the 2018 Barbican OpenFest include the return of Ballet Black to the Barbican Theatre with evening performances, a drop-in ballet lesson and an open rehearsal. Just Jam also returns, and there will be free workshops for people to attend with Let’s Roll CIC, the Royal Horticultural Society and Turning Earth.

Tunnel Visions: Array
On 17 and 18 March the City of London’s Culture Mile presents Array a free light and sound installation in Beech Street tunnel (opposite Barbican Underground), as part of Barbican OpenFest. For the first time the tunnel will be transformed into an immersive audio-visual performance space, combining cutting-edge projection and sound technology with the Barbican’s distinctive brutalist architecture. The walls and ceiling of the tunnel will become a vast canvas for a newly-commissioned animated digital artwork inspired by composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen’s contemporary classical masterpiece, Karawane, allowing audiences to explore the work aurally, visually and spatially.

Array is being created by the Tony Award-winning artists 59 Productions, led by director Richard Slaney and co-produced with the Barbican. Karawane is a work for chorus and orchestra by Esa-Pekka Salonen, one of the Composer Focuses in the Barbican’s 2017/8 season. The work was recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in concert at the Barbican Hall on 10 December 2017 as part of a BBC Total Immersion Day on Salonen’s music. Karawane was written in 2014 and is based on a short poem by Dadaist Hugo Ball. It is in two parts each of which is divided into six movements and is cyclical. At its premiere The New York Times described it as, “...the product of a mature master, working with confidence and patience on a larger canvas. The chorus’s hypnotic incantations have the undergirding of a glistening orchestral landscape, sometimes swaying, sometimes blooming.”

Culture Mile launched last July and is an ambitious and transformational initiative that will create a vibrant cultural area in the north-west corner of the City over the next 10 to 15 years. Stretching just under a mile from Farringdon to Moorgate, Culture Mile will have creative exchange, cultural collaboration and learning at its core in an area where 2,000 years of history collide with the world’s best in culture.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation said, ‘This temporary transformation of Beech Street - the backbone of Culture Mile – is an important milestone in our plans to create a vibrant cultural area in the north-west corner of the City.

Through imaginative Culture Mile collaborations and top class outdoor programming like Array, we will redefine the Square Mile so that it becomes known as much for being a world-class cultural destination as for its position as a leading global financial centre.’

Sir Nicholas Kenyon said on behalf of Culture Mile: ‘Array is a very exciting moment for Culture Mile. This is our first big event and to be transforming the tunnel in Beech Street in to an audio-visual performance space is a great demonstration of our desire to enliven the area with outdoor programming, be more family friendly and create a leading cultural and creative destination. There will be activities happening across the weekend from Culture Mile’s core partners and the Culture Mile Network with something for everyone to enjoy.’

There will be a 30-minute performance every hour across the weekend from 3-9.30pm on Saturday 17 March and 12-9.30pm on Sunday 18 March. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance at barbican.org.uk.

Barbican OpenFest
Following its successful launch in 2016, Barbican OpenFest returns in 2018 welcoming everyone to explore the Barbican and its surrounding streets and venues. A weekend of inspiring art and entertainment, Barbican OpenFest will include everything from art, music and dance, to workshops, markets, tours, talks and showcases in and around the iconic arts and learning centre.

The two-day festival will see events such as Chronic Youth Film Festival, programmed by and for young people; Our Future City hosted by the Museum of London; as well as an array of free activities, events and performances for all ages inside the Barbican and its neighbouring venues, the Museum of London, the Guildhall School’s Milton Court Concert Hall and LSO St Luke’s as well as interactive installations and events in the streets and highwalks surrounding the Barbican Centre. There are also activities with partners of the Culture Mile Network including ABRSM and The Charterhouse.

Louise Jeffreys, Barbican Director of Arts, said: ‘We’re delighted to be hosting OpenFest again this year and welcoming local partners from east London, especially as it was such a success in 2016 in attracting new audiences to the Barbican. Our free workshops and performances are a great introduction to everything the Barbican does and, with the weekend spilling out across the streets of the City of London’s Culture Mile, this year’s OpenFest is set to be bigger and better than ever.

Saturday 17 March–Sunday 18 March 2018, 11am–11pm, Barbican Centre www.barbican.org.uk/openfest

 

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