Conrad Shawcross “Timepiece” & Wayne McGregor “Random Dance”

Timepiece_RH_Stephen-WhiteQuite randomly I decided to go to Camden for an exhibition at the Roundhouse listed on Londonist “Things To Do This Weekend”. My aim was to sit on a lounger at the beach on the venue’s terrace, soaking in those very precious sun rays and having my birthday drink. It turned out the performance juxtaposing the exhibition by the time I arrived made me sit on the cold floor and in the darkness of the Main Space quite happily for as long as it lasted (for me it was couple of hours).

It took me a while at first to get into the vibe of the installation and figure out what that clock is actually about, which arm counts the seconds, which minutes etc.. and is the pillar signifying the existence of time in spite of the measuring mechanics or perhaps positioning it in the oval space underlines the circularity of time, its more philosophical and mathematical aspect?

I eventually let my brain switch off and immersed myself into the experience. I felt almost hypnotized by the gentle smooth bodily movements of the dancers, interacting, clashing, running, getting into groups and parting around this time statue. For a moment time stopped and another dimension both terrestrial and celestial unravelled in front of my eyes.

I suddenly noticed a dancer I recognized from Atoms For Peace videoclip “Ingenue”, Fukiko Takase, which was a very pleasant surprise being both a big fan of hers as well as of AFP. It is how I learnt the performance was choreographed by Wayne McGregor, who teamed up with Thom Yorke and Fukiko on producing the video. There couldn’t be a better place for such a coincidence. She produced similar moves with her partner which was a real feast for the eyes.

A beautiful reflection on time.

Random Dancers will appear at Roundhouse again on the 25th Aug.

Below is a feature on the exhibition collected from the Internet.

One of the year’s most-talked about visual art events… a masterclass in design and technology  The Times

Time: a familiar framework for all our lives, but a fundamentally peculiar concept. Timepiece is a major new installation that encourages us to take a fresh look at something we all take for granted.

Suspended above the Roundhouse’s epic Main Space is a vast 8-metre faceless clock, a spectacular mechanical light sculpture that floods the space with intricate layers of light and shadow. Responding to the building’s circular shape and 24 towering support pillars, Shawcross has made the building itself become the Timepiece, allowing us all to see time in a different way.

I wanted to try to make the familiar the peculiar again; to turn time and the clock back into the celestial, primeval experience that it once was for us all   Conrad Shawcross

Conrad Shawcross is widely acknowledged as one of the leading artists of his generation. His sculptures explore physics and metaphysics, biology, geometry, philosophy and cosmology.

The show was supported with talks such as Conrad Shawcross and historian of science John Helibron talking about art meeting science.

It also featured special events such as “Random Dance” choreographed by Wayne McGregor, who juxtaposed the dancers with the installation.


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