Ron Arad’s Curtain Call

// When: 6 – 29 August //
// Where: Roundhouse, London //

I recently visited London, and what I miss most about living there is my gallery days. The city always has something going on and at the Roundhouse Ron Arad presents a mesmerising 360˚installation which projects a variety of artistic works.

Since writing my Avant-Garde thesis in university on space and institution, I have always been intrigued by the way in which one can view and experience art. Arad uses silicon rods to display these immersive pieces which also invites the spectator to physically walk in and amongst the works.

I begin by circling the outer area, looking for my in, but also because I am immediately struck by this incredible lighted structure. I then make my way to the curtain and walk through – the spectators are scattered, sitting and standing. I find my spot on the floor and instantly I am invested.

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Each work is thought-out and compliments the space to full effect as the projections move around you and shape each spectator’s perception of the works from their own physical position. I am encouraged to look around and move – the spectator gets out of this what they take, and I believe this can be shaped by how and why an individual views art in the first place.

With regards to the later, from the beginning Arad reminds me of Line Describing a Cone by Anthony McCall. Recent modernist approaches to art explore the way in which the convention of viewing can be challenged by encouraging spectator participation. I relate here to how McCall and Arad challenge this passive approach to viewing art and film which  changes the relationship that the spectator has with the material itself.

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Visually and physically, each artist works in the same format which works within the cylinder, but each individual piece is the artist’s own. Some you laugh at, gasp at, become hypnotised by, and even just appreciate the magnificence of the scale.

Furthermore, the variation in content really demonstrates how one artist can look at a space, engage with an idea, and then creatively transform it into their own vision.

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Going to see Curtain Calls was, for me, the perfect thing to do of an afternoon. As tickets are only available through August it’s really worth going to see.

Ron Arad offers the spectator a bridge between painting and sculpture with visually stunning work that is both intellectual and conceptual.

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