Art Night: an all-night art festival curated by ICA

London’s ICA has curated a one-night art festival which takes place in the city this Saturday until the early hours of Sunday morning. Projects include a sensory installation in a disused platform at Charing Cross Tube station, a series of performance sculptures in a luxury apartment block and a video installation in Covent Garden Piazza…

Art Night will feature works by ten international artists at ten venues across Westminster, in a trail stretching from The Mall to Temple. It is the first edition of a new annual festival organised by Unlimited Productions and inspired by Nuit Blanche, a similar art event in Paris.

ICA and curator Kathy Noble have put together an exciting programme for the inaugural edition: Koo Jeong A, who recently created a glow-in-the-dark skate park in Liverpool, will transform the disused Jubilee line platform at Charing Cross Tube station with a sensory installation combining smell and light; artist and choreographer Cecilia Bengolea will present a video installation in Covent Garden Piazza, with projections combining Jamaican dancehall and classic ballet; and painter Celia Hempton will unveil “a theatre set-like environment that combines abstracted landscapes and bodies” at Brutalist building 180 The Strand.

Koo Jeong A will unveil a sensory installation in a disused platform at Charing Cross Underground station

Other pieces include a live tableaux by Linder on the Duke of York steps outside ICA, which will combine music, performance, costume and imagery in homage to Alison and Peter Smithson’s House of the Future and the film adaptation of Charles Perrault fairytale Donkeyskin; a series of performance sculptures by Nina Beier in a luxury apartment block and the UK premiere of Reanimation by Joan Jonas and jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran in Southwark Cathedral.

Somerset House will host a live performance of ‘Physique of Consciousness’ – described as a cultural fitness exercise with movements derived from dance, exercise, spiritual and cultural rituals – and Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost will transform Admiralty Arch at the entrance to The Mall with a series of works responding to the history and architecture of the building.

180-Strand 2
180 The Strand, where Celia Hempton will unveil a series of performance sculptures on Saturday as part of Art Night

Unlimited Productions says the event aims to build on a long tradition of art festivals (such as the Bauhaus festivals held in the early 1960s and 70s) by combining unusual locations with artistic experimentation. The festival will be created by a different institution and curator each year – next year’s will take place in East London and be curated by the Whitechapel Gallery.

The identity for the event was created by Studio Frith and combines a custom font with pastel shades and black-and-white images of rabbits and foxes after dark. Founder Frith Kerr says the concept was inspired by the idea of the city at night and the idea of negative space.

TFL Poster
Tube poster for Art Night, designed by Studio Frith

“We listened to Patti Smith’s Because the Night and realised the thing that makes the night exciting is possibility. The empty space normally occupied by sleep,” she says.

“We became interested in the negative space, how it refers to ‘Night’ as well as the space of an ‘Art Institution’. We developed a typeface with negative space in key letter forms that could work on a two dimensional page as well as be a three-dimensional object; robust enough to have stature but empty enough for the complexity of the art world,” she adds.

Joan Jonas HANGAR BICOCCA 20th October 2014
Joan Jonas, Reanimation performance at Fondazione HangarBicocca, MIlan 2014 (courtesy of the artist and Wilkinson Gallery, photo courtesy of MaJeo Scarpellini/
Art Night cups and invitations designed by Studio Frith. Lead image (top): Art Night’s website

The studio has designed the event website as well as ads, maps, signage, programmes and tickets. Events are free to attend and you can find out more about what’s on at

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