‘It’s about the space in between’ Ayşe Erkmen
We speak to Ayşe Erkmen and the Barbican’s Assistant Curator, Alona Pardo about our latest commission in The Curve.
In an ambitious new work for the Barbican, Turkish artist Ayşe Erkmen has produced a beautiful installation for The Curve, highlighting the artistry and craft of scenic painting in Intervals.
Too often resigned to the background, Erkmen’s installation repositions the backdrop centre stage. Standing between two canvases, listening to the gentle whir of the fly system as the backdrop rises above allowing you to pass through, Intervals forces us to pause and spend that extra moment looking at what is before us – and behind.
From fairy tale landscapes, to atmospheric interiors, a series of scenic backdrops move up and down on an automated fly system, becoming performers in their own production.
Featuring paintings by professional scenic artists and skilled theatre design students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Intervals aptly brings the language of theatre into a visual arts gallery, embodying the Barbican’s ethos as a multi-arts centre where arts have no boundaries.
Ayşe Erkmen: Intervals is open until 5 January 2014.
An acclaimed contemporary artist, Erkmen currently lives and works in Istanbul and Berlin. Her large-scale sculptural pieces have been exhibited internationally including Under the Roof (2005) in Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery and Busy Colors (2005) in New York’s Sculpture Center. She is fascinated by the possibilities of activating machines as part of a work, something that inspired her piece for the 2011 Venice Biennale, Plan B, which used a functioning water filtration system and today in Intervals using an automated theatrical fly system.
Photo: Jane Hobson