Ayse Erkmen: Intervals
24 September 2013 – 5 January 2014
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An installation of scenic backgrounds by the Turkish artist, ranging from fairy-tale landscapes to realistic interiors.
Erkmen is interested in responding to the place in which she exhibits, often aiming to highlight a building's infrastructure and history.
For Barbican, this has translated into a series of 'backdrops' that are reminiscent of those found in theatre, ballet and opera; a deliberate reference to its role as a leading arts venue.
The painted cloths vary in dimension, theme and opacity and each is slowly lowered and raised according to a random sequence.
Erkmen confesses to wanting to make 'something which is usually hidden backstage visible', bringing them into the spotlight as performers in their own production.
The cloths, which feature scenes from the opera Ariadne and Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado, have been painted by professional scenic artists and theatre design students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
This installation expands on the artist's work for the 2011 Venice Biennale, Plan B, in which a functioning water filtration system was transformed into a room-filling sculpture that viewers could move within and around.