I am so pleased to have seen this installation art piece earlier this week – Random International – Rain Room at the Barbican Centre in London. The video footage from the installation art in the interview at the bottom of this post is just stunning and I was a little disappointed to have missed the last dance performance of the exhibition that day before I was due to go down. I've been enjoying contemporary dance for years now and haven't really been to see any since our daughter was born nearly 5 years ago, so this was a shame.
I arrived at 9.30am as I knew the Barbican opened at 9am; I had heard the queuing time was anything from 2-6 hours! I thought I was being clever getting there early but then realised when I saw the 50 people already waiting there that the actual exhibition didn't open until 11am and I had probably a 90 minute wait as least. Bring on the coffee and croissants and a comfy seat on the floor – I have never queued like this for an art exhibition in my life! I am told folk regularly do so in the Netherlands.
There was a great atmosphere, really good banter with those in the queue and I finally managed to get in to see the work at about 12 noon and it was as spectacular as I had imagined. As if we've not seen enough rain of late, just a bit more for good measure was fine. It was so much more exciting as the lighting was so dramatic, there were sensors using face recognition meaning that as you walked through the rain it stopped raining above your head, as if you had an invisible umbrella. This piece also challenged your perceptions of what installation art can be.
Taking cameras to film and photograph inside the installation art piece under the rain was not recommended but of course I did, I wasn't going to these extremes to miss out on good documentation! The sound was also fantastic; heavy, deafening rain but knowing you were nice and dry was really reassuring.
I felt a bit impatient waiting to get in and thought before I entered that perhaps they should have a limit on the time that is spent in the installation. However, once in there I didn't want to leave and that was actually really good to be left to wander in and out and just stand there to contemplate.
It was well worth the 2 hour wait, some contemplation going on in the queue too! I would thoroughly recommend it and it's on only until 3 March so you'd better hurry if you want to catch it. Get there early as the queue closes some 4-5 hours before the exhibition closes each day to allow everyone to go through – crazy!
Following on from a recent post on video art I made some beautiful video footage of the water falling and bouncing off the ground. I intend to use in a piece I am developing…watch this space.
The video from the dance part of this installation is below, performed by Random International, just beautiful.
It would be great to hear from you if you've seen it, or even your thoughts/comments on the footage of it below.