The Store X

  • Reaching for the spiritual in Ragnar Kjartansson and The National’s 6-hour film ‘A Lot Of Sorrow’

    By | November 14, 2018

    “All religion is like this, repeating the same thing again and again, until it becomes spiritual.”

    Watching Ragnar Kjartansson’s ‘A Lot Of Sorrow’ is something akin to meditation. For the first few minutes, it’s tough to feel comfortable, and even tougher to concentrate on what’s going on. The brain, so used to consuming impressions quickly, is reacting to the slow down in stimulation like an engine gasping for fuel. For the first few renditions, ‘Sorrow’ feels interminably long, repetitive and homogenous.

    But then, slowly, as in meditation, something changes. The rush to move on subsides, the brain settles with renewed focus, and ‘Sorrow’ begins to speed up. Suddenly, half an hour passes, then an hour, each rendition voraciously devoured, as nuances of the performance, the existential struggle of the band and their unfailing camaraderie emerge.

    In ‘A Lot Of Sorrow’, Kjartansson says he’s turned the song into a sculpture, and the performance into a painting. You can look at it briefly, see it’s contours and admire its colours, or you can enter it more deeply, explore its edges, tones and secrets.

    Asking a band you like to play a song of theirs repeatedly for six hours straight in front of a live audience is an audacious act in itself. It’s playful, perhaps even slightly sadistic (although Kjartansson refutes this), and somewhat absurd. In the case of ‘Sorrow’, this absurdism is entwined with the all-encompassing nature of grief the song grapples with. It is cathartic, communal, but also seemingly without end. The final piece in The Store X New Museum’s Strange Days exhibition, it also seems to extend the experience of the show into something that feels like it approaches infinity.

    As with much of Kjartansson’s performance work, ‘A Lot Of Sorrow’ explores the tension between the individual and the collective. In the 9-panel video work ‘The Visitors’, Kjartansson’s All-Star troupe perform elements of the same “feminine nihilistic gospel song” in different rooms, united in performance, while being isolated in space.

    Likewise, one of the most fascinating elements in ‘A Lot Of Sorrow’ is watching The National negotiate the task at hand, at times collectively, and at others, struggling on alone. Several hours in and the dynamic between brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner is one of the film’s compelling side-shows. Bryce the stoic, betraying little emotion; his brother Aaron battling untold demons (and visible boredom) to find new ways to bend his guitar to the same solemn tune.

    As part of Strange Days at The Store X, we spoke to Kjartansson about the intentions and influences behind the work, how The National experienced it and how he hopes the viewer will experience it too.

    ‘A Lot Of Sorrow’ is displayed at Strange Days: Memories of the Future at The Store X until 9th December. Click here for more information.


    Ragnar Kjartansson with the National – A Lot of Sorrow, 2013–14
    Source: Vimeo

    Courtesy of: Ragnar Kjartansson with the National
    A Lot of Sorrow, 2013–14
    Original performance occurred at MoMA PS1 as part of Sunday Sessions. Courtesy the artists; Luhring Augustine, New York; and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik

  • Strange Days launches November Friday night lates series

    By | October 29, 2018

    With DJs, guest chefs and extended show opening hours.

    The Store X and The Vinyl Factory have announced a series of Friday night events this November in the Strange Days cafe.

    Read more: Strange Days: Memories of the Future is now open at The Store X

    Each Strange Days Lates event will run alongside extended opening hours of Strange Days: Memories of The Future, with the cafe hosting a different guest DJ, chefs and sommelier every week. The space will also be exhibiting Ben Kelly’s installation Columns.

    Strange Days: Memories of the Future, is an audio-visual exhibition presented by The Store X New Museum and The Vinyl Factory featuring 21 works by artists and filmmakers including Kahlil Joseph, John Akomfrah, Ed Atkins, Pipilotti Rist, Hassan Khan and Ragnar Kjartansson.

    Guest chefs during the November events include BASTARDA, TaTa Eatery, Anglo-Thai and Stanley & V, alongside DJs Touching Bass, Joe Halligan of Assemble and George Webster.

    Strange Days Lates will run from 7pm – 11.30pm, with the exhibition open until 9pm. (Last entry at 8.30pm.)

    Check out the schedule below ahead of the launch this Friday 2nd November and head here for more info.

    2nd November – BASTARDA

    Viet-influenced dishes by Anaïs Van Manen
    Drinks by ex-NOMA sommelier Honey Spencer
    DJ: George Webster (CNN)

    9th November – Stanley & V

    Italian-influenced plates by Vito
    Wines by Tutto
    DJ: TBC

    16th November Mateo Zielonka’s pasta

    Handrolled pasta by Mateo Zielonka
    Cocktails by Dom of The Savoy’s American Bar
    DJ: God Colony (Dazed & Confused)

    23rd November – Anglo-Thai

    Thai-flavoured dishes by John Chantsarak (Som Saa)
    Wines by Modal
    DJ: Joe Halligan (Assemble)

    30th November – TaTa Eatery

    Portuguese-Chinese small plates by Ana and Meng
    Wines by Tommy Tannock
    DJ: Touching Bass


    Address:

    THE STORE X, 180 THE STRAND WC2R 1EA
    Exhibition closes at 9pm with last entry at 8.30pm.
    Strange Days lates are open 7pm – 11.30 pm, with entry to The Store X from 9pm via Surrey Street.

  • Jeremy Deller curates 100 year celebration at Stonehenge this October

    By | October 11, 2018

    With an inflatable, life-sized replica of the site and new music composition.

    Turner Prize-winning UK artist Jeremy Deller is curating a centenary celebration to mark 100 years since Stonehenge was gifted to the nation, Friday 26th October.

    An inflatable, life-sized replica of Stonehenge called Sacrilege, on loan to English Heritage by The Store X The Vinyl Factory will be installed at the site from Friday 26th – Sunday 28th October.

    Sacrilege previously toured the UK in the summer of 2012 as part of a national Olympic tour.

    The installation also featured in Deller’s 2013 film English Magic – premiered at Venice Biennale in 2013 – with a soundtrack of the same name released on limited 3×12″ and standard variants by The Vinyl Factory.

    During the October event, Deller will debut a new musical composition at the site, created in collaboration with composer Matt Rogers and the London Sinfonietta, and performed on Friday 26th.

    Earlier this year Deller collaborated with dub producer and On-U Sound boss Adrian Sherwood to release ‘Freetail Dub’, featuring samples of bat echolocation sounds. The limited edition 12″ includes a screen-printed glow-in-the-dark cover designed by Deller and Jan Lankisch.

    Head here for more info on the Sacrilege Stonehenge revelries.

    (Photo courtesy of Jeremy Deller.)

  • The soundtrack to Pipilotti Rist’s kaleidoscopic 4th Floor to Mildness released on limited clear vinyl

    By | October 9, 2018

    Sublime aquatic dreamscapes as seen in Strange Days.

    Soap&Skin’s original score to Pipilotti Rist’s film installation 4th Floor to Mildness has been released on limited clear 12″ by The Vinyl Factory.

    Read more: 7 key works for music lovers at Strange Days: Memories of the Future

    4th Floor to Mildness is part of Strange Days: Memories of the Future, an new exhibition showcasing the work of 21 video artists and filmmakers – presented by New York’s New Museum and The Store X in partnership with The Vinyl Factory, at The Store X, 180 The Strand.

    In the installation, Rist’s film is projected onto two amorphously shaped screens, which hang suspended from the ceiling. Beds scattered around the emerald-hued space allow viewers to take in the work whilst lying alongside one another.

    Its music was created by Soap&Skin, the experimental project of Austrian artist Anja Plaschg, and is separated into two tracks – ‘Sleep’ and ‘Spiracle’.

    Speaking about the work, Rist explains: “today, with computers, TVs, and mobile phones, everything is flat and put behind glass – our feelings, histories, longings.

    “We’re all separated from each other, for the human being that we are in contact with is always behind glass… but with art, we can jump out of our loneliness.”

    4th Floor to Mildness follows Rist’s 2005 digital fresco Homo Sapiens Sapiens, where she filled an entire ceiling of an 18th century church in Venice, Italy with projected images.

    Order a copy of ‘Sleep’ / ‘Spiracle’ here and check out 4th Floor to Mildness as part of Strange Days: Memories of the Future until 9th December 2018.

  • A sonic journey through the dream-like world of new The Store X show Strange Days

    By | October 8, 2018

    Inside the 5-star exhibition, showcasing some of the most brilliant and radical contemporary film-makers.

    Visitor information:

    Where: The Store X, 180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA

    When: 2nd October – 9th December

    Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm – 7pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm

    Free entry


    “Music is the tool through which we lose control, but it’s also the occasion in which we feel our bodies again,” describes New Museum’s Massimiliano Gioni, who has curated the acclaimed new exhibition Strange Days: Memories of the Future alongside The Store X and The Vinyl Factory.

    Led through the labyrinthine underbelly of the brutalist former office building that now houses The Store X, 180 The Strand, it is sound and music that compel you to discover more – a hint of what’s behind the next corner, an echo of what you’ve just experienced.

    Likened to the experience of a first-person video game, and inspired by the Kathryn Bigelow-directed film of the same name, Strange Days stitches together scores, samples and soundscapes into the fabric of the show, whether through Kahli Joseph’s Fly Paper, or The National’s 6-hour marathon rendition of ‘Sorrow’ by Ragnar Kjartansson.

    With the show now open until 9th December, we spoke to Gioni to find out more about the exhibition’s sonic aspects, and how music has helped guide its curation.

    Watch the video above, and for those wanting to explore further, we’ve also selected 7 key works that are essential for every visit to the exhibition.


    Credits:

    Lead image: Pipilotti Rist, ‘4th Floor To Mildness,’ 2016. Photo by Jack Hems for The Store X, 180 The Strand

    Filmed by: Pawel Ptak, Luis Munoz, Kamil Dymek
    Edited by: Pawel Ptak

    Music used:

    Kahlil Joseph’s Fly Paper – Soundtrack Score – James William Blades & Kahlil Joseph, 2017
    Source: Soundcloud

    Ragnar Kjartansson with the National – A Lot of Sorrow, 2013–14
    Source: Vimeo

    List of works featured:

    Camille Henrot
    Grosse Fatigue, 2013
    Courtesy the artist, Silex Films, and kamel mennour, Paris

    Ed Atkins
    Happy Birthday!!, 2014

    Courtesy the artist and Cabinet Gallery, London

    Pipilotti Rist
    4th Floor To Mildness, 2016

    Music and text by Soap&Skin/Anja Plaschg, courtesy Flora Musikverlag and [PIAS] Recordings.
    Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth, and Luhring Augustine, New York 
Supported by kvadrat and Top Carpet.

    Cheng Ran
    Diary of a Madman (The Bridge), 2016
    Diary of a Madman (Circadian Rhythm), 2016
    Diary of a Madman (The Mad Man), 2016
    Diary of a Madman (The Self-Portrait), 2016
    Diary of a Madman (The Water Tower), 2016
    Diary of a Madman (The Wreck), 2016

    All works courtesy the artist, K11 Art Foundation, and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing and Lucerne.

    Kahlil Joseph
    Fly Paper, 2017

    Courtesy the artist.

    Klara Lidén
    Der Mythos des Fortschritts (Moonwalk)
    [The Myth of Progress (Moonwalk)]
    , 2008
    Courtesy the artist; Galerie Neu, Berlin; and Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York

    Wong Ping
    Jungle of Desire, 2015

    Courtesy the artist and Edouard Malingue Gallery

    Lili Reynaud-Dewar
    TEETH, GUMS, MACHINE, FUTURE, SOCIETY (One Body, Two Souls), 2017

    Courtesy the artist and CLEARING, New York/Brussels

    Oliver Laric
    Untitled, 2014–15
    Courtesy the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin

    Wu Tsang
    The Looks, 2015
    Courtesy the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi

    Daria Martin
    Soft Materials, 2004

    Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

    Cally Spooner
    DRAG DRAG SOLO, 2016
    Courtesy the artist; gb agency, Paris; and ZERO, Milan

    Ryan Trecartin
    Item Falls, 2013

    Courtesy the artist; Regen Projects, Los Angeles; and Sprüth Magers

    Laure Prouvost
    Into All That Is Here, 2015

    Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

    Mounira Al Solh
    Now Eat My Script, 2014

    Courtesy Sfeir-Semler Gallery

    John Akomfrah
    Vertigo Sea, 2015

    Courtesy Smoking Dogs Films
 and Lisson Gallery

    Anri Sala
    Three Minutes, 2004
    Courtesy Hauser & Wirth; Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

    Maha Maamoun
    2026, 2010

    Courtesy the artist and Gypsum Gallery, Cairo

    Hassan Khan
    Jewel, 2010

    Original music by the artist
 ©Hassan Khan. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

    Jonathas de Andrade
    O peixe [The Fish], 2016

    Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, and Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo

    Ragnar Kjartansson with the National
    A Lot of Sorrow, 2013–14
    Original performance occurred at MoMA PS1 as part of Sunday Sessions. Courtesy the artists; Luhring Augustine, New York; and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik

  • Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster takes a trip to outer space in new Martian Dreams Ensemble exhibition

    By | October 8, 2018

    Using music as well as spatial and graphic methods.

    Influential contemporary artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster leads a new show called Martian Dreams Ensemble that takes you on a journey into outer space, and opens this Friday 12th October at Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig.

    Martian Dreams Ensemble sees Gonzalez-Foerster collaborating with Joi Bittle, Martial Galfione, Julien Perez and Marie Proyart to “play with the possibilities of the exhibition format.”

    A record featuring songs from the exhibition will be released in December 2108 by The Vinyl Factory as an edition of T E X T E Z U R K U N S T.

    The Martian Dreams Ensemble show follows Gonzalez-Foerster’s Exotourisme concert at The Store X, 180 The Strand, London, which draws on the synthetic French new wave of Lizzy Mercier Descloux and Serge Gainsbourg to weave a seductive, neon-soaked sound evocative of Paris’ nefarious ’80s underground. Watch a film of that performance above.

    A two-track EP called Exotourisme, featuring music from the performance – ” a Retro/Futuristic soundtrack for transient replicants and nocturnal renegades everywhere – was released via The Vinyl Factory earlier this year.

    In February 2019, an Exotourisme concert, featuring Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Julien Perez, will take place at Niemeyer Square in Leipzig.

  • Sampha celebrates Kahlil Joseph’s Fly Paper at The Store X Frieze Music party this weekend

    By | October 4, 2018

    Alongside RnB vocalist Anais, plus DJ sets from sound designer James William Blades and fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner.

    This Saturday 6th October, The Vinyl Factory will celebrate the UK premiere of Kahlil Joseph’s Fly Paper, part of Strange Days: Memories Of The Future, for a special event taking place at 180 Strand.

    Presented in conjunction with Frieze Music and  The Store X, the event features DJ sets by Sampha, who collaborated with Joseph for a film about his album Process our favourite record of 2017Fly Paper and Process sound designer James William Blades and fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner, plus a live performance by RnB singer Anaïs.

    We’re giving 30 VF readers the opportunity to attend the event at The Store X, 180 The Strand on Saturday 6th October. Allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, please fill in your details below. Every successful name will also receive a +1 for the event. UPDATE: The guest list is now closed.

    ‘Fly Paper’ first premiered in NYC at the New Museum, before making its European debut at The Store X Berlin in April.

    An immersive, 20-minute audio-visual ode to Harlem past and present, Fly Paper was inspired by the work of iconic jazz photographer Roy De Carava and his 1955 book The Sweet Flypaper of Life, which he co-authored with Langston Hughes.

    The film is one of 21 featured works in Strange Days: Memories of the Future, the 21-artist video and film installation, co-presented by NYC’s New Museum and The Store X in partnership with The Vinyl Factory, which opened this week.

    By signing up, you are also agreeing to receive the VF newsletter, which you can leave at any time by clicking ‘Unsubscribe’ on any email.

  • Cecilia Bengolea brings Equiknoxx-soundtracked dancehall performance to The Store X

    By | October 3, 2018

    30 guestlist spots up for grabs.

    Dancer and performance artist Cecilia Bengolea will preview her new The Store X The Vinyl Factory commission this week, joined by special guests Craig Black Eagle and Erika Miyauchi.

    Featuring a new soundtrack by dancehall deconstructionists Equiknoxx, the performance follows shows at Volcano Extravaganza and Palais De Tokyo earlier this year, and continues Bengolea’s fascination with the cultural and physical tradition of dancehall, which she explored alongside Jeremy Deller in 2016’s Bom Bom’s Dream at The Infinite Mix.

    We’re giving 30 VF readers the opportunity to see the show in person at The Store X, 180 The Strand on Thursday 4th October. Allocate on a first-come-first-served basis, please fill in your details below. Every successful name will also receive a +1 for the event. UPDATE: The guestlist is now closed.

    The performance coincides with the opening of Strange Days: Memories of the Future, the 21-artist video and film installation, co-presented by NYC’s New Museum and The Store X in partnership with The Vinyl Factory.

    By signing up, you are also agreeing to receive the VF newsletter, which you can leave at any time by clicking ‘Unsubscribe’ on any email.

  • Strange Days: Memories of the Future: 7 key works for music lovers

    By | October 3, 2018

    “Music is the field through which we rediscover our bodies throughout the show.”

    Strange Days: Memories of the Future brings together 21 of the most radical video artists and film-makers working today. Drawn from 10 years of exhibitions at New York’s New Museum, the works have been brought together by The Store X The Vinyl Factory and Edlis Neeson Artistic Director Massimiliano Gioni to explore personal and collective memory, often juxtaposing sound and image in radical and evocative ways.

    Taking place in the same brutalist structure that housed The Infinite Mix and Everything At Once in recent years, Strange Days at The Store X, 180 The Strand will host 21 artists, from artist Kahlil Joseph, whose work with Flying Lotus and Beyoncé transcends popular culture and black experience, to Ragnar Kjartansson’s ongoing collaborations with The National.

    To help guide you into this extensive show, we’ve selected six works where music and sound play a crucial role.


    Kahlil Joseph
    Fly Paper
    (2017)

    In part inspired by the legendary jazz photographer Roy DeCarava who captured musicians and everyday life in Harlem, Fly Paper expands on Kahlil’s work with artists like Beyoncé, Sampha and Kendrick Lamar to weave a narrative of visual literary imagination and “polyphonic portrait” around musical and cultural realities of Harlem’s black community. As Natalie Bell writes in the exhibition notes: “Fly Paper moves beyond the visible by expanding Joseph’s practice into sound, unfolding a complex acoustic environment throughout within which sonic textures and original compositions resonate.” Drawing on samples from Kelsey Lu, Thundercat, Alice Smith and Kelan Phil Cohran, among others, the sound world of Fly Paper is brought to the fore at Strange Days with a bespoke sound system that immerses and unsettles in equal measure.

    Photo: Kahlil Joseph, ‘Fly Paper,’ 2017. Installation view, The Store X, 180 The Strand, 2018. Photo by Jack Hems.


    Ragnar Kjartansson
    A Lot Of Sorrow
    (2013-2014)

    Icelandic film-maker, performance artist and bon vivant Ragnar Kjartansson’s A Lot Of Sorrow is the final piece at Strange Days – a six hour denouement which sees and hears The National perform their 2010 track ‘Sorrow’ manfully for one full 180-degree turn of the hour hand. Originally performed and recorded in front of an equally stoic audience at MoMA PS1, experiencing the work is a kin to meditation: the first few minutes might be difficult to access (each rendition of the song feels slow, heavy, similar), but give it just a moment longer and Ragnar’s work takes on a transcendent, mantra-like quality; at once a study in the circular, all-encompassing, often absurd nature of grief, and a celebration of human spirit, perseverance, and camaraderie.

    Photo: Ragnar Kjartansson, ‘A Lot of Sorrow (2013-2014)’


    Pipilotti Rist
    4th Floor To Mildness
    (2016)

    Immersive in every sense of the word, Pipilotti Rist’s 4th Floor To Mildness invites visitors to lie on beds looking up at two vast screens of footage, shot largely under water, as if looking up at the surface from the river bed. Moving between the abstract and the literal, the murky and the clear, the film is a vehicle for human reconnection in a world alienated by screens, knitted together by the dream-like soundtrack of experimental Austrian artist and musician Anja Plaschg aka Soap&Skin. The soundtrack will be released by The Vinyl Factory and be available at The Store X later in the show.

    Photo: Pipilotti Rist, ‘4th Floor To Mildness,’ 2016, Photo: Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio


    Hassan Khan
    Jewel
    (2010)

    Inspired by seeing two men dancing around a homemade speaker with a flashing lightbulb attached to it in a Cairo street, Hassan Khan turned the spectacle into a short film called Jewel. His 6 and a half minute work features an original Shaabi (which translates to “of the people) musical composition. According to Khan, the genre captures an “automated moment of civilisation… where obscenity and sanctity can coexist in an intense contradiction that is not contradictory.”

    Photo: Hassan Khan, ‘Jewel,’ (2010), Installation view, The Store X, 180 The Strand, 2018. Photo by Jack Hems.


    Camille Henrot
    Grosse Fatigue
    (2013)

    In Grosse Fatigue, Camille Henrot attempts to tell the story of the universe’s creation, via a desktop browser view, naturally. The chromatic film features original music by NYC-based electronic composer and producer Joakim, who released The Studio Venezia Sessions on The Vinyl Factory earlier this year. Over the course of 13 minutes, its multi-windows open onto varying views, combining tabs you would expect to find on your computer’s home screen – Google, Wikipedia, etc – and ranging from a combination of museum purviews at the Smithsonian to hands tossing marbles across a yellow backdrop to a rotund gentleman browsing filing stacks.

    Photo: Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, 2013 (still), courtesy of the artist.


    Wu Tsang
    The Looks
    (2015)

    Wu Tsang’s interest in the transformative and liberating potential of the dance floor runs through her work, from 2012’s Wildness – an experimental documentary centred around the Silver Platter, a historic LA bar for queer and trans Latinx people that came to host a weekly party for a younger generation of queer artists of colour – to Into A Space Of Love (2018), which explores the legacies of house music rooted in New York underground culture. The Looks operates in a similar space – a Black Mirror-esque sci-fi performance doc that explores the tension between social media technology, control and ecstatic rave euphoria.

    Photo: Wu Tsang, The Looks, 2015


    John Akomfrah
    Vertigo Sea
    (2015)

    A lyrical, visual and sonic ode to the ocean presented as a cinematic triptych, John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea delves into contemporary and historical narratives about the Atlantic. The hypnotic 48-minute installation features a detailed composition of music and sound, with quotations from philosophers and writers alongside seascapes and aquatic archival footage from the BBC Natural History unit.

    Photo: John Akomfrah, ‘Vertigo Sea,’ 2015. Installation view, The Store X, 180 The Strand, 2018. Photo by Jack Hems.


    Strange Days: Memories of the Future runs from 2nd October – 9th December at The Store X, 180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA. It is open Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm – 7pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm and is free to visit.

    All photography: Jack Hems, courtesy of The Store X

  • How sci-fi, magic realism and video games inspired new exhibition Strange Days

    By | October 2, 2018

    New Museum’s Massimiliano Gioni discusses the influences behind the anticipated 21-artist show at The Store X, 180 The Strand.

    “We tried to treat the space as a kind of continuous subjective view, like in those video games where you walk into a tunnel and space seems to develop as you advance,” writes Gioni. Led down corridors from piece to piece by half-heard snippets of sound, distorted flickers of light and the determination of a fever dream, visiting Strange Days: Memories of the Future is a dystopian experience.

    From the percussive opening of Camille Henrot’s Grosse Fatigue, past Khalil Joseph’s homage to black Harlem Fly Paper, down into the brutalist basement to John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea, and The National’s 6-hour marathon performance of ‘Sorrow’ by Ragnar Kjartansson, Strange Days is a dizzying, radical exhibition of nostalgic futurism.

    Curated by Massimiliano Gioni, alongside The Store X The Vinyl Factory, and the natural successor to 2016’s The Infinite Mix, Strange Days will run until 9th December. The following extract is taken from Gioni’s interview with Francesca Altamura, which is published in the exhibition catalogue available at The Store X or via email at books@thestores.com.

    Kahlil Joseph, ‘Fly Paper,’ 2017. Installation view, The Store X, 180 The Strand, 2018.


    Francesca Altamura: How did the collaboration with The Store X and The Vinyl Factory begin?

    Massimiliano Gioni: We first collaborated on the coproduction of Kahlil Joseph’s piece Fly Paper, which we showed at the New Museum in 2017. Joseph was also one of the artists featured in The Infinite Mix, the great exhibition of video and sound works curated by Ralph Rugoff and the Hayward Gallery in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory at The Store X in 2016. It seemed like a natural evolution to present Joseph’s new film in London, and in a sense Strange Days: Memories of the Future developed around that piece, looking at artists and works that explored similar atmospheres. I think The Store X also liked the idea of a new collaboration with a museum, particularly one that typically doesn’t have a presence in London.

    John Akomfrah, ‘Vertigo Sea,’ 2015. Installation view, The Store X, 180 The Strand, 2018.

    FA: How did you go about selecting the twenty-one artists featured in Strange Days?

    MG: The exhibition is an anthology of video artists we have shown at the New Museum in the last ten years, since we have moved into our building on the Bowery in December 2007. But it doubles as a concise history of recent works that have redefined and transformed the ways in which artists imagine video and cinema today. I should also say there are many other artists working in film and video whom we have shown in the past ten years at the museum and who are not included in the exhibition, such as Phil Collins, Tacita Dean, Nathalie Djurberg, Sharon Hayes, Mathias Poledna, Erik Van Lieshout, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Artur Żmijewski, and many others. It would have been simply impossible to include all of them, so this is a very personal take, and one in which the venue itself played a strong role in suggesting some of the inclusions and the dialogues between the works.

    Hassan Khan, ‘Jewel’, 2010. Installation view, The Store X, 180 The Strand, 2018.

    FA: Did the architecture of The Store X influence the show?

    MG: The Store X always made me think of one of David Cronenberg’s first films, Stereo (1969), which is set in a Brutalist building in Toronto and imagines a future in which the Canadian Academy for Erotic Inquiry performs brain surgery on a group of volunteers whose power of speech is removed to enhance their telepathic abilities. It is a science fiction movie in which there is no sense of time because all the action is set inside, and the architecture turns into a mirror image of the minds of the patients and of the bizarre theories of the doctor. The movie, just like the architecture of The Store X itself, is a kind of Piranesian fantasy, in which Roman ruins have been substituted by industrial archaeology and 1960s architecture. For this show we are using the ground floor of the building and two subterranean levels that seemed particularly appropriate to the crepuscular atmo-spheres of some of the works in the exhibition. We tried to treat the space as a kind of continuous subjective view, like in those video games where you walk into a tunnel and space seems to develop as you advance: the spaces feel somewhat basic, but they are clean and simple like a digital rendering. You can only walk forward as though the spaces keep growing and repeating themselves.

    Kahlil Joseph, ‘Fly Paper,’ 2017. Installation view, The Store X, 180 The Strand, 2018.

    FA: The title of the exhibition is also quite futuristic, referencing Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron’s science fiction movie Strange Days from 1995.

    MG: The movie is about a not-so-distant future, actually at the turn of the millennium, in which people traffic in images filmed in subjective view, and get high on other people’s experiences. It is sadly so prescient that it doesn’t even appear visionary any longer: if anything, it actually feels a little dated, because it got everything right … That’s why I thought of adding the subtitle, “Memories of the Future,” which is borrowed from the short story by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, a Russian writer whose work I really like. His magical realist stories, with their oneiric atmospheres and the haunting presence of memories, seemed to resonate with many of the works in the show.

    FA: What would you say the exhibition is about?

    MG: Many works in the exhibition are preoccupied with how to capture memories and how to create visions of the future. More broadly, among the many threads that are woven in the show, there is an interest in the question of truth in representation. Put this way, it sounds perhaps too ambitious. But what I mean is that many of the works on view seem to make direct reference to the language of the film essay and of cinema verité, and to the traditions of reportage and documentary, which many contemporary artists are transforming and making more subjective and personal.

    Strange Days: Memories of the Future runs from 2nd October – 9th December at The Store X, 180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA. It is open Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm – 7pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm and is free to visit.

    Main image: John Akomfrah, ‘Vertigo Sea,’ 2015. Installation view, The Store X, 180 The Strand, 2018.

    All photography: Jack Hems, courtesy of The Store X

  • Strange Days: Memories of the Future is now open at The Store X

    By | October 2, 2018

    21 video artists and film-makers arrive at The Store X, 180 The Strand.


    Visitor information:

    Where: The Store X, 180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA

    When: 2nd October – 9th December

    Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm – 7pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm

    Free entry


    Strange Days: Memories of the Future, a new exhibition presented by New York’s New Museum and The Store X in partnership with The Vinyl Factory, has opened today (2nd October) at The Store X, 180 The Strand.

    Running until 9th December, the Massimiliano Gioni-curated exhibition features work by some of the world’s most exciting film-makers and video artists, presented as large-scale, multi-screen video installations, many of which are being shown in the UK for the first time.

    Among them are Kahlil Joseph’s evocative portrait of black life in Harlem, Fly Paper, which premiered at New Museum in 2017 and made its European debut at The Store X Berlin earlier this year; John Akomfrah’s epic three-screen rumination Vertigo Sea; Pipilotti Rist’s Soap&Skin-soundtracked 4th Floor To Mildness, which requires visitors to lie on beds gazing at the installation projected onto the ceiling; Camille Henrot’s Grosse Fatigue, soundtracked by Joakim; and Ragnar Kjartansson’s infamous collaboration with The National A Lot Of Sorrow, which captures the band performing their 2010 track ‘Sorrow’ repeatedly for 6 hours at MoMA PS1 – a meditation on time, human endurance and sublime repetition.

    The full list of participating artists is: John Akomfrah, Jonathas de Andrade, Ed Atkins, Cheng Ran, Camille Henrot, Kahlil Joseph, Hassan Khan, Ragnar Kjartansson, Oliver Laric, Klara Lidén, Maha Maamoun, Daria Martin, Laure Prouvost, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Pipilotti Rist, Anri Sala, Mounira Al Solh, Cally Spooner, Ryan Trecartin, Wong Ping, and Wu Tsang.

    As Edlis Neeson Artistic Director at New Museum Massimiliano Gioni says: “Strange Days will bring together some of the most compelling video artists and filmmakers that have presented works at the New Museum over the last ten years. All of these artists have shifted the ways we think about images and memory by recasting their individual experiences and visions alongside speculations on what the future may hold.”

    Strange Days is the third major show commissioned by The Store X The Vinyl Factory, following critically acclaimed exhibitions The Infinite Mix (2016) and Everything at Once (2017), presented with the Hayward Gallery and Lisson Gallery respectively, as well as commissions by Ryoji Ikeda, Arthur Jafa, Jeremy Shaw, Ben Kelly & Virgil Abloh.

    Ben Kelly will also be presenting a new work Columns, inspired in part by his work with Virgil Abloh and in part by his role in designing the iconic Hacienda nightclub, at The Store X this autumn. Click here for more details.

    Strange Days: Memories of the Future is open from 2nd October to 9th December at The Store X, 180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA.

    Opening Times:

    Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm – 7pm
    Sunday 12pm – 6pm

    Free entry

  • Designer Ben Kelly to present new work Columns at The Store X this autumn

    By | September 27, 2018

    From the man who built The Hacienda.

    Designer Ben Kelly will unveil new work Columns at The Store X in October. Taking place alongside new multi-artist exhibition Strange Days, in collaboration with The New Museum, Columns will revisit and expand on one of the fundamental architectural features of Kelly’s design for the iconic Manchester club.

    Having built the touring set for fashion designer Virgil Abloh, with whom he collaborated on mythical nightclub installation Ruin at The Store X last year, Kelly will interrogate the totemic properties of 12 columns, from power and classicism to romanticism and decay.

    Kelly will play on the ambiguity of the twelve columns, subtitled by a phrase he discovered engraved on an architectural site in Puglia, Italy: “Concerning the building of these columns, we have no certain news.”

    Ben Kelly’s Columns will open on Tuesday 2nd October and run until 9th December alongside Strange Days: Memories Of The Future, which you can explore in more detail here.

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