Sensing Spaces installation: Li Xiaodong.

Photo © Royal Academy of Arts.

Building the show: a peek behind the scenes

Sensing Spaces

By Kate Goodwin

Published 8 January 2014

Christmas and the holiday period was rather a surreal time. While others were thinking about feasts and wrapping presents, our minds were reeling with schedules of lorries and orders for installation.

Tags

architecture

sensing spaces

kate goodwin

Curators

installing

  • In the final days before Christmas the galleries were handed over to us with the last departure of artwork from the Australia show.

    The galleries then began their transformation. First, cleaning, painting and removal of much of the standard exhibition paraphernalia (lights, roof covers etc.), then the tools and building materials arrived in all their varied and component parts. Then came the architects and workers from Chile and Japan who joined the local teams, all eager and ready to put together what they have been carefully prefabricating over the preceding months (and there are plenty more stories to come…)

    Last Friday, MDM Props – who are making most of the installations – called a site meeting. About 30 of us gathered in Gallery III and were given instructions; hard hat and high viz vests to be worn at all times; health and safety protocol to be followed; restricted access to certain galleries; schedules for the arrival of further materials as the installations progressed.

    A chill of excitement ran down my spine. The Main Galleries are officially a building site, humming with the sound of saws, drills, genie lifts and foreign languages.

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