Alternate Languages: confronting boundaries
Saturday 16 March 2019 11am - 7pm
Royal Academy of Arts
Free and paid talks, performances and workshops
Explore the public and private spaces of the RA with performances, workshops and discussions that ask what unites us and divides us.
Alternate Languages: Confronting Boundaries invites a critique of our relationship with one another and with our spaces. In a day of free immersive spatial activations, artworks, performances, workshops and discussions in the Royal Academy, we explore isolation and connection, exclusion and generosity, and ask what unites us and divides us.
As disenchantment permeates many aspects of society and polarisation increases, we must transcend difference, overcome prejudices, find ways to understand and connect with one another.
This event is the third in a series by the same name, which was first initiated with the British Council to occupy the empty space of the British Pavilion, for Island, at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Throughout this event, we hope to expand the languages we have available to express and share ideas, and to create an opportunity for different voices to be heard.
Find the programme of free and bookable activities and events below.
Displacement can happen both at a personal level and across national boundaries. This performative event will unpick themes of transition, travel and refuge; with conversation and contributions from Robert Mull (University of Brighton), David Cotterrell (Installation artist), Suzy Willson (Clod Ensemble) and Thomas McCarthy (Irish Traveller, Singer and Storyteller).
£10, £6 (participants will receive copy of 'Spatial Listening')
Through his Spatial Listening Games, the researcher, sound artist and composer Alex De Little will encourage visitors to listen to the architecture of the Royal Academy’s Fine Rooms through a series of exercises and games. Attendees will receive a copy of Spatial Listening, a new work-book by De Little.
1:45 - 2:45pm
Free, Drop in
Performance artist Noëmi Lakmaier, will lead a workshop that looks at how different bodies move through space and relate to one another. Central to this will be a series of drawing exercises that ask the participants to picture bodies on the move together and individually.
Architecture Beyond Sight
11:30am - 12:30pm
Join Zoe Partington to discover non-visual ways of understanding buildings and spaces. Participants will be invited to feel a series of objects and surfaces and describe them through words and drawings.
Embodied Space: Movement Workshop
12 – 1.30pm, free but booking required
Suzy Willson, director of the Clod Ensemble, will take participants through a series of exercises drawing on the work of French theatre teacher, Jacques Lecoq, to explore ways in which we use our bodies to affect our relationship to others and the spaces we inhabit.
1:30 - 2pm
We often focus on and talk about the visual experience of buildings. In contrast, Partington’s workshop invites participants to touch and draw objects and then translate that experience into descriptive text to expand our understanding of space.
Movement drawing workshop
1:45 – 2:45pm, free no booking required
Noëmi Lakmaier will prompt participants to visualise their movements through drawing encouraging participants to think about how their bodies occupy and move through space differently.
Spatial Listening Games
3 – 4pm, £10/£6
Through his Spatial Listening Games, Alex De Little will encourage visitors to listen to the architecture of the Royal Academy’s Fine Rooms through listening exercises and games. Attendees will receive a copy of Spatial Listening, a new work-book by De Little.
Seeking Refuge: Views of Displacement
3:30 – 4:45pm, £10/£6
This discussion asks how we seek refuge with and from one another; how displacement can allow us to better understand other communities; what we can learn from stories about generations of lives lived on the road; and what the implications of movement and migration are for public space, art, design and architecture. Join Clod Ensemble’s artistic director Suzy Willson, Thomas McCarthy (Irish Traveller Singer and Activist), David Cotterrell (Installation artist), and chair Robert Mull (University of Brighton).
Confronting Alternate Languages
An informal coming together of artists and participants to discuss the day.
Alex de Little
In locations around the Royal Academy, Spatial Listenings will project the sound of four singers experimenting with the resonance frequencies of each space, inviting visitors to ‘hear’ the building.
A sculptural sound installation that experiments with the toolkit most often used in recording sound for virtual reality and 360 degree video. It constructs, from field recordings, a sequenced, acoustic collage of place, people and things from in and around the RA.
Mirror III: Horizon 2016 and Mirror IV: Legacy 2018
Created in collaboration with Sri Lankan playwright Ruwanthie de Chickera, these two-screen video works are part of a series devised to provide insight into global communities that experience distancing and objectification. This is the first showing of these works in London.
Singing within the building
As a synaesthete, Adams experiences a condition in which stimulation of one sense leads to automatic, responses in a second, for example, ‘seeing sounds’. Throughout the day he will present a ‘pop up’ collection of digital artworks that will form a unique visual perspective of overlooked details of the building.
At intervals between 2 – 6pm
Join spoken word performer, Inua Ellams as he performs a series of his poems that explore themes of identity, displacement and destiny.
2 – 2:30pm
The Irish traveller community has a long tradition of storytelling through song. This performance from Thomas McCarthy will see him performing a series of songs that speak to his personal history and the history of Ireland, passed down through the generations.
11am – 2pm
Drawing upon "tactics of engagement" developed at sites throughout London, Situated Practice, based at The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, will present a series of spatial provocations arranged in three acts. From site-specific readings (Act I), through to experiments in embodying space (Act II) and conversation transmissions (Act III), they invite audiences to re-negotiate the relationship between art and architecture and the political by activating thresholds throughout the RA.
11am – 4pm, Jos Boys and Noëmi Lakmaier
Many of our institutional spaces provide few opportunities for respite. Throughout the day, DisOrdinary Architecture will invite participants to imagine these spaces more sympathetically; how can small interventions change the feeling of a space and how can we develop and implement strategies for ‘breakout’ spaces?