Now I am not the biggest movie buff especially when it comes to directors but I think everyone has seen a Stanley Kubrick movie even if they don’t realise it. During my time with Print Club London this summer they have introduced me to a whole new host of film’s during their Summer Screen Prints exhibition that included two very different posters that Celebrate 10 of Kubrick’s best work.
Lucille Clerc & RYCA screen print posters
So while spending a lot of time at Somerset House I got to see both Film 4 set up their open air cinema and explore more of Kubrick by visiting the Daydreaming exhibit.
Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick
The exhibition is a collection of art work inspired by the master film maker’s influence in all areas of the creative sphere. Co-curated by UNKLE founder, artist and musician James Lavelle, and James Putnam who is currently Senior Research Fellow Exhibitions at University of the Arts, London (UAL) where the Stanley Kubrick archive is housed. It features a host of contemporary artists & filmmakers producing everything from video to sculpture in response to something from that archive.
Each room of the West Wing is a new perspective on a piece of the cinematic master’s lifework. You walk in to the show bathed in this orange glow and follow the famous carpet design from the Overlook Hotel through the main exhibition space. (9. Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, The Shining Carpet, 2016).
Stuart Haygarth (3. PYRE, 2016) has crafted a glowing tower of electric fires which assault you with heat as you stand to admire them. Exhibit 4. by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard is a room filled to the brim with electrical fodder that broadcasts 114 voices that harmonise to produce an eery catholic requiem. Marc Quinn chooses to highlight social unrest and heighten a sense of unease with his images drawn from media reportage, (5. History Painting, 2011 & 2014).
Each artist wants to express a different aspect of Kubrick’s brilliance that influenced them and use a multi-disciplinary experience to get it across to the visitor. From the over-scaled teddy bears from Lavelle & Isaacs (7. In Consilus – Full of Hope and Full of Fear, 2016) to connote loss of innocence to Doug Aitken’s luminous pay phone to cross the boundary of fiction and reality (10. Twilight, 2014).
My favourite, Toby Dye’s stunning four wall video takeover celebrates Kubrick’s pioneering camera and narrative techniques by having the same frame of a corridor but four varied characters. (7. The Corridor, 2016) The true delight in this piece is in the watching, obviously, as the infinite loop see’s the characters go from being on separate screens to interacting and jumping between spaces. With so many works available to look at your spoilt for choice allowing you to explore the space, picking & choosing what catches you interest and draws your focus.
The last two pieces at the end of the exhibit are two of the most impactful for two different reasons. Number 44. By Peter Kennard, (Trident: A Strange Love, 2013-2016) is a collection of images from Dr.Strangelove juxtaposed with images of modern nuclear arsenals and world leaders. Speaking volumes in terms of modern political actuality and comparisons that can be drawn with the predicting power of Kubrick’s film. The final Daydreaming offering is 45. Joseph Kosuth’s A Grammatical Remark, 2016 a transcript from The Shining, wrapped around the historic Nelson staircase. Somerset House proved to be the perfect setting for this body of work offering a blank canvas when need and in this case a form to create impact and interest.
After enjoying all that creative work that was inspired by the man it was a perfect moment to watch one of the original works. Just so happens ( I planned it… ) that, the Film 4 screening that night was an audience voted Kubrick screening. As the night turned dark and the audiences settled across the cobbled courtyard a round of applause spread as the opening credits of The Shining rolled. Whether a film buff, an open air cinema convert or just a group of friends happy to join the wonderful atmosphere this annual summer event holds, I was glad to be part of it.
If you fancy checking out the Daydreaming exhibit I highly recommend it and you are in luck its open until the 24th August 10am-9pm £12.50 a ticket.