In 1989 William Basinski founded Arcadia, a studio and performance space that defined Williamsburg as an arts community and became the seat of the cultural avant-garde in the 90’s. From 1989-97 Basinski wrote and produced his own and others work, as well as hosting underground music, cabaret and poetry performances by artists including Antony and Diamanda Galas. It was a place of experimentation for established as well as emerging artists, a nurturing space where young artists were encouraged to flourish.
From March 2014, Basinski and Art Assembly will co-curate a series of Arcadia inspired music and live art events in London.
In order that the Arcadia series reflect the nurturing element of the original Williamsburg studio space and operate as a platform for new work, Art Assembly and Basinski are working in conjunction with Sound and Music who will help to facilitate an ‘artist call out’ to recruit young artists to perform support slots at each of the concerts.
It’s a thrill to be curating the Arcadia series with William at this time of him organising the archive and a massive treat to see little snippets of it along the way. Over this next year the series will unpack themes within William’s work and we are excited to announce these first two concerts from Michael Gira and a collaboration between Charlemagne Palestine and Rhys Chatham. Arcadia was an artist run space, a place to experiment and show new work and so we are particularly keen that the project supports emerging practice. We are very grateful to Sound and Music for assising us with the search for new talent. I’m delighted to be working again with St John Sessions, who’ve put together one of the most solid programmes this year.
Julia Dempsey, Art Assembly
I’m honoured to have been invited by Julia Dempsey at Art Assembly to help curate a new Arcadia series at the wonderful St. John’s Hackney in London. Stay tuned for some very special cultural events in the coming months!
Sound and Music is excited to be working with William Basinski and Art Assembly on this project. It represents a great opportunity for the showcasing of emerging UK talent alongside some of the major figures of US underground music. Sound and Music is committed to providing open opportunities for the many, rather than just the well-connected few, and it’s great to be approached with such a progressive brief towards programming.
Richard Whitelaw, Head of Programmes, Sound and Music
Concert series line-up confirmed so far;
Michael Gira, solo performance – 12th March 2014
Moving to NY in 1979 and creating his own live-in rehearsal space in a storefront downtown, Gira became a formidible force, kicking up stink with his band Swans within the music and art community until 1997. Reserecting the band in 2010, Swans were welcomed with eager and open arms. They have toured nationally since, playing three sold out shows in London’s Koko to date. The confrontational Swans frontman will perform a solo show including some new songs. As with all Swans/M.Gira shows, this will be a one off performance and wont be anything like you’ve heard on an album or at a previous gig. Intense, often brutal, beautiful and compelling, always vital. Expect to be wrung through the emotional mill. You wont leave the same. William Basinski will perform at this event. Tickets £16
Charlemagne Palestine + Rhys Chatham – 20th March 2014
Charlemagne Palestine is a minimalist composer, performer and visual artist from New York. He performs epic, ritualistic and intense extended duration pieces for organ. A native New Yorker now living in Paris, composer Rhys Chatham helped define New York’s downtown aesthetic in the ’70s. Palestine and Chatham first met in the late 60′s in New York. Ever respectful and admiring of each others work, this performance sees two giants in modern composition perform on stage together 30 years after their initial collaboration. Presented in conjunction with St John Sessions. William Basinski will perform at this event. Tickets £16
More performances to be announced.