Science Museum, London 7.30pm, 29 May 2019

Le Grand K

A night of readings and performances in honour of the dead queen of kilograms and the eponymous book, Le Grand K. Le Grand K is an anthology, an obituary, a response by artists and writers to the dematerialisation of the kilogram, in poetry, prose, images, scripts, and possible worlds.

On the 20th of May, 2019, on what is known as World Metrology Day, The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) redefined the value of the kilogram. The physical standard, a cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy held in the BIPM vault in Paris, and kept under constant conditions since 1889, became a relic destined for a museum shelf. The International Prototype of the Kilogram, nicknamed Le Grand K, was replaced with a set of instructions for measuring 1 kg exactly, using electric current and the value of the Planck constant.

On this year’s World Metrology Day, we departed for a reality that is perpetually performed, where inert definitions lose their grasp and are afloat among rocks, trees, chairs, ants, rooms, plastic, and hearts.

On Wednesday, the 29th of May, there will be an evening of readings and performances, an iteration of the live event that accompanied the book launch of Le Grand K, at the Science Museum. The event takes place as part of the Science Museum Late: The Measure of All Things, organised in partnership with National Physical Laboratory.

With work by: Julia Wolf / Alice Bucknell / Arieh Frosh / Marijn Ottenhof / John Henry Newton / The Idle Institute / Johanna Flato / Demelza Toy Toy & Annie Pender / Name Surname / Károly Tendl / Fiona Glen / Flo Ray / Samuel Capps / Dario Srbic / Farvash / Cameron Randall / Luca George & Déas McMorrow / Col Self / Andrea Khôra / Xenia Busalova / Mathilde Heu / Tatjana Vinona Joneska / Allan Gardner / Judith Hagan / Léonie Sinden / Nikolai / Dasha Loyko

Introduction by Jeremy Millar

Edited & curated by: Dasha Loyko / Károly Tendl / Andrea Khôra

Identity design by Farvash

Schedule

  • Tue 25 October 2022

    Art Night / performance commission by Tai Shani at Fabric, London

    Art Night and the Museum of London are pleased to announce the presentation of a new performance commission by Tai Shani at Fabric, London this Autumn, at 8pm on 25th October. The performance will take the form of a chamber play and is Shani’s first major performance project since DC: Semiramis for which she was nominated and collectively won the Turner Prize in 2019. It will be one of her most ambitious works to date. The collaboration is a precursor to Art Night’s transition to a national, biennial contemporary art festival, with the first new model festival planned for 2023 and to be announced in the Autumn. This work by Tai Shani will be re-staged for the 2023 festival.

    The play will premiere at London’s iconic nightclub Fabric, adjacent to West Smithfield, the Museum of London’s soon-to-be new home. The special “one-night only” show will be broadcast live on digital channels to enable access for a global audience with the assistance of media partner This is Tomorrow. My bodily remains, your bodily remains, and all the bodily remains that ever were, and ever will be. (Down, skin, pelt, vellum, alert tangled roots, subcutaneous flesh, subterranean blind life) draws upon Smithfield’s history as one of London’s earliest execution sites and oscillates between somatic histories of political evil and love as an emancipatory power.

    The collaboration also celebrates the Museum of London’s impending relocation to West Smithfield and follows the launch of the Museum of London Docklands’ major exhibition Executions, which traces the history of public executions from the 12th to the 19th century.

    My bodily remains, your bodily remains, and all the bodily remains that ever were, and ever will be. (Down, skin, pelt, vellum, alert tangled roots, subcutaneous flesh, subterranean blind life) is inspired by various sources; classic works of literature including Destroy, She Said by Marguerite Duras, the writing of scholars including Jackie Wang and works by filmmakers such as Jacques Rivette. Shani’s commission is a poetic meditation on various historical resistance movements and groups, the spiritual dimensions of anti-supremacism, intersectional queer feminism, communism and revolutionary thinking to recognise the emancipatory power of love and pleasure as a catalyst for radical change.

    Typical of Shani’s practice, My bodily remains, your bodily remains, and all the bodily remains that ever were, and ever will be will deploy a skillful interplay of dialogue and narration. Shani will use recurring moods and motifs to explore eroticism, dark powers, mystical experiences, feminist theory and the theme of Revolution – embodied in this performance as a ghost.

    The play will feature an original live score composed by Shani’s long term collaborator Maxwell Sterling and Richard Fearless (Death in Vegas) alongside digital animations by Adam Sinclair also Shani’s long term collaborator. The play will also feature jewellery and set design by Shani.

    The commission is accompanied by a dedicated creative engagement programme developed in collaboration with All Change led by arts educator and creative producer Dhiyandra Natalegawa. The creative engagement programme will consist of a series of participant-led workshops and creative outcomes, shaped around the key themes and creative approaches in Shani’s work. The project is part of All Change’s B Creative programme: an arts activism programme for young women by young women, working with inspiring artists.