Lucy Raven at Serpentine: Our favourite kind of screen time

We are absolutely loving the run of screen based installation art that is taking London by storm at the moment. First we were captivated by the cultural rollercoaster ride that is The Infinite Mix, then we found ourselves lost in the audible chaos of William Kentridge’s Thick Time at The Whitechapel Gallery. Now, and until mid February, the ever-intriguing Serpentine Gallery has transformed its central space into a cinema, embracing the shorter darker days outside and keeping us cosy with their winter exhibition.

New York based artist Lucy Raven is the star here, showcasing her experimental approach in her first UK solo exhibition, Edge of Tomorrow. Focussing on the marginal spaces at the edges of image production, the work uncovers the unseen teams converting Hollywood films to 3D in Chennai (The Deccan Trap, 2015), as well the painstaking process of breathing live into animation (As If I Had Actually Been To China, 2007).

The themes at play here might be a little complex for younger visitors, but that absolutely shouldn’t put you off. Outside of the strobe effects, there’s nothing to render this work unsuitable for them, in fact, it’s a lively assault on the senses, with the added entertainment of having to don 3D glasses to enjoy key pieces. Particularly enjoyable was the completely hypnotic and ever-so-slightly trippy repetition of RP31 (2012) and the brain-twisting Curtains (2014) which at times made uncomfortable viewing, giving you a perfect sense of monotony in relation to the task at hand.

In addition to the work that you will see in the day, by night the artist has curated a more formal Serpentine Cinema, which will play host to a range of screenings, from Hollywood features to short films and animations, all of which celebrate the progress that we have made in moving image technology.

Serpentine Gallery isn’t huge, so if you’re left wanting more, over the bridge, Serpentine Sackler Gallery is hosting rarely seen drawings, paintings and calligraphy by pioneering artist and architect Zaha Hadid (1950-2016). Although this work is perhaps less accessible, the scale is staggering and the opportunity to experience some of these topographic-style wonders through Virtual Reality is a big draw if you can be patient enough. Plus, what better excuse to spend longer in the vicinity of one of the most beautiful parks in London.

Serpentine Winter Exhibitions run until 12 February 2017
Serpentine Galleries, Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA
Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-6pm. Closed 24, 25, 26 and 31 December and 1 January
Admission Free
Nearest tube: Marble Arch, Lancaster Gate

What’s nearby? Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain (open 10am-4pm), Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground (open 10am-3.45pm), Peter Pan Statue, Kensington Palace as well as a wealth of beautiful gardens and a lake full of ducks and swans!

There is also a family day planned for Saturday 11th February 2017.


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