As work begins on creating its new flagship campus, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Royal College of Art (RCA) presents the Ariadne Project, a group exhibition open from Saturday 22 to Thursday 27 September as part of Open House London.
Visitors will be able to explore how recent RCA alumni are charting the evolution of the RCA Battersea campus through newly commissioned artworks. These emerging artists use photography, moving image, performance and zines to reflect on the RCA’s most significant development of its campus since 1961.
The Ariadne Project emphasises the potential of the building as a site for creativity. The artworks centre on ideas of memory and transition, materiality, labour and sensuality, and give the recent architectural past a continuous presence.
Exhibition highlights include ‘The Last Performance’ by Carlos Jimenez, a video artwork that traces the history of the moving image studio that was founded on site in 2009 by artist and filmmaker Stuart Croft. Simone Mudde utilises the 19th century technique of colour separation to create coloured images from black and white negatives that capture passing time and latency of change. Zines by Stewart Ross Hardie explore the College’s transformation at night and Martim Ramos captures the poetic possibilities of the construction site during its daily changes.
At the exhibition private view (Sunday 23 September, 5-8PM) there will be a special performance of ‘Howie Street Quadruplet’ by poet and artist Joshua Leon, a eulogy to the former RCA Sculpture Building, published by the Everyday Press and launched during the Ariadne Project.
Acclaimed photographer, Rut Blees Luxemburg is leading the Ariadne Project as RCA Battersea Artist in Residence and Senior Research Fellow. It is part of her ongoing study into new ways of representing architecture under construction. The exhibition has a dedicated research wall that charts the Flint House Project, her previous work on the relationship between artistic production and contemporary architecture. The award-winning Flint House by architect Charlotte Skene Catling was commissioned by the Rothschild Foundation for Waddesdon Estate.
The Ariadne Project is the first of a series of public events in which RCA students and graduates respond to the development of the new flagship Battersea South campus. The visual identity of the project is designed by artist Philomène Hoël and the exhibition is curated by Agata Kik. Participating artists include Stewart Ross Hardie, Carlos Jimenez, Joshua Leon, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Simon Mudde and Martim Ramos.