The Serpentine Galleries' summer of Park Nights, its annual series of art, music, film, philosophy and technology, was conceived in response to the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion, designed by the award-winning architect Francis Kéré. The 2017 Serpentine Pavilion encouraged visitors to gather under its tree-like structure and connect with the natural landscape of the park. Each Park Night examined the flow and movement of people, both within the space and in wider social contexts.
Park Nights 2017 commenced on 30 June with renowned cinematographer and artist Arthur Jafa. Dancer and choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen presented Corbeaux, a performance which draws from 9th – 11th century Persian literature. Artist Tamara Henderson enlivened her anthropomorphic sculptures through a filmed choreography that incorporated costume, scent and elixirs. The collective Black Quantum Futurism developed strategies for marginalised communities to survive in a high-tech world. Artist Shen Xin presented a live interpretation of her films, exploring criticism as an embodied emotional state. Pioneering performance artist Eleanor Antin made a rare London appearance, in an event which addressed concepts of the self. Artist and writer Joseph Grigely presented Blueberry Surprise, a play that focused on conversational exchange, from the mundane to the obscene. Park Nights culminated with Micachu, Brother May and Coby Sey, who collaborate as Curl, on 29 September.
PARK NIGHTS 2017
Friday 30 June, 8pm
Cinematographer and artist Arthur Jafa hosted an evening in response to his summer exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions.
Friday 14 July, 8pm. 930pm
Corbeaux is performed by ten women from Morocco and ten from London, brought together in a series of workshops. Forming geometric alchemical arrangements, the performers make piercing sounds and extraordinary cries in a stirring display of movement and sound. Presented in partnership with the Shubbak Festival 2017.
Friday 21 July, 8pm
Tamara Henderson’s Out of Body is a choreography for film, twenty-four frames per second. Costumed nomadic species move through character phases, embodying their pasts in the present, collectively pulsing a plot-twisting heartbeat.
Friday 18 Augst, 8pm
Black Quantum Futurism
Black Quantum Futurism (BQF) is an interdisciplinary collaboration exploring the intersections of futurism, creative media, DIY-aesthetics, and activism in marginalised communities. BQF focuses on developing practices and temporal technologies for survival in a high-tech world dominated by oppressive, fatalistic constructs of linear time.
Friday 25 August, 8pm
Shen Xin presented her film Provocation of the Nightingale #1, which involves a personal dialogue between a Buddhist teacher who is an immigrant in Korea and her student who manages a commercial DNA company. The screening, which was preceded by a performance, confronts how criticism can unfold through emotional states that are informed by socio-political structures.
Friday 15 September, 8pm
Eleanor Antin is the creator of the iconic photo postcard epic The Adventures of 100 BOOTS, the notorious conceptual sculpture CARVING, paper-doll film thriller The Nurse and the Hijackers, The King of Solana Beach, and The Last Days of Pompeii among other works. Antin read from three autobiographies, Conversations with Stalin, An Artist’s Life: Eleanora Antinova and Being Antinova, each authored by a different one of her selves.
Friday 22 September, 8pm
Artist and writer Joseph Grigely presented a play for three voices. Grigely, who is deaf, communicates with people who do not know sign language by asking them to write things down. These inscribed notes, collected over a period of ten years and edited into a new narrative, form the basis of Blueberry Surprise.
Friday 29 September, 8pm
Micachu, Brother May, Coby Sey, Mohammed, and chats
Micachu, Brother May and Coby Sey, who collaborate as Curl, appeared alongside operatic singer Mohammed and an installation by chats. Making use of the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion’s dynamic and unique space, all the acts performed new material written specifically for this show.