COS x Serpentine Park Nights 2019, the Serpentine Galleries’ annual series of experimental, interdisciplinary commissions in the Serpentine Pavilion, presented eight new works by international practitioners in the fields of art, music, poetry, theatre, augmented reality and fashion.
From 5 July – 4 October, Park Nights presented eight evenings of new work commissioned by the Serpentine from international artists and practitioners, each responding to the Serpentine Pavilion and Junya Ishigami’s contemplative design.
COS x Serpentine Park Nights 2019 began in July with Precious Okoyomon, an artist and writer whose practice encompasses poetry and performance and examines a history of the criminalisation and racialisation of light, darkness and the sun. Jakob Kudsk Steensen is an artist concerned with how imagination, technology and ecology intertwine. His works range from immersive VR ecosystems to mixed reality installations bridging physical and digital worlds that invite audiences to enter new ecological realities. Shawanda Corbett’s interdisciplinary practice addresses the question of what is a complete body, looking at the different cycles of a human’s life through cyborg theory. Corbett’s performances incorporate her ceramics practice, where the human body, architecture and dance leave their traces on her pottery vessels and surfaces. Kiko Kostadinov is a menswear designer whose work is driven by innovative pattern cutting, attention to detail and intricate garment construction, aiming to challenge and contribute to contemporary menswear aesthetics.
Park Nights 2019 continued into September with composer and playwright Klein, an artist whose neoteric vision has seen her quickly become one of the UK’s most intriguing producers and performers. Using collagist techniques, Klein assembles recordings of her own vocals and instrumentation into unique soundscapes. 1010 Benja SL’s extraordinary voice, songwriting capabilities and seemingly free-associative writing are paired with a unique production technique that mark him as one of the most exciting artists and musicians to discover. Pioneering artist Cecilia Vicuña has been creating precarious works and Quipus since the mid-1960s, as a way of 'hearing an ancient silence waiting to be heard'. A poet, artist, filmmaker and activist, her work addresses some of the pressing concerns of the modern world, including ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenisation. Finally, pioneering artist Carrie Mae Weems has investigated family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems and the consequences of power in a career that spans over thirty years.
Fridays, 8pm (unless otherwise noted)
Serpentine Pavilion 2019
Friday 5 July
Precious Okoyomon, The End of the World
Poet and artist Precious Okoyomon presented a new play The End of the World, a spectral-performance that asks the viewer to consider the visceral experience of anti-blackness as an errant and pathological virus and the double articulation of lightness and darkness, haunted inexorably by their racialisation.
Friday 12 July
Jakob Kudsk Steensen, The Deep Listener
Artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen created a sonic and immersive environment for The Deep Listener, the inaugural Serpentine Augmented Architecture commission that explores themes of extinction, preservation and the emergence of new ecological realities.
Friday 26 July
Shawanda Corbett, Blackbird in Mississippi
Artist Shawanda Corbett presentded Blackbird in Mississippi, a performance in which the protagonist, haar wese, time travels to Mississippi where music offers her a voice in her quest to find placement in displacement.
Friday 16 August
Kiko Kostadinov / vanillajellaba
Menswear designer Kiko Kostadinov presented an evening in collaboration with vanillajellaba, a London anonymous collective developed around the translation of everyday consumerism and ordinary occurrences through a distorted lens.
Friday 6 September
Klein presented Lifetime, a multisensory performance exploring the fragility of one's culture through memory and loss using this performance as tool of preservation. Featuring original music written and performed by Klein and wearable technology devised by Carolin Schnurrer.
Friday 20 September
1010 Benja SL, KINDLIG
Artist and musician 1010 Benja SL performed KINDLIG, a project with a mysterious musical composition, presented in collaboration with Young Turks.
Friday 27 September
Cecilia Vicuña, Clit Nest
Pioneering artist Cecilia Vicuña presented Clit Nest, a participatory and poetic performance that reimagines the Serpentine Pavilion’s roof as a connector to the cosmos and its cave-like interior as a womb.
Friday 4 October
Carrie Mae Weems
With a practice that encompasses photography, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, video and performance, Carrie Mae Weems has sustained an on-going dialogue with contemporary discourse, increasingly broadening her view to include global struggles for equality and justice.
COS x Serpentine Park Nights 2019 was curated by Claude Adjil, Curator at Large and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director with Kostas Stasinopoulos, Assistant Curator and Holly Shuttleworth, Producer, Live Programmes.