The 2008 Park Nights included Friday night talks, performances, music, film screenings in the Pavilion and a 50ft open-air screening. It culminated with the Manifesto Marathon in October.
Park Nights was a programme of events that ran between July and October 2008 at the Serpentine Pavilion.
25th July – Pavilions & Practices
This evening discussion brought together a new generation of architects who had won international Pavilion commissions to explore both revolutionary ideas and the potential of simple, prosaic problems to yield exceptional architecture.
1st August – An Evening with John Gray and Hari Kunzru
John Gray is a prominent British philosopher and controversial author. Hari Kunzru was born in 1969 and lives in South East London. His first novel, The Impressionist, was the winner of the Betty Trask Prize 2002 and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Whitbread First Novel Award.
8th August – Steven Claydon, Lis Rhodes and Emily Wardill
London-based artists Steven Claydon, Lis Rhodes and Emily Wardill presented an evening of films, lectures and live actions. Life is a Dream, a melodrama by Emily Wardill with live music by the band Nøught, was followed by a screening of Dresden Dynamo by the experimental film-maker Lis Rhodes and Claydon’s performance, The Fictional Pixel.
15th August – 50 ft Open-Air Film Screening programmed by Richard Prince, Two-Lane Blacktop
This 1971 road movie, noted for its stark footage and minimal dialogue, depicts two speed freaks whose race through America’s southwest becomes a metaphor for their own lives.
16th August – 50 ft Open-Air Film, Bullitt
A screening of the classic 1968 thriller, starring Steve McQueen.
22nd August – Athanasios Argianas’ We All Turn This Way
We All Turn This Way was structured in three parts, with individual performances by artists Nick Laessing and Athanasios Argianas.
29th August – Pavilion Film Night programmed by Richard Prince, The Savage Eye
This drama takes the form of a story told using documentary material as an intrinsic part of the narrative. In this journey through the dark side of 1950s urban life, the camera follows Judith, a newly divorced woman looking for a fresh start.
5th September – Pavilion Film Night programmed by Richard Prince, A Place in the Sun
An adaptation of the Theodore Dreiser novel, this is an American tragedy whose anti-hero is the young up-and-comer George Eastman. While paying his dues at his uncle’s family business, Eastman becomes involved in a disastrous love triangle. George Stevens received numerous Academy Award nominations for both directing and producing A Place in the Sun. Accompanied by a series of short films.
12th September – Celine Condorelli and Simon Popper
London-based artists Celine Condorelli and Simon Popper presented an evening of entertainment that drew on the French composer and pianist Erik Satie’s concept of ‘furnishing music’.
26th September – Pavilion Film Night programmed by Peter Gidal
Peter Gidal, London-based experimental filmmaker and writer on aesthetics, programmed two films to mark the opening of the exhibition Gerhard Richter – 4900 Colours: Version II. The films were Nuit et Brouillard (Night And Fog) and Die Bleierne Zeit (The German Sisters).
10th October – Pavilion Night curated by Peter Gidal, Aleatory Colour: Perception / Memory / Material
Gidal chose a series of experimental films for ‘both their specificity and wondrous difference’. The title of the event, Aleatory Colour: Perception / Memory / Material, refers to the material meaning of film, to its absolute presence in the moment of viewing, and new memories triggered by each film-maker’s particular sense of beauty and meaning.
Saturday 18th October to Sunday 19th October – Manifesto Marathon
The Manifesto Marathon came at a time when artists had begun to work less in formal groups and defined artistic movements. It showcased a new generation of artists alongside practitioners from the worlds of literature, design, science, philosophy, music and film who were returning to the historical notion of the manifesto.