IFO (Identified Flying Object) will light up the sky by night and come to rest on the ground by day as part of RELAY, an art programme that is being created for the King’s Cross redevelopment.
Anglo-French curating partnership Michael Pinskyand Stéphanie Delcroix have been selected to coordinate the first three years of a nine-year arts programme that is set to turn the King’s Cross area into a destination for discovering international contemporary art. RELAY, the programme’s title, is inspired by: the carrying and preserving of the Olympic flame; King’s Cross as an international transport hub and a place in transition; the notion of the human chain – the transfer passengers at King’s Cross make from one means of transport to another – and the phasing of the development scheme.
The first RELAY installation, IFO, is by French artist and architect Jacques Rival. The bars of IFO’s 9m high, dome-shaped cage are wide enough apart to walk through, so visitors during the day can enter the cage and sit on the swing at its centre, enjoying the surroundings from this unusual vantage point. By night, the bars of the cage will be illuminated in a brilliant array of colours and once a month the whole artwork will be hoisted up into the air by the biggest crane on the site.
“Jacques Rival’s response to King’s Cross is both poetic and pertinent”, say Pinsky and Delcroix. “This nomadic sculpture follows the flux and flow of this new district which is evolving day by day. Over the coming months IFO will be found over coffee kiosks, amidst the construction sites, on buildings and, of course, in the sky. Its structure will host seminars, cafes, gardens and performances”.
The area already has a rich tradition of artistic activity and is a hub for art lovers, with Kings Place on the doorstep and 5,000 staff and students from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, part of the University of Arts London, now based in King’s Cross.
RELAY is King’s Cross first dedicated art programme.
Inspired by the transformation of the area, RELAY draws on King’s Cross long-standing role as a transport interchange, the progressive opening of the development scheme, and the human chain involved in carrying out collective efforts.
Through its programme, RELAY will highlight the area’s special connections to continental Europe and to its more immediate surroundings. RELAY will explore how these two dimensions contribute to, and challenge, its constantly evolving identity.
During 2012 and 2013, RELAY will feature major temporary art commissions including Felice Varini, Richard Wentworth and Marjetica Potrc (SJ). The artworks will gradually appear in King's Cross, highlighting each part of the emerging cityscape.