Art on the Underground: Canary Wharf Screen

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Art on the Underground to launch Canary Wharf Screen Seasonal artist moving-image programme to be screened at Canary Wharf Tube station Canary Wharf Screen is an innovative new motion picture screening programme that will launch at Canary Wharf Tube station in March 2012, initiated and presented by Art on the Underground. The year-long project will show some of the best artists’ moving image, chosen by four of the UK’s leading film organizations and institutions, including new digital commissions and rarely seen films from the last century.

Canary Wharf Screen will be presented on one of London’s largest projection screens, located in the vast ticket hall of Canary Wharf station. Designed by Sir Norman Foster and intended as the showpiece of the Jubilee Line extension programme, Canary Wharf is one of the busiest stations on the London Underground network. With over 40 million people per year using the station, Canary Wharf Screen has a potentially huge and diverse captive audience.

The inaugural 2012 series will be split into four seasons, programmed in collaboration with Film and Video Umbrella, Animate, LUX and British Film Institute (BFI) respectively. Canary Wharf Screen offers an insight into the UK’s leading filmmakers and film institutions whilst surveying the strength and vibrancy of London’s arts community through its artists, commissioners, distributors and programmers.

Film and Video Umbrella will curate the first season for Canary Wharf Screen from March to May 2012, presenting The City in the City, a series of films by Mark Lewis, Melanie Manchot, Dryden Goodwin and Suki Chan that have been commissioned by the organisation over the last decade. A new site-specific film commission, Hold Your Ground, 2011, by Karen Mirza and Brad Butler will also be premiered. The selected works explore how individuals navigate and occupy urban space. Within the environment of Canary Wharf station, surrounded by commuters, the programme considers the phenomenon of the crowd: as a fact of everyday existence, a source of collective identity and belonging and as a possible force and agent of change.

Steven Bode, Director, Film and Video Umbrella said, “We have reached back into our substantial back catalogue of artists’ moving-image commissions and have chosen pieces that we hope will resonate with this unique site, and its wider architectural and social context.”

Season 2, launching June 2012, will be programmed in collaboration with Animate Projects, the only arts organisation in the UK dedicated to championing experimental animation.

Gary Thomas, Director of Animate Projects, said “Animate is thrilled at the opportunity to present a ‘festival’ of dynamic, provocative and beautiful films from the Animate Collection, made by UK artists over the last 20 years. Canary Wharf is a uniquely stunning and surprising context, and we are sure that the films themselves will surprise and delight.”

For Season 3, LUX will present a series of new commissions from their Public Display series of works by UK-based artists, launching in September 2012. Public Display looks to comment and reflect on the ubiquity, authority and place of moving images in everyday life.

Season 4, launching in December 2012, will see the BFI open up their archive to showcase a rolling programme of films. Jane Giles, BFI’s Head of Content, said ‘The BFI is delighted to be part of the Canary Wharf Screen project for Art on the Underground, where we will be presenting films from the BFI National Archive including a selection of artists films about the year-cycle in nature.’

Tamsin Dillon, Head of Art on the Underground, said ‘Canary Wharf Screen is an exciting venture for Art on the Underground, adding an important new strand to its world-class programme. We are thrilled to be working with such eminent and influential partners in order to bring the very best artists films to our audience on the Tube.’

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