The bloody French, they’ve got it all. Style, a handsome president, words like ‘pamplemousse’ and ‘saperlipopette’, berets and an all-night art festival called Nuit Blanche. We can’t compete on most of those fronts, but when it comes to the last one, we’ve got a fighter: Art Night, London’s answer to Nuit Blanche, is a free all-night art party on Saturday July 1 that this year (for its second edition) is taking over loads of venues in east London. There’s performance art, guided meditation, live music and video installations, and most of it goes on until 4am in some amazing venues. Smash a ProPlus, you won’t want to miss a minute.
An artsy club night
Alva Noto (aka artist Carsten Nicolai) is curating a night of DJ sets at Village Underground from the likes of Mira Calix and Paul Purgas, all artists who also work with sound. This one is ticketed (£15 through Resident Advisor), but there’ll be some on the door too.
Alva Noto x Boiler Room, Village Underground.
An installation in an old builders merchants
Anne Hardy’s creating a totally overwhelming environment made up of sound recorded in the local area for her installation here. Metal clanging, concrete banging, all coupled with objects and light – a big symphony of noise and colour is what she’s got planned, and it sounds great.
Anne Hardy, Nicholls & Clarke Showrooms.
High jinks in a house and creepiness in an old warehouse
Brothers grim Jake and Dinos Chapman have replaced paintings in the fantastically historic Dennis Severs’ House with their own gory work, making for some worryingly unsettling interventions. Then over in the Docklands, they’ve taken over a super-old warehouse with a film, live music and eyeless mannequins. Two Chapman installations for the price of one. And it’s free. Bargain.
Jake and Dinos Chapman, Pennington Street Warehouse and Dennis Severs’ House.
Dance party in the square
There’s no point staying up til 4am if you’re not going to dance. Melanie Manchot has organised a whole night of rump-shaking, with silent disco headphones and dancers from ten different London dance schools leading the way. It’ll climax with mass dance lessons in Exchange Square. It’s literally the most Time Out thing on earth.
Melanie Manchot, Exchange Square.
A trippy video in a church
Do Ho Suh created one of our favourite exhibitions of the year with his long corridor of netting at Victoria Miro a few months back. For Art Night, he’s showing a video that sends the viewer streaming through endless rooms and corridors from places that he’s lived and worked in all over the world as if they were all part of one big connected building.
Do Ho Suh, Christ Church Spitalfields.
Video art in a masonic temple
Legendary occultist and mega-weirdo Aleister Crowley is the inspiration for Lindsay Seers’s ultra-spooky installation in this Masonic Temple. There’ll be intense, freaky narrated videos combined with unannounced live performances throughout the evening, so go late, and expect to be seriously and massively creeped out.
Lindsay Seers, Masonic Temple, Andaz London.
A mural on an estate and a banner in a window
The banner hanging in the window of The Cass was made by Güneş Terkol alongside residents of the nearby Middlesex Street Estate; it’s a visual representation of their lives and ambitions in a neighbourhood constantly being mangled by gentrification. A mural on the estate itself will be unveiled on the night too.
Güneş Terkol, The Cass and Middlesex Street Estate.
Virtual reality in an office
Strap on the VR headsets in Lawrence Lek’s installation and you become an employee of a fictional tech start-up where the aim is to actually do no work. Dream job or dystopian employment hell? Don’t worry, it’s not real, it’s art.
Lawrence Lek, The White Chapel Building.
Noisy sound art in a gallery
Drew’s summer-long multimedia installation at the Whitechapel is the venue for a night of improvised sound – he’ll be collaborating with various electronic and classical musicians to create a meditative sonic experience.
Benedict Drew, Whitechapel Art Gallery.
A bar on a dock
Charles Avery creates a whole mythical world called The Island through his work. Here, he’s bringing sculpture, drawing, performance and a real cocktail bar (a recreation of the Islanders’ favourite drinking hole) to St Katherine Docks. Come for the surreal fictional art, stay for the egg-based beverages.
Charles Avery, St Katherine Docks.
Meditation in the Bascule Chamber
We just Googled ‘bascule’ and it turns out it means ‘bridge that opens funny’. Ian Whittlesea will be leading immersive meditation sessions in Tower Bridge’s chamber. It’s free, but you’ve got to book. Zen takes planning.
Ian Whittlesea, Tower Bridge.
And loads of other stuff
There’s a whole associate programme with more events than we could possibly write about. Get all the info, including maps and a full guide to the massive associate program, by clicking HERE.