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Anonymous feminist group The Guerilla Girls photographed during a site visit at Somerset House in London in January 2020. The group will develop a major new commission – their largest ever public project in the UK – for free all-night contemporary art fes
Anonymous feminist group The Guerilla Girls photographed during a site visit at Somerset House in London in January 2020. Photograph: Cathy Buckmaster.

Art Night is launching an experimental online version of the London festival

Artists such as the Guerrilla Girls will share what they have in store for Art Night 2021


London’s art festival all-nighter Art Night is one of the best events around. Every year, it attracts huge crowds for unpredictable installations and participatory artworks that pop up all over the city, from exhibition rooms in Somerset House to Walthamstow Sainsbury’s car park. But the two best things about it – the sprawling number of venues, the big crowds – meant Art Night’s organisers were forced to postpone for 2020 to ensure public safety. 

But we don’t have to wait until 2021 to see what these 24-hour arty people have planned. On Saturday June 20, Art Night will release ten online works from artists involved in the now postponed programme. The artworks will form ‘Trailers’, a series of short video glimpses into what next year’s festival will look like. 

Feminist art group the Guerrilla Girls will be sharing a video of a work-in-progress called ‘The Male Graze’ and another discussing the Black Lives Matter movement. And choreographer Oona Doherty, (who you might recognise from this Jamie xx video) will give a preview of her theatrical installation ‘Lazarus Multiverse’. 

Philippine Nguyen, Art Night's co-founder, explained: ‘Our commissions are often site-specific and live – directly engaging audiences, which is harder to do from behind a screen. For ‘Trailers’, we're trying to replicate the Art Night experience as much as possible – for example, by including a menu to make at home while enjoying the artists’ online commissions. It’s very much an experimentation for us, and we’ll build on this to do more digital events where it feels right for the artists we work with. We are also really looking forward to showing work IRL, and will announce our official date for Art Night 2021 in the autumn.’

The virtual edition will be a mix of video, sound, text and performance, and materials you can download for keeps. And like the real-life Art Night, it’ll run right into the next day, sharing five hours worth of art from 7pm-12am BST. The most difficult part of Art Night is deciding which performance to commit to, so think of this as a way of plotting your route for the festival when it finally returns in 2021.

Art Night’s ‘Trailers’ will be released on Sat Jun 20 from 7pm-12am BST. Find out more here

Want to visit a gallery ASAP? A number of central London galleries are now open by appointment. 

Wondering when Tate Modern and other major museums and galleries will be back in business? Find out more here

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