You never know where Art Night will take you. One minute you’re watching a ‘site-specific’ performance art piece in a fish shop, next you’re having your eardrums rattled by drum ’n’ bass in Sainsbury’s rooftop car park. The only thing you can plan for at the annual multi-event, city-wide festival of art is that you’ll be up VERY late. The whole point of Art Night is that weird art appears in weird places ALL NIGHT LONG. But for 2021, they’re stretching things even further. As we reported in November, the next instalment will be a month-long festival, and will branch out beyond London to ten other locations around the UK, including the Isle of Skye, Cambridge and Abergavenny from June 18 to July 18 2021.
Art Night normally crams a whole lot into 24 hours, but the 2021 version will give the commissions a chance to breathe. One of the biggest projects on the bill is from Guerrilla Girls, an anonymous feminist art collective that formed in 1985 and is famous for calling out art-world hypocrisy on eye-catching posters. With ‘The Male Graze’ project, the Guerrilla Girls will be putting up billboards across the UK (including London) that explore ‘bad male behaviour, both historic and the present day’.
Other Art Night artists for 2021 are Alberta Whittle, Isabel Lewis, Oona Doherty, Adham Faramawy, Mark Leckey, Sonya Dyer, Imran Peretta & Paul Purgas, and Philomène Pirecki. Regardless of phases and roadmaps of lockdowns, this is one festival that’s very likely to go ahead, considering it will all be taking place outdoors (and, as an important sidenote: it’s all FREE).
It wouldn’t be an art festival without a loose, overarching title and this year’s is ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, as in the Sinéad O’Connor song which, as people will fall over themselves to tell you even though you probably already knew, was actually written by Prince. Apparently, the song is not so much a theme, as a ‘reference point or way of setting the tone’. So lots of art, and lots of staring into the distance and crying. Got it.
Find the full details for Art Night 2021 here.
Want to go see art right now, before the galleries reopen? Check out London’s best public sculptures.
...Or check out some cool French painters in a West End shop window.