I’m just back from Berlin where I met up with the composer and artist Chris Newman. Chris lives in Kreuzberg, still a working class district of the city and home to the largest population of Turks outside of Turkey. In other words, it has a number of cultural similarities with Spitalfields and London’s East End (as a working area, a home to immigrant communities etc). He lives on the 6th floor of an apartment block by one of the U-bahn (train) lines, so every minute or so there’s a sound as of a kettle coming to the boil and a slight quivering of the air, which turns out to be another train going past.
He’d mocked up his idea for the exhibition of his canvases and video works in his apartment, which is a huge help in planning how to install it at The Rag Factory. There’s no real substitute for experiencing a piece for understanding how to produce it for a different space and occasion. The aim will be to keep the whole event fluid, so the exhibition will seep into the performance space, and the audience will be able to move between the spaces during the performance.