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World premiere of landmark work Survivor from Hofesh Shechter and Antony Gormley

  • Date: 9 January 2012
  • Area: London, South East
man hitting drum

Survivor, Hofesh Shechter and Antony Gormley, 2012. Credit: Tom Medwell

Two of the UK’s most exciting artists join forces to create an epic new masterpiece of music and visual arts, the latest commission from London regularly funded organisation Barbican.

Survivor is the new work from sculptor Antony Gormley and choreographer Hofesh Shechter, who have worked together for the first time to produce a daring collaboration that unveils Shechter's talents as composer.

The work premieres at the Barbican as its first show of the season on 12 January 2012. The Barbican will be transformed into an extraordinary multi-sensory landscape, calling to its stage a 30-person live band, 100 drummers, and a stunning visual backdrop created by Gormley.

Survivor is supported with a £95,000 Arts Council England Grants for the arts award, and by Outset Contemporary Art Fund. The work was produced by Arts Council regularly funded organisation Hofesh Shechter Company in collaboration with Barbican/Guildhall School Creative Learning.

Turner Prize winning Anthony Gormley is a British sculptor whose best known work is the iconic public sculpture Angel of the North in Gateshead. Hofesh Shechter is an internationally renowned choreographer whose dance company has been impressing audiences since 2003. Hofesh is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells and his company is Resident Company at Brighton Dome.

In their new commission, Gormley and Shechter grapple with rhythm, narrative and emotion in the search for continuity and the deconstruction of spectacle and present a timely, emotive piece.

Hofesh Shechter says: ‘In Antony, I have found a spirited partner with whom I can re-imagine the visual world where my music might exist. He’s a choreographer of space and emotion, and it’s thrilling to open up the cavernous space of the Barbican and to compose a score to the rhythm of his imagination.’

Antony Gormley says: ‘Hofesh is a master of time, especially percussive time. The urgency of his work strikes me as being significant for us now and seems to speak of our predicament of being controlled but desiring extension. We are grappling with being survivors in a world awash with information and events about which we have no control and little direct contact.’

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, South East, Arts Council England says: ‘This is exactly the sort of collaboration we hope to see being supported through our National Lottery-funded Grants for the arts scheme. Survivor shows Hofesh Shechter’s hunger to produce original work that touches a wide audience. The combination of Hofesh’s energy and Anthony’s reflective precision makes this an early 2012 highlight!’

Grants for the arts is Arts Council England’s open application funding programme. It invests National Lottery money to support activities that engage people in the arts and help artists and arts organisations with their work. For more information, go to: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-for-funding/grants-for-the-arts/

Survivor premieres on 12 January 2012 at the Barbican at 7.45pm, on until 14 January.

For more information, see: http://www.barbican.org.uk/music/event-detail.asp?ID=12883