Uniqlo and London’s riverside cultural monolith Tate Modern are due to celebrate the first anniversary of their wildly successful Uniqlo Tate Lates programme. The collaboration has, in the last 12 months, brought in excess of 115,000 visitors, 75% of which were aged 18-35, to the Tate at Bankside to watch and hear DJs and live musicians and attend workshops and exhibitions.
To celebrate the first birthday, for October’s Uniqlo Tate Lates event, Uniqlo has brought together Mount Kimbie with visual artist Adham Faramawy to create a performance for video featuring body-popping dancer Kaner Flex. The film will be projected in the Tanks and accompanied by a live performance by Mount Kimbie in the lead up to their sold out Roundhouse show.
“London was the first place that Uniqlo opened a store outside of Japan and the art, culture and fashion of the city continue to inspire us today,” says Uniqlo’s brand manager Ben Cook. "We were really excited to work with NTS and Tate Modern to bring these artists together to produce something truly unique. The last year of Uniqlo Tate Lates have been fantastic and we’re looking forward to another two years of events at Tate Modern and at our flagship store, 311 Oxford Street.
It’s Nice That caught up with Adam and electronic duo Mount Kimbie to hear what the trio have got in store for the audience at Tate’s tanks on Friday.
Tell us how the film came about.
I got an email from Isabella Maidment at Tate asking if I’d be interested in doing a collaborative piece with Mount Kimbie to mark the celebration of Uniqlo Tate Lates. I enjoy Mount Kimbie’s music and I’d been looking for a reason to work with Kaner Flex, so I said yes!
What’s your relationship with Mount Kimbie? Is this the first time you have worked together?
This is the first time I’ve worked with Mount Kimbie and it’s been fun. Kai and I have been sending clips of audio and video back and forth, developing the piece concurrently but remotely because they’ve been in Japan.
Why did you decide to focus on Kaner? How did you come across him to begin with?
I’ve been excited by Kaner’s performances for some time, I’ve been looking for a reason to get in touch and work together. I saw an Insta story of him bone breaking with two dancer friends of mine and I got hooked.
How did the architecture of Tate’s subterranean Tanks space shape the piece?
I love the Tanks and I’m excited the video is being projected in the space accompanying Mount Kimbie’s performance but the architecture that has more directly influenced this video are the social housing around my studio in Stratford and how they produce a sense of space and scale. They have a quality that’s innately London.
Finally how does the film build on your existing body of work?
Most of my moving image work takes the form of performance for camera, sometimes working with sound producers on the audio, but more often working on it myself. Working with Kaner is exiting because he’s near impossible for me to choreograph for, but he has an amazing ability to improvise and respond to the most abstract sounds, marking and tracing space. He’s incredible to watch, me and the camera crew were astounded by his ability. I’m really exited to share the video.
Where did the idea of working to work with Adham come from?
The film came about through our relationship with NTS who we love and are over the moon to be working with on this cool project. In the past we’ve had two monthly radio residencies with them, among numerous other collaborations. This is the first time I’ve worked with Adham – we met and spoke about his desire to work with Kaner and started talking about different themes and things that relate to both the visual side and the music to find a crossover point. The different creative fields are all coming from the same place so it’s just about translating ideas and taking it for a walk.
How will the architecture of the Tanks shape your performance?
The tanks are very interesting visually and sonically. Spaces designed specifically for concerts can sometimes feel a bit sterile and it certainly won’t be that.
What excites you most about October’s Uniqlo Tate Lates event?
It’s great to open up the Tate, one of our finest public buildings, to other types of performance. It’s important that the events are free and bring people together. Looking forward to trying something new and having a good time!
Uniqlo have offered the chance for two It’s Nice That that readers to attend the performance this Friday. To enter, click here.
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