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Barbican announces an open call for artists asking “What’s going on here, then?”


The Barbican has announced an open call for artists, collectives and designers across all disciplines to create a projected artwork that responds to the brief: “What’s going on here, then?” The commission will be installed in the iconic building’s foyer and there is a £2,500 fee for successful applicants. The initiative, part of a five-year partnership with audio visual company Christie, will see the works installed in the public areas of the complex from January – May 2017.

Applications are now open and will be judged by a panel consisting of Freire Barnes, art & design editor at Culture Trip; artist Zarah Hussain; Alona Pardo, associate curator at the Barbican and James Belso of Christie. The deadline is 4 January 2017 at 12pm.

Currently in the foyer space is Numina by Zarah Hussain, a vast hexagonal grid illuminated with projection mapped geometric patterns that draw on traditional Islamic art. The installation utilises Christie technology and hints at what future commissions could be.

Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director of the Barbican said, “We’re delighted to be announcing this new partnership with Christie today. Christie’s cutting edge hardware and software will help animate the public spaces of our iconic building and help us to deliver outstanding art in the foyers for free. Our foyers have already housed innovative light sculptures, digital installations and audio journeys by both emerging and established artists. We’re extremely excited to now be launching an open call and look forward to receiving bold, dynamic and imaginative submissions.”

Find out more about the open call out here.


Zarah Hussain: Numina


Zarah Hussain: Numina