Ron Arad’s Curtain Call returns to the Roundhouse

Ron Arad's Curtain Call 2016 at the Roundhouse, running from 6th-29th August, 2016
Photograph by Da

Ron Arad's Curtain Call 2016 at the Roundhouse, running from 6th-29th August, 2016 Photograph by David Levene London 8/8/16 - Credit: David Levene

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When the London riots took place in 2011, Ron Arad spent the evening locked in Camden’s Roundhouse at the opening of his installation Curtain Call.

Five years later Curtain Call has returned again to the venue to celebrate its 50th birthday.

“It’s excellent to be back at the Roundhouse because it is a venue that is so obviously doing something right,” says Arad.

“Even on the night of the riots, that was the case. We were looking at the mobile phones and all of the rioters outside were tweeting each other not to touch The Roundhouse. And they didn’t.”

Consisting of 5,600 silicon rods suspended from a ring with a diameter of 18 metres, Curtain Call is a 360 degree installation which works as a canvas for invited artists to “claim”.

“We did work with other artists, but I created the canvas and the thing itself is my installation,” he says. “I then invited other artists to claim it, using it to show their work and it was very easy to get them on board.”

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With a number of the original 2011 artists returning, new artists for 2016 include Kutiman, Universal Everything and Marshmallow Laser Feast meaning that there is something new – even for those that saw the original installation five years ago.

In fact, the audience response to the initial installation was overwhelming thst the decision to bring it back was made following popular demand from the public to see it again. This makes it the first piece of work that has been exhibited at the venue more than once.

“I’ve just come back from the Roundhouse having had a chat with Marcus Davey, the artistic director. He said they have had so many requests to bring it back.”

So what is it about Curtain Call that excites so many people?

According to Arad, the installation’s appeal stems from the concept that audiences are given complete free reign over how they interact with the work.

“There’s no instructions of how to use it or enjoy it. You aren’t told what to do.

“That’s not something people are used to. It is not a traditional case of buying a ticket, taking a seat, lights off and then the performance starting. In this sense, it is completely free. You can enjoy it almost any way you want.”

Ron Arad’s Curtain Call runs at the Roundhouse until August 29.