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What We Do

Sarah Sze, Metronome

Commission/Exhibition for Artangel
£5,000 awarded

New York-based artist Sarah Sze’s immersive installation Metronome transformed a large Victorian waiting room at Peckham Rye Station that has lain empty for almost 50 years.

 

About the work

For the first time in over fifty years, The Waiting Room at Peckham was once again open to visitors. It was home to a major new installation by Sarah Sze, Metronome, commissioned by Artangel.

An atmospheric construction of cascading lines emerges from the centre of the vaulted waiting room to create a mesmerising model of a fragile world. A multitude of flickering videos illuminate the structure and swirl around the space, conveying the velocity and volatility of living in the age of the smartphone.

The writer Zadie Smith recently compared the experience of Sze’s installations as like being in an opened-up iPhone, with the technology taken apart and the image bank it stores exploded into three-dimensional space. Tactile and imagined experience, momentous and incidental events are held in a precarious equilibrium in Sze’s immersive installation.

Sarah Sze, The Waiting Room is on display at Peckham Rye Station, from 19 May until 17 September 2023. Find out more at artangel.org.uk.

“Locating yourself in time and space is incredibly complex right now now… I think sculpture has to address this volatility of place, because amidst the travelling through time, space and information that has become so facile, sculpture can cultivate what sculpture can do like nothing else; cultivate the value of a concrete experience in space, in real time… grounded in the physical experience of the world and play with things such as space, touch, location, intimacy and memory.”

Sarah Sze

Sarah Sze in her studio. Photo: Deborah Feingold.

About the artist

Since her first exhibitions in the late 1990s, New-York based artist Sarah Sze has developed a distinctive sculptural language that challenges the static nature of sculpture and immerses audiences into complex, constantly changing environments.

Sze studied architecture, began working as an artist by making paintings, and then developed an immersive sculptural practice. Bringing together fragile structures, found objects and video footage into large-scale immersive installations, she models a complex world marked by the ceaseless proliferation of information and the flux of everyday life, and the precarious ecology of the planet.

Sze represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 2013. Notable recent exhibitions include Centrifuge, a major commission by Haus der Kunst, Munich in 2018 and De nuit en jour at the Fondation Cartier, Paris in 2021. Her work is held in the permanent collections of prominent institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Fondation Cartier, Paris; and Tate Gallery, London.

This latest commission was her first major solo presentation in the UK outside of a commercial gallery since 1998. It is due to tour to OGR Torino in November before opening at ARoS Aarhus Art Museum in Denmark next spring.

Video courtesy Artangel.