Saturday, 3 September 2011

The starting point is simple. The result anything but. An imaginary line is drawn between Lahore Central Station in Pakistan and Liverpool Street Station in London. Ten arts practitioners from each country are commissioned to make new work responding to the urban landscape they encounter along the first mile of each end of the line. Slice, an interactive video installation at Rich Mix, shows the culmination of the project so far. 


By moving an arrow along a map of each city, you select which artist's video to watch according to its location on the line. All engage with a particular urban site but, unsurprisingly since the participating artists include performers, animators, a ballet dancer, a storyteller and a grime mc, the works vary massively, giving the exhibition an exciting, sprawling, collage-like feel. 

In Lahore, Asif Kanji recreates the sensory experience of moving through the tunnels around the city's central station. At a community centre in Whitechapel, performance poet Shamim Azad runs storytelling workshops with parents, while over in E1,  TBC Artists' Collective, inspired by dance theorist Rudolf Von Laban and novelist Italo Calvino, use just their bodies and a single red line to perform Khoros, a physical mapping of Catherine Wheel Alley. 

TBC Artists Collective - Khoros (2011)

But it's the cross-cultural collaborations  - such as the street art stencil by Nida Bangash and Steve Rosenthal, linking two trees in London and Lahore, and the soundscape by Kashif Mohsin and Matthias Kispert - which resonate most. This is not video art: many of these films are documents of work in progress. Watching them you wonder how the project will develop from here and what real artistic lines of connection between these two cities will come to replace the imagined one which kicked the whole thing off.

Slice: London - Lahore runs from 1-22 September 2011, 9am-6pm each day at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA. Admission is free. 

Watch the videos online at

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