Somerset House Studios

ASSEMBLY: Christian Marclay ~>

03 Feb 2020

Pedestrians, traffic, roadworks, protest; the corner of Somerset House where Waterloo Bridge meets Embankment is a hive of often unpredictable activity and noise. Acknowledging and working with this to define a compositional framework, Somrset House Studios artist Christian Marclay invited a series of guests to collaborate for ASSEMBLY bringing the outdoors inside for an evolving series of electro-acoustic performances. Watch the film below and delve deep into the sounds of Beatrice Dillon, Lawrence Lek and Karen Gwyer, with an exclusive series of podcasts recorded at this year's ASSEMBLY. ~>

ASSEMBLY: Christian Marclay



Artist and producer Beatrice Dillon’s new piece for ASSEMBLYinfraordinary, combines installation and performance, in which specially composed sounds are triggered using the system’s Kinect camera, alongside a live controlled sound mix of the street. Inspired by writer Georges Perec’s concept of the ‘infra-ordinary’ - taking account of the micro events of the everyday - the performance attempts to examine and reframe the rhythmic patterns of the street outside.


Studios resident Lawrence Lek is an artist, filmmaker and musician whose virtual worlds and animated films create alternate versions of real places. For ASSEMBLY he invited collaborators Seth Scott and Robin Simpson to present a site-specific simulation that acts as an uncanny virtual and sonic double of the performance space. Their performance, Doom, reflects the atmosphere during the Extinction Rebellion protests when Waterloo Bridge – which the Lancaster Rooms overlook – was closed to traffic and filled with warning signs of the coming apocalypse.

#3 Karen Gwyer 

For ASSEMBLY, Karen Gwyer approached the street noises as drums. Building over the course of the performance, Karen will use and process the ambient sounds to create a multilayer, polyrhythmic piece created from the more punchy and identifiable sounds as well as distorting the general hum. The mood and intensity will shift as the performance progresses. On top of the rhythmic street sounds, layers of synths will build to create a moving yet sobering composition that draws on Karen’s own emotions around her 12 years as a Londoner, both the pain and relief of leaving, and the conflict of looking at it now from afar.

Christian Marclay’s ambitious and accomplished practice explores the juxtaposition between sound, photography, video and sculpture. His installations display provocative musical and visual landscapes and have been included in exhibitions around the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou Paris and Kunsthaus Zurich. More recently, he exhibited The Clock at the Tate Modern (debuted at White Cube in 2010) – an artwork created from thousands of edited fragments, from a vast range of films to create a 24-hour, single-channel video.

ASSEMBLY is supported by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund, The Adonyeva Foundation and the John. S Cohen Foundation.

Search Somerset House Studios on your favourite podcast app to explore further audio explorations from the Studios resident artists.