Online and in person

Art Night 2021

Nothing Compares 2 U

18 Jun - 18 Jul 2021
Online + Nationwide

Somerset House partners with Art Night for its fifth edition, taking place in locations nationwide and online. 

For the first time unfolding across the month, the programme includes projects commissioned by Art Night and Somerset House from Studios residents Sonya Dyer, Imran Perretta & Paul Purgas, Philomène Pirecki and OOMK.

The 2021 festival, curated by Helen Nisbet, is titled Nothing Compares 2 U after the song written by Prince and famously performed by Sinead O’ Connor. This lyric acts as a frame for the programme, not asking artists to respond or fit within it, but instead to use it as a reference point.  In this case, the reference refers most specifically to a performance by O’ Connor on The Late Late Show in 2019 - visibly older than in her iconic 1990 music video, wearing a hijab and carrying the scars of a career tarnished with controversy and conjecture, at the end of the performance O’ Connor looks directly into the camera and gives a little wave. This quiet moment of self-determination and defiance is the essence of the 2021 programme. 

Art Night 2021 will take place in locations across the United Kingdom for the first time. Transforming iconic and unexpected public spaces, this year’s edition spans Scotland, England and Wales, and even further digitally, allowing you the opportunity to access commissions, performances and interventions in rural locales, towns and cities as well as from home. 

The Art Night 2021 artists are: Alberta Whittle, Isabel Lewis, Oona Doherty, Adham Faramawy, Guerrilla Girls, Mark Leckey, Sonya Dyer, Imran Perretta & Paul Purgas, Philomène Pirecki and OOMK.

Curated by Helen Nisbet.

About Art Night

Art Night was set up in 2015 by Philippine Nguyen and Ksenia Zemtsova. The original four festivals took place in partnership with art organisations in different parts of London and were curated by leading UK based curators - The ICA and Kathy Noble (2015); Whitechapel Gallery and Fatos Uztek (2016); Hayward Gallery and Ralph Rugoff (2017`). In 2019, Art Night appointed Helen Nisbet as Artistic Director and the festival took place in the outer London borough of Waltham Forest to coincide with the Mayor of London’s first Borough of Culture. Art Night invites artists to make ambitious, durational and performative work for non-traditional public spaces. Previous artists making major new commissions for the festival include Barbara Kruger; Joan Jonas; Zadie Xa; Cecile B Evans; Linder; Celia Hempton; Christine Sun Kim; Frances Stark and Anne Hardy.

Sonya Dyer, Imran Perretta & Paul Purgas, Philomène Pirecki and OOMK are co-commissions by Art Night and Somerset House, with support from the Adonyeva Foundation.

The Guerrilla Girls' The Male Graze is developed with the support of Somerset House and the Adonyeva Foundation.