17 August 2011
An on-demand book documenting the celebrated Auditorium project, co-commissioned by Photoworks, Glyndebourne Opera House and De La Warr Pavilion.
Artist, Sophy Rickett, and composer, Ed Hughes, were each invited to create work in direct response to the architecture of Glyndebourne Opera House.
Sophy Rickett’s film pays particular attention to the mechanics of staging and lighting, stripping Glyndebourne back to its architectural and theatrical core. Simple, slow and monumental movements transform the building into light and shadow, whilst Ed Hughes’ soaring score overlays dimensions of musical space and colour.
Including an introduction and foreword by Professor David Chandler, an insightful essay by Professor Nicholas Till and interviews with the commissioned artists, this publication examines Auditorium, its collaborative production and accompanying education project Photo-Operative.
Commissioning new work has been at the heart of Photoworks’ approach and its identity as an organization for nearly fifteen years. We believe a collaborative way of working considerably enriches each aspect of the commissioning process. This book documents and reflects on a project that amply demonstrated that collaborative spirit. It reinforced for us the importance of process as an end in itself, something to be considered as part of the success and legacy of a project.
Auditorium presents an unprecedented impression of Glyndebourne opera house as a pared down, even minimal architectural and mechanical space. It becomes a machine geared to the production of operatic performance, yet one that has its own life, its own structures, rhythms, echoes and shadow plays.
The film is a compelling blend of photography, film and music, and it is a dialogue between those art forms, an exchange, that reflects Rickett and Hughes’s mutual interest in modernism. At the same time, it mirrors the relationship between Photoworks and Glyndebourne and their different areas of work. While the film conjures fantastical visions, it also reveals things true to the building and the place it responds to that are not immediately apparent. On the one hand an unlikely material reality that is industrial in character, and on the other, something more intangible, but no less real, the sense of mystery to be felt in the creating of illusion, and in the unfolding of history from past into present, embodied in Michael Hopkins and Partners’ deeply sympathetic design for the new Opera House opened in 1994.