Artists respond to Benjamin Britten centenary at Aldeburgh Festival

By Culture24 Reporter | 12 June 2013

From Cerith Wyn Evans and Maggi Hambling to Sarah Lucas and Ryan Gander, 16 artists have responded to the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth at this year's Aldeburgh Festival, which the composer founded in 1948. Here are a few of them...

A photo of a sign holding up glowing neon numbers against a dark background
Cerith Wyn Evans, 340.29m/s (The Speed of Sound [approx.] at Sea Level) (2013). White neon; poster: printed matter© Ben Westoby, courtesy White Cube Gallery
A radio station local to Snape has been instructed by Cerith to transmit a Britten work, The Spacious Firmament on High. Documentary evidence of the transmission will be printed. A neon sign depicting the speed at which sound travels at sea level is also being shown in the main concert hall.

A photo of a country road with signs around it
Emily Richardson, Rising 5th (Re-staging of a test for an unrealised memorial to Benjamin Britten) (2013). Video, audio and paper leaflet© Emily Richardson
The film relates to the story of the architect HT 'Jim' Cadbury-Brown’s proposed memorial to Benjamin Britten on Aldeburgh Beach, recreating a sound experiment. A related sound installation will be sited at the Aldeburgh Beach South Lookout.

A photo of a man in pink trousers holding up a circle made of white blocks in a field
Mark Fuller, Milk and Music (Sally In Our Alley) (2013). Filmed performance, sculptural elements: steel, rope, milk cartons, fish tins and milk© Mark Fuller. Photo: Chloe Fuller
In collaboration with Sarah Lucas, the performance Fuller has in store on the Hepworth Lawn is accompanied by the soundtrack of the Britten folksong, Sally In Our Alley. The next performance will take place on Saturday June 22. The props are in situ for the duration of the exhibition.

A photo of a billboard showing a man on the site of a large house in the countryside
Juergen Teller, William Eggleston Listening to Tchaikovsky, Memphis (2010). Pasted paper on billboard© Juergen Teller. Photo: Owain Thomas, courtesy Aldeburgh Music
Situated outdoors on an external wall, the Concert Hall becomes a pertinent location for a figure enraptured by the music he is hearing - but that we are not.

A photo of two white curved sculptures on white grass overlooking corn fields
Sarah Lucas, Big Marrow BB, Big Marrow PP (2006). White cast concrete© Sarah Lucas. Photo: Owain Thomas, courtesy Aldeburgh Music
These two large phallic casts are positioned among the existing stored materials and machinery within a derelict space at the Maltings. Two large concrete marrows are also on the Hepworth Lawn.

A photo of a gold sign saying no admittance at the entrance to a brown brick building
Ryan Gander, Encompassed by one telling (2013)© Ryan Gander. Photo: Jason Manning, courtesy Aldeburgh Music
These painted portraits of Benjamin Britten holding his conductor’s baton are discarded, with the palettes used to create displayed on the wall instead. Abstract portraits of the composer, the palettes are circles of mirrored glass, 40cm in diameter, hung as an installation in the main concert hall foyer.

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