Station To Station is the colossal project, curated by artist Doug Aitken, which has been hosted by the Barbican Centre over the last month. The 30 day project works as an ever changing tapestry of Contemporary art and culture with constantly rolling events and happenings in which no two days are the same.
Aitken has amalgamated some of the most interesting figures in art, music, film and design to form this flurry of creativity. The two gallery spaces have been transformed to accommodate all stages of the creative process with performances, rehearsals, recordings and talks all happening in harmonious synchronicity.
The program offers a wealth of creative talent with sections being sub-curated by the likes of Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller and Mike Figis with a strong focus on music, musical performance and the processes involved in preparation for these events. The Vinyl Factory, who seem to have an audiovisual stake in every interesting project happening in London at the moment, have set up a recording studio/rehearsal space/vinyl pressing plant to develop and document the musical prowess with bands, labels and artists getting the opportunity to become an integral part of the machine that is Station To Station.
Bo Ningen are a Japanese born, London formed, four piece, Psychedelic, punk band who’s four day residency kicked off last night with a frenzied audiovisual triptych in collaboration with artists Fritz Stolberg, Nissa Nishikawa and Noriko Okaku.
Since forming in 2006 the band have had large interest from the art world and have collaborated with such notable artists as Tim Noble and Sue Webster as well as Yoko Ono and have amassed a dedicated underground following. The four days leading to the 24th of july will be spent working on a new piece on the Moog SoundLab which will culminate in a recording session and the eventual pressing of the recording.
The initial performance saw Bo Ningen commence proceedings with an engrossing, semi improvised soundscape to accompany Nissa Nishikawa and Einer Von Vielen’s haunting visuals. The black and white hallucinatory imagery wove a somber, Hammer Horror esque web with a wealth of nods of the cap to Kenneth Anger. The contorting movements of the band and the wraith like appearance of Lead singer Taigen Kawabe concocted a creepily moving blend of seventies, kitsch cinematic satanism entangled in yards of jet black hair.
The second part of the performance was a short interlude in which drummer Akihide Monna colluded with Noriko Okaku to guide his projected sound reactive live visuals, which engulfed the room with a disorientating rush of animation.
After the interlude the band exploded into a more recognisable musical incarnation – summoning the energy and charisma of early Sabbath with the hard Eastern, prog rock style of Traveling Flower Band; Bo Ningen writhed and vaulted their way through another 45 minutes of blissfully executed compositions. The inspiring amount of energy and passion exuding from the band paired with the beautifully accomplished visuals from Austin Meredith made it a truly captivating experience.
Bo Ningen will be in the Station To Station space until Friday The 24th of July and Station To Station runs until Sunday the 26th with a whole bunch of exciting stuff yet to come. All other info can be found HERE.