The Shed, a wildly futurist forthcoming arts center in New York, isn’t waiting until its official opening in the spring of next year to start presenting shows: From May 1-13, it will present “A Prelude to the Shed,” a free, 12-day multi-arts event on an undeveloped lot on 10th Avenue and 30th Street, near its still-unfinished site in the city’s Hudson Yards neighborhood. Featured acts include Azealia Banks, Arca and Abra (a rep did not immediately respond to Variety’s question about the preponderance of the letter “A” in the featured acts’ names).
“One block away from our future home on the west side, we are temporarily transforming an empty lot into a flexible public space for new work, collaboration, and dialogue,” said Alex Poots, Founding Artistic Director and CEO. “Prelude begins to demonstrate The Shed’s mission to nurture artistic invention by commissioning and presenting new work for a wide audience.”
Currently under construction, The Shed will be a massive 200,000 square foot “transformable structure” that can essentially change capacity and size depending on the event (see here for a better explanation) and this spring’s shows will adhere to a similar theory: According to a press release, architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works collaborated closely with artist Tino Sehgal to design a temporary space in which dancers move and reconfigure the structure in a fluid integration of architecture and choreography.
“A Prelude to The Shed is an exploration of architecture as an extension of human body, culture, and environment. Can architecture be more human? This curiosity led us to reconfigure a steel shed into a comfortable interface to interact with people physically; inside and outside, in light and darkness, individually and collectively,” said Adeyemi. “Using simple technologies, we made the structure so that it can be moved and transformed by people, enabling its participation in different formats of art, education, events, and public life.”
Events happen throughout each day over the course of two weeks and will include dance “battles” as an example of work from The Shed’s pre-opening dance commission, FlexNYC, a free city-wide dance activism program for New York City youth under the direction of director/choreographer Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray and his D.R.E.A.M Ring dancers (Dance Rules Everything Around Me); as well as a series of live solo concerts by Atlanta-based R&B singer-songwriter ABRA, Venezuelan electronic music producer, DJ, and songwriter Arca, and New York-based rapper and singer-songwriter Azealia Banks.
A Prelude to The Shed is programmed by Alex Poots, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Tino Sehgal, Dorothea von Hantelmann, Julia Simpson, Tamara McCaw, and Kevin Slavin.