Michal Rovner’s artwork for Crossrail’s Art Programme addresses themes of humanity, history and time, and celebrates London’s landmarks
Michal Rovner’s Transitions, a new, site-specific, 16-metre-long screen-based artwork addressing themes of humanity, history and time, will be unveiled on 3 October. The large-scale video artwork will reference the striking architecture of Canary Wharf and capture the lively character of the new Canary Wharf Elizabeth line station.
The supersized digital installation is part of The Crossrail Art Foundation’s public art programme, known as The Crossrail Art Programm. It is one of the ten major works of public art being installed at seven of the new Elizabeth line stations, Transitions is co-funded by Canary Wharf Group and the City of London Corporation and was commissioned with the support of the Pace Gallery.
In this new piece, Rovner records elements from different locations in London and erases visual information, obscuring specifics of time and place through gestural, abstract qualities. Transitions juxtaposes human narrative with historical and architectural landmarks of the British capital.
Showing on a vast LED screen positioned within Canary Wharf’s Crossrail Place, the piece also draws influence from the dramatically sculpted escalators, platforms and passageways of the new Elizabeth line station at Canary Wharf, reflecting on the human presence within the space and the dynamic flow of people arriving and departing. The lines, structures and patterns change more rapidly and recall a sense of urgency and warning that permeate our world.
Each individual silhouette featured in the film has been personally filmed by Rovner to depict individualism and humanity. Although each person has been abstracted to the point of anonymity, the indistinct bodies represent everyone – regardless of age, race or gender. The artwork is a vivid reminder of the tide of humanity that ebbs and flows through London, an entity which formulaically moves to the stop and start of the London Underground.
Transitions can be found on the Quay Level of Crossrail Place.
Michal Rovner, Artist, commented: “I wanted to encapsulate, to summarize this place, London with the mystery of fog, the rich theatre, literature and architecture. A mixture of present and past, a world full of monuments, testimonies of a dramatic and grand history, living within the vivid present time which is marching constantly into the future.
I hope that my work in this place will remind travellers that the time they take for granted, going from one place to another, and the space between, is actually very meaningful. By moving from one place to another, they are part of the magical human flow in time.”
Chris Sexton, Crossrail deputy chief executive commented: “We are delighted that the fantastic artwork by Michal Rover, inspired by the architecture of Elizabeth line station at Canary Wharf, has been unveiled today. It is the first of the ten major works of art that form The Crossrail Art Programme to be unveiled to the public.”
Camille Waxer, Canary Wharf Group, commented: “As a long standing supporter of the arts, we are delighted to provide this highly visible location for “Transitions” by renowned artist Michal Rovner, presented as an integral component of Crossrail Art Programme’s new Culture Line. Michal’s work captures the energetic movement of people travelling through London in general and Canary Wharf in particular as they head to their different destinations. We hope that Transitions will cause the public to take a moment to pause and consider the artist’s vision of London and Londoners, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to see this distinctive installation and also to experience the full collection of over 70 works of public art across the Canary Wharf estate.”
Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair, City of London Corporation, commented: “The artworks featured in the Crossrail Art Programme are transforming stations on the Elizabeth line, enlivening them with bold and imaginative pieces by highly talented artists, and engaging with hundreds of thousands of commuters. Set against the backdrop of Crossrail Place and taking its place in this exciting cultural programme, Michal Rovner’s Transitions should certainly impress and intrigue those travellers as they make their way across our busy capital.”
For further information and images, please contact:
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2166