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On the Desert Island – A Solo Journey Through the Stuart Hall Library

1st June - 1st December 2017

Ting-Ting Cheng's new artwork inspired by BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs interview with Professor Stuart Hall.

Stuart Hall Foundation and Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) are delighted to announce the launch of On the Desert Island, an interactive audio site-specific work by artist Ting-Ting Cheng which will be presented in Iniva’s Stuart Hall Library (1 June - 1 December 2017). The artwork is an outcome of the first ever Stuart Hall Library Artist’s Residency.

Offering a unique way to explore Iniva’s remarkable collection, On the Desert Island takes its cue from Professor Stuart Hall speaking to Sue Lawley on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in February 2000. On the long-running radio show, the presenter asks the guest to punctuate their conversation with eight records they would choose to take with them if they were cast away on a desert island.

Ting-Ting Cheng draws on the recording of Professor Stuart Hall’s interview to create an audio map which imagines the Stuart Hall Library as islands with its bookshelves and contents as land mass to be negotiated. Using the library’s categorisation system that places exhibition catalogues according to their geographical location, the artist’s tour encourages the listener to wander between Great Britain and Jamaica as if they were part of an archipelago. On this physical journey they will follow Professor Stuart Hall’s conversation about identity and diversity 17 years ago in the context of Britain today. Revisiting Professor Stuart Hall’s commentary On the Desert Island casts a curious light on today’s political, social and cultural realities where issues of sovereignty and the rise of uncontained xenophobia are as prophetic as he imagined.

On the Desert Island will be available to listen to in the Stuart Hall Library from 1 June until 1 December 2017. The work is available as a free, solo, 45-minute experiential journey around the Stuart Hall Library. For this reason, pre-booking is essential. To book your place, please e-mail library@iniva.org.

The Stuart Hall Library Residency has been jointly funded by Iniva and the Stuart Hall Foundation. 

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