The Contemporary Art Society and Art Night have co-commissioned artist Prem Sahib to create a pavilion in Vauxhall Park for Art Night 2018 on 7 July 2018. Two works by the artist will subsequently be gifted to the Tate collection through the Contemporary Art Society.
Prem Sahib’s Art Night commission, 500 sq ft, 2018, is a large-scale sculpture based on the floorplan of a typical new-build, one-bedroom apartment, referencing the changing character of the local area. Made from modular sheets typically used for changing room cubicles, the maze-like structure is inspired by the nearby Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens (1732–1859), whose pavilions and walkways were transformed into notoriously transgressive spaces after dark. The pavilion also alludes to contemporary gay nightlife, particularly Vauxhall’s well-known club scene.
Do you care? We do, 2017, consists of 12 lockers from the former Chariots Roman Spa in Shoreditch, another rapidly changing area of London. Chariots was a gay sauna that closed in 2016 to make way for a luxury hotel development. The sauna functioned as a meeting place for the local gay scene, not only for cruising but also as a place of seclusion and safety. Helix, 2018, is a faux-classical plaster medallion, cast from one found at the sauna and attached to the wall with oversized body piercings.
This is the second collaboration between Art Night and the Contemporary Art Society and one which helps to further Art Night’s Legacy for years to come. In 2017 Falling and Walking (phhhhhhhhhhh phossshhhhh crrhhhhzzz mn huaooogh), a major installation by Anne Hardy, was acquired for Leeds Art Gallery.
The acquisition of Sahib’s work will be a first for a UK museum. It continues over a century of donations to Tate from the Contemporary Art Society that includes the first works by leading artists for the institution including Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Antony Gormley and Damien Hirst.
Caroline Douglas, Director of the Contemporary Art Society, said: “We have been following Prem’s work for a number of years, and admire the way he creates visually compelling sculpture that is eloquent about the experience of young gay men in the city. We are very pleased to enable this first museum acquisition in the UK, which will bring his work to a far wider audience.”
Ann Gallagher, Director of Collection, British Art, Tate, said: “We are delighted to be able to represent Prem Sahib in Tate’s collection with these works, acquired due to the generosity of the Contemporary Art Society. Our continued collaboration with the CAS is very important to us and we have been fortunate to be able to work with them on their initiative with Art Night.”
Ksenia Zemtsova and Philippine Nguyen, Co-Founders, Art Night, said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the Contemporary Art Society, following their generous support of Prem Sahib’s new commission for Art Night this July. The acquisition of two of Prem’s earlier works follows the gifting of Anne Hardy’s Art Night 2017 commission to Leeds Art Gallery, helping to drive forward Art Night’s Legacy for future years and enabling broader audiences to enjoy the programme year-round.”
Sahib will also be hosting a special edition of Anal House Meltdown during Art Night on 7 July 2018 at Bloc South, a short walk away, with DJs including New York-based Lauren Flax, Jeffrey Hinton, Princess Julia alongside contributions by Kevin Brennan, Roxy Lee & Jenkin Van Zyl. Anal House Meltdown is a queer dance party founded by George Henry Longly, Eddie Peake & Prem Sahib in 2011 and has since travelled internationally with parties in Sao Paulo, Stromboli, Venice, New York and Rome. Advance tickets available from www.analhousemeltdown.com.