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BARBICAN LIFE


WATER, WATER


... but not a drop of it falls on you in the Rain Room. The latest show at the Curve space in the Barbican Centre has been causing long queues since its opening in October. Kate West went to find out if it is worth the wait.


(Marjetica Potrc 2007), does anyone else remember that one? And things that I just can’t get out of my head years later - thank you Richard Wilson and that wonderful spinning caravan of 2006. Curve Art is


I 8


’ve long been a fan of the Curve Art series. Since its launch in 2006 I've seen things that I loved - roller coasting bowling balls (Jeppe Hein 2007) and


guitar-playing finches (Céleste Boursier-Mougenot 2010), things that I thought I would hate but ended up loving - numerous piles of someone’s mother’s hoarded possessions (Song Dong 2012), things that took me out of my comfort zone and left me a bit baffled - futuristic town planning for the Amazonian rainforest


always exciting and often challenging but Rain Room, the latest in the series of these site- specific commissions, may be my favourite to date... although those finches will take some beating. I know that the Chelsea-based artists Random International are associated with artworks that involve elements of audience interaction and I had heard that Rain Room is an installation that has the visitors controlling the rain, but despite that I did not know what to expect from this gallery experience. However the length of


the queue outside the doors told me the word was out that this was something apparently worth waiting for hours to see.


Entering the gallery space, which is long, narrow and as curved as the name suggests, the visitor is plunged into darkness with a bright light in the distance ahead, shadows of human figures on the wall and the sound of heavy rain falling. Following the curved space around with the sound of the rain getting louder, the installation is revealed. A 100 square metre field of falling raindrops, with some people standing around the edge watching a few fellow visitors who look to be bravely/foolishly standing in the rainfall.


But all is not quite as it seems in the Rain Room. It doesn’t take long to realize that those people standing in the rain are staying completely,


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