B

Block Universe to curate inaugural POWER NIGHT in Germany

This year, Block Universe, London’s leading performance art festival, takes place across three major cultural locations in Europe. As the festival continues to celebrate its fifth anniversary, it will expand internationally to continental Europe for the first time. Following the organisations largest London festival programme to date and an inaugural intervention at the Venice Biennale, both this Spring, Block Universe will present a sister programme of performances and interventions as part of the launch of a major new German institution: E-WERK Luckenwalde. The occasion cements Block Universe’s founding of a new international strand, establishing the organisation further as an international commissioning body.

Curated by Block Universe’s Founding Director and Curator, Louise O’Kelly (US/IRL) and Curator and Director of International Programme, Katharina Worf (GER), POWER NIGHT will include new commissions and premieres by 8 international artists and collaborators. The programme for Germany will mark the first edition of POWER NIGHT, including specially commissioned, site-specific work and new iterations, all to be shown in Germany for the first time. 

E-WERK Luckenwalde is a new Brandenberg institution in a former brown coal power station, with a bi-annual art programme, artist studio programme and commissions. E-WERK Luckenwalde will also produce its own renewable energy that will be fed back into the National Grid. POWER NIGHT, curated by Block Universe, will take place in several locations across the large scale, 10,000m2, E-WERK site and will connect artistic concepts with the real production of energy. The programme will bring together EWERK’s architecture with cutting-edge performance at the cross-section of contemporary art, dance and music for one night. Performers will map the raw spaces of the listed buildings with their bodies, objects, soundscapes and installations, creating live environments across spaces such as a nearby abandoned Bauhaus designed swimming pool and E-WERK’s galleries, which include a 350m2 Turbine Hall and outdoor sites. 

Fittingly, for a curated programme that spans both Europe and the UK in the current political context, the 2019 programme of Block Universe explores the concept of internal and external ‘world-making’ by looking at the diverse environments and realities we create for ourselves to exist within, whether those be mental, physical or virtual spaces. Taking place alongside Berlin Art Week, this first edition of POWER NIGHT will reflect on the vision of sustainable futures in the context of a historic power station, whose very fabric carries a wealth of history and collective memory. Taking E-WERK’s position as a new model for a sustainable institution and power station, the performance programme asks us to consider our role in shaping the world that we live in.