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The Guardian NOVEMBER 27, 2009 - by Charlotte Higgins
BRIAN ENO TO CURATE BRIGHTON FESTIVAL
Composer who found fame in Roxy Music to show 77 Million Paintings installation at 2010 creative arts festival.
Composer and artist Brian Eno - who became famous in the 1970s as the keyboard player in Roxy Music, before working with musicians such as David Bowie and U2 - is to guest-curate next spring's Brighton festival.
The musician, who famously developed the notion of ambient music, will present his work 77 Million Paintings, an installation consisting of a very slowly evolving, self-generative, sound- and image-scape. The work premiered in Tokyo in 2006, but has never before been seen on a large scale in Britain. Eno calls the piece "visual music".
Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton festival, said: "We are showing the work in a deconsecrated church; the visuals have a kind of stained-glass effect. Wherever it has been shown, people have queued to see it and have stayed inside it for hours. It's an extraordinarily beautiful work, and something that Californians in particular seem to lap up."
"I am delighted to be part of a festival which has consistently placed itself at the cutting edge of the creative arts in Britain," said Eno. "I hope to be able to show some recent work that has not yet been seen in this country, and also to develop new works especially for the festival. I would like this festival to provoke, entertain and hopefully to start some social conversations which will persist long after it has finished."
Also at the festival, the wildly popular young choreographer Hofesh Shechter, whose company is based in Brighton, will premiere his first full-scale work. Since he sprang on to the dance scene two years ago, Shechter has developed an enthusiastic following. Next year's Political Mother, at an hour and twenty minutes long and created for his entire ten-strong company, will be the most substantial work he has yet made. According to Comben: "It will be a Chinese puzzle of encounters that will both shock and amuse; it won't be a completely dark piece."
The Brighton-based performance artists dreamthinkspeak will create an immersive installation on a large scale in a disused department store in the centre of the town. The work, loosely based on Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, marking the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the writer's birth, will dwell on "environmental issues, climate change and twenty-first century Russia", said Comben. "Brighton is the perfect festival city. It has a sense of scale and place."