Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) and Stuart Hall Foundation are delighted to launch a new artwork by Ting-Ting Cheng entitled On the Desert Island, produced during Cheng's residency in the Stuart Hall Library. 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, the first artist-in-residence in the Library, draws on the recording of Professor Stuart Hall's interview to create an interactive audio guide 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:
‘Britain is facing these two possibilities as alternative futures and I want the British to consciously move towards a more cosmopolitan idea of themselves.'
Professor Stuart Hall, Desert Island Discs, February 2000
On the Desert Island will be available to listen to in the Stuart Hall Library from 1 June until 1 December 2017. Taking part is free and the work is a solo, 45-minute experiential journey around the Stuart Hall Library. For this reason pre-booking is essential, please register for a timed slot using the link below, or email email@example.com.
The Stuart Hall Library Artist's Residency is a new funded opportunity organised by Iniva in partnership with the Stuart Hall Foundation.
Stuart Hall Library