St. Stephen Walbrook, designed by Christopher Wren in 1672, accommodates the first classical dome built in England, and was Wren’s prototype for St Paul’s Cathedral. This architectural relationship provides a physical and interpretive context for the premiere of new work by Mark Dean and Lizzi Kew Ross & Co, in two events curated by Lucy Newman Cleeve.
Stations of the Cross brings together 14 video works by Mark Dean that reinterpret the medieval tradition of spiritual pilgrimage through contemplation of the path Jesus walked on the day of his crucifixion. The videos are not literal depictions of this journey. They rely upon Dean’s trademark appropriation of iconic film and music, to introduce visual and aural puns that behave as generators and interrogators of meaning within the work, setting up a series of disputations between the different elements being sampled. The videos will be projected onto the circular Henry Moore altar at St Stephen Walbrook throughout the night on Easter eve. Audience members are invited to stay for the duration but free to come and go, as part of a vigil event that culminates in a performance of A Prelude to Being Here by Lizzi Kew Ross & Co, and an optional dawn Eucharist.
Here Comes The Sony is a 12 monitor video and sound installation that reinterprets the less definitive tradition of the Stations of the Resurrection, which encourage meditation on the resurrection appearances of Jesus, and will be installed for the first time under the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral during Eastertide. Being Here, devised by choreographer Lizzi Kew Ross and the dancers, connects the two events and will be performed in the middle of the circular stage formed by the placement of the television monitors. It combines images of human presence, comfort, hope, loss and regret implicit in the Resurrection stories with the shifting qualities of colour and sound formed by the installation. While not enacting the narratives, the dance performance is an interpretation of the moment, producing a sense of a shared journey and progression through time and space, enabling the audience to curate the tension and distance between the installation and their own responses.
Wren designed his churches to be ‘auditories’ in which everyone present could see, hear and feel themselves part of the congregation. Stations of the Cross and Stations of the Resurrection function in a similar way to mystery plays, providing a contemporary reinterpretation of the story of Easter. The audience is an integral part of each event that, like the Visitatio Sepulchri liturgical dramas from the 10th – 11th centuries, are firmly placed in local contexts and intended to involve the whole community.
The events are free but places are limited. Book tickets by clicking here.