Transfer Laban is a time-based architectural installation at Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, London,
13-24 June 2016. It has been commissioned by Locus+, in partnership with Canary Wharf’s Sculpture at Work programme and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and is presented as part of the London Festival of Architecture 2016. Transfer Laban has been realised with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Canary Wharf Group and is supported by Arts Council England, the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Tower Hamlets.
Transfer Laban is a performative time-based sculpture in which 40m wide section of the main façade of the Laban Dance Centre, Deptford (Herzog & de Meuron Architects, 1997), is simultaneously constructed and deconstructed in the heart of Canary Wharf. Over a two-week period the sculpture will gradually move across the square, sequentially recreating the whole Laban Centre façade. Built from white lightweight concrete blocks and supported by a system scaffolding structure, each section of the façade will be visible for only a single day, before being deconstructed and rebuilt as the next section in the architectural sequence.
Although now working with a completely different building and public site, Transfer Laban follows on from an earlier Transfer project where a full-scale replica of Milton Keynes Gallery was constructed and deconstructed over a three-week period at Station Square in Milton Keynes. As in the first project the process of the Transfer Laban installation will be recorded using time-lapse video and long-exposure digital photography. This will result in the production of a new film work to be screened in 2016/17.
In addition to the sculptural artwork and film, Transfer Laban is also uniquely developed and presented as a series of new public dance performances developed in collaboration with UK choreographer Charles Linehan and students from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. These performances will be presented on site in Montgomery Square as part of the project launch and during intervals in the sculptural construction process.
Just as the original Transfer became a talking point for the inhabitants of Milton Keynes, Transfer Laban provides a new visual spectacle and public point of engagement for the thousands of workers, travellers and visitors daily passing through Montgomery Square, a major public transport hub and cultural space within the Canary Wharf site.
Transfer Laban continues Weileder’s ongoing investigatory project into the spatial and social possibilities of temporary site-specific sculptural practice. Working with Trinity Laban as both architectural source and creative collaborator, Transfer Laban points our attention towards the choreographed, performative and time-based nature of large-scale sculptural and architectural construction. By temporarily inhabiting the space of Montgomery Square, Transfer Laban offers new opportunities for unexpected public encounters opening up new possibilities to reflect on the function and understanding of urban public place as a cultural, corporate and commercial environment.