Rendering of Preclude, a temporary New York venue from the team at The Shed, which opens in 2019 | Courtesy of NLE Works

Rendering of Preclude, a temporary New York venue from the team at The Shed, which opens in 2019 | Courtesy of NLE Works

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Kunlé Adeyemi designs structure for "Prelude to The Shed" Festival

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This May, approximately one year before opening in spring 2019, The Shed will present a free, 12-day multi-arts event on an undeveloped lot at Tenth Avenue and 30th Street in Manhattan, one block away from its permanent home. Architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLE Works collaborated closely with artist Tino Sehgal to design a temporary space. 

The "Prelude to The Shed" festival is free and open to the public! 

About Prelude to The Shed

“Next to our permanent home on the west side, we are temporarily transforming a vacant block into a flexible public space for new work, collaboration, and dialogue,” said Alex Poots, Founding Artistic Director and CEO. “Prelude begins to demonstrate The Shed’s mission to nurture artistic invention by commissioning and presenting new work for a wide audience.”

A transformable structure is as vital to the architecture of Prelude as it is for The Shed, where perimeters shift to accommodate multiple artistic disciplines under one roof. Architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLE Works collaborated closely with artist Tino Sehgal to design a temporary space in which dancers move and reconfigure the structure in a fluid integration of architecture and choreography.

Events happen throughout each day over the course of two weeks, seamlessly connected by Sehgal:”This variation,” an immersive dance/sound piece by Sehgal, will happen continuously throughout each afternoon, interwoven with a new work by William Forsythe. Commissioned for Prelude, it is a radical re-imagining of the pas de deux from his renowned “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated” (1987).

Prelude will present dance “battles” as an example of work from The Shed’s pre- opening dance commission, FlexNYC, a free city-wide dance activism program for New York City youth under the direction of pioneering director and choreographer Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray and his D.R.E.A.M Ring dancers (Dance Rules Everything Around Me).

On multiple evenings, Prelude will feature a series of live solo concerts by Atlanta-based R&B singer-songwriter ABRA, Venezuelan electronic music producer, DJ, and songwriter Arca, and New York-based rapper and singer- songwriter Azealia Banks.

Panels on alternate evenings will focus on topics that synthesize Prelude’s programmatic ambitions: new institutional models for the 21st century, the politics of ritualized gatherings, and the role of art and culture in social connectivity. Scholar, writer and curator Dorothea von Hantelmann organized the talks in collaboration with The Shed’s artistic advisor, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Chief Science and Technology Officer, Kevin Slavin.

Prelude also provides insight into the inspiration for The Shed’s innovative architecture: The Fun Palace, an influential but unrealized idea developed in 1961 by architect Cedric Price, whose vision to fuse participation and architecture is well-preserved in archives. Prelude will encourage visitors to interact with reproductions of these artifacts in a way that is more dynamic than just looking—mobile exhibition carts will be moved around Adeyemi’s temporary space by students prepared to engage in conversation

About The Shed

Opening in spring 2019, The Shed will be New York’s first multi-arts center designed to commission, produce, and present all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture. Driven by experimentation, innovation, and collaboration, The Shed will be a center for artistic invention bringing together leading artists working in every art form with leading minds in the humanities and sciences. The program will be international, created with co-commissioning partners around the globe, and local, with early-career artists in residence in The Shed’s free creative lab. Located on the west side of Manhattan where the High Line meets Hudson Yards, the unique and flexible building can physically transform to support artists’ visions and the work they create—from hip hop to classical music, visual art to literature, film to theater and dance—with collaborations across these disciplines and beyond, welcoming the broadest range of art forms and audiences, all under one roof.

About Kunle Adeyemi & NLE Works

Founded in 2010, NLÉ is quickly fulfilling its mission to shape the physical, human cultural, and economic and economic architectures of developing cities and communities. 

Kunlé Adeyemi is an architect, designer and urban researcher. He is the founder/principal of NLÉ and 2017 Aga Khan Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His notable works include ‘Makoko Floating School’, an innovative prototype floating structure located on the lagoon heart of Lagos, Nigeria. 

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