Disasters United Kingdom

Ron Arad guests caught up in north London riots

VIPs at opening party had to remain indoors until 2am under police orders

"Curtain Call" by Ron Arad. Photo: Stephen White

LONDON. As rioting and looting spread through north London on 8 August, a select group of VIPs who had been invited to the opening of Ron Arad's Curtain Call, a screen made of 5,600 silicon rods, at Camden's Roundhouse, unexpectedly found themselves in the middle of the ensuing drama. Guests were due to move on to another venue for dinner, but on police orders, were kept inside the Roundhouse until 2am when the rioting outside had begun to subside. Emergency silver foil blankets and water were supplied, according to guests.

The launch of Mat Collishaw's collaboration with Arad, who has invited some of his favourite artists to create works for the curtain, was cancelled the following night, at the request of Collishaw's gallery, Blain/Southern. Collishaw's Sordid EarthM, together with Christian Marclay's Pianorama, opened on 24 August instead.

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