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Review: Momentum by United Visual Artists

Thursday 13 February 2014
Words Alice Bell

United Visual Artists are back with an immersive installation combining light, sound and movement to coincide with their 10th anniversary. Momentum opens today at the Barbican’s Curve gallery and like Rain Room before it, it’s FREE.

Walking through a heavy black curtain into a nearly pitch-black room is never an experience that feels normal. Walking into a nearly pitch-black room with mysterious glowing orbs swinging above your head is decidedly other worldly.

An encounter that can be described as both peaceful and engulfing, almost claustrophobic to begin with, Momentum is essentially a giant spatial instrument consisting of 12 pendulums spanning the length of the 90m gallery. The pendulums swing, casting light and shadows all around with a gentle hum. As your eyes adjust to the dark there is a sense of mystery; they could almost be searchlights or even UFOs.

United Visual Artists: Momentum
United Visual Artists: Momentum

UVA said: “Our internal model of time, movement, mass and space is based on a lifetime of experience, perhaps even genetically encoded. What happens when we build a new model? What happens when we bend the rules?” 

United Visual Artists: Momentum, is on at The Curve, Barbican Centre until 1 June 2014.

United Visual Artists: Momentum

Photography: © Bethany Clark/Getty Images. Courtesy Barbican Art Gallery.