Video: Martin Creed Plays Us a Song and Opens Up about His Giant New York Show

Creed offers a solo rendition of the song "Understanding."

One of the hits of the summer season in New York is bound to be British artist Martin Creed’s new exhibition at the Park Avenue Armory, which surveys decades of the often-provocative artist’s career. In this video, the Turner Prize-winning artist and musician treats us to a solo performance of his song “Understanding,” and talks about his ingenious intervention in the Armory’s giant drill hall, which turns the 55,000-square-foot area into a magical space simply by means of the opening and closing of a door.

“I’m just a little guy in the world,” Creed says, describing the anxiety he felt when he was faced with the task of creating a work in the hall’s vast expanse.

Creed also talks about the crowd-pleasing, Instagram-ready work Half the Air in a Given Space (2015), in which one 50 percent of one of the Armory’s period rooms is taken up by balloons.

“I thought, ‘The room is full of air, and air takes the shape of the room, and it takes the shape of the space between people. If I could find a way to of making air visible, maybe that could be the work,” he says.

Co-curated by Tom Eccles, the director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director of London’s Serpentine Gallery, the show takes place throughout the Armory’s whole first floor and features dozens of works in multifarious formats, stretching back as far as the 1980s. 

“Martin Creed: The Back Door” is on view at the Park Avenue Armory through August 7, 2016.


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