Tomorrow, William Mackrell’s performance piece Deux Chevaux will be making its way through Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster. Deaux Chevaux consists of two horses pulling a Citroen 2CV, an ironic reference to the classic French car’s two horsepower motor. This witty and exuberant new piece is a comment on the relationship between natural and mechanical power, and draws attention to the ways in which contemporary technology is rooted in the natural world.
Deux Chevaux will stop at nine cultural landmarks during its progress through London. It will start at 11:30am outside the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, before voyaging around West London and finishing up at Knightsbridge's Andipa Gallery at 5.30pm.
In honor of Mackrell’s excellent new piece, here we look at some of the best roving art installations from recent years.
Banksy’s ‘All City’
On 1st October 2013 Banksy opened a new exhibition of his works that took place not in a gallery but on the streets of New York. ‘All City’ was one of the works exhibited, and it took the form of a three dimensional paradisiacal tableaux installed in the back of a truck. The truck would arrive at undisclosed location each night, prompting a storm of conjecture on social media about where it currently was and where it was travelling to next.Doug Aitken’s Station to Station
Doug Aitken is a multi-media artist who is known for employing light, sound and video in his installations. In the autumn of 2013, Aitken organised Station to Station, a ‘nomadic happening’ which involved a train full of artists and performers traveling from New York to San Francisco, stopping at stations on the way to put on shows. AnOther’s Laura Bradley was lucky enough to find a place on Aitken’s train and you can read her account of the journey, starting with the departure from New York, here.Slinkachu’s Inner City Snail
In 2008 the street artist Slinkachu, known for his creation of tiny tableaux on London streets, embarked on a new project for which he ‘customised’ the shells of snails and released them onto London’s streets. The snails, emblazoned with mini graffiti tags and mock up signage, have been roaming around ever since. So if you’re wandering the streets of London, be careful where you tread.
In October 2006, Martin Creed, an artist famous for winning the Turner prize in 2001 with an exhibition involving a light flicking on and off, organised a happening in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The event's full title was ‘All of the Bells in a City or Town Rung As Quickly and Loudly As Possible For Three Minutes’ and, surprise, surprise, involved just that. In 2012, All the Bells was staged throughout Britain to mark the opening of the Olympic games. Footage taken of the event from Westminster Bridge can be seen here.
William Mackrell's Deux Chevaux starts tomorrow at 11:30am outside the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.
Text by Max Fletcher