Previously at the ICA - Art Night

The Ultimate Form, Linder, Tate St Ives, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Stuart Shave/Modern Art. Photo: Christina Birrer.

Art Night: Duke of York Steps, ICA: Linder

2 Jul 2016

This is a durational performance from 6pm-11pm and does not require booking.

Linder presents a new durational performance for the Duke of York Steps next to the ICA, in homage to architects Alison and Peter Smithson’s House of the Future and the iconic 1970s film Donkey Skin by Jacques Demy. It combines dance, music, performance, costume and imagery, creating a live tableau on the stage of the stairs – to form a contemporary fairy tale that considers transformation as a state of mind.

During the exhibition of the House of the Future prototypedesigned in 1956 for the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition, as a vision of an ideal home in 1980actors wearing futuristic costumes "performed" the Smithson's idea of domesticity transformed by the future, which visitors voyeuristically watched through apertures. Donkey Skin is an adaptation of the French fairy-tale by Charles Perrault from 1695 that follows a Princess escape from her father, the King, in his prized donkey’s skin, as he wishes to marry her. Each of these scenarios situates the home as a site of transformation: one in which psychological experience is made visible through, or enacted via, the materials of spaces we inhabit, the things that we wear, and the relationships we form.                                             

The performance is driven by cycles of music that combine rearrangements of music that are autobiographically significant to Linder, as if memories broken apart, deconstructed and then reformed. Alongside this, new composition will experiment with layers of genre, form and orchestration, to test the ranges and limitations of instruments and voices, forming a musical collage that overlaps, repeats and disintegrates. 

The performance is created in collaboration with composer Maxwell Sterling; with costumes by London designers curated by Christopher Shannon; musicians including The Fourth Choir, Professor Surinder Singh and the Raj Academy; alongside Northern Soul, ballroom and tap dancers.

Linder (born 1954, Liverpool) has had recent solo exhibitions at dependance, Brussels, Belgium, 2015; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France, 2013; Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover, Germany, 2013, Hepworth Wakefield, 2013; Tate St. Ives, 2013; Chisenhale Gallery, London, 2010; Linn Luhn, Cologne, Germany, 2008; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2007; PS1/Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; 2007 and Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2000.

In Rehearsal: The Ultimate Form by Linder Sterling for The Hepworth Wakefield

Art Night is a new annual contemporary arts festival that transforms London for one summer night on 2 July 2016. Please see our terms and conditions.

For queries concerning your booking, please contact the ICA Box Office on 020 7930 3647 or For general information about the festival and the programme please contact

Learn more about Art Night venues, including information on accessibility and transport

See a map of venues

Learn about Art Night supporters and partners


E.g., 30-07-2021
E.g., 30-07-2021