7 July - 1 October 2012
A rooftop commission by Richard Wilson
This summer, the De La Warr Pavilion presents its most ambitious commission to date: Hang On A Minute Lads, I've Got A Great Idea... by artist Richard Wilson. Based upon the iconic final scene of the film The Italian Job, this feat of engineering will see a full-sized replica coach balance on the DLWP's rooftop.
Opening to the public on 7 July 2012, Hang On A Minute Lads, I’ve Got A Great Idea… forms part of the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. This spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration runs from 21 June until 9 September 2012, bringing together leading artists from across the UK and the world.
The De La Warr Pavilion is delighted to announce that Eddie Izzard, Honorary Patron of DLWP, is the principal sponsor of the commission.
Inspired by the scene in the film in which the coach containing gold bullion and a gang of robbers hovers precariously over a cliff, Hang On A Minute Lads, I’ve Got a Great Idea... expands this myth and spectacle in the perfect setting - an equally iconic building, key to the identity of the UK.
The title of the work is taken from the final words in the film spoken by Michael Caine, when the coach, climbing the Italian Alps and carrying a gang of robbers and a fortune in gold, swerves off the road and teeters precariously over the edge of the mountain. With the gang at one end and the gold at the other, the film finishes with an impossible dilemma – how can they save the gold, themselves and the coach from falling over the edge? The Italian Job, its British stars, the use of the Mini as the get-away car, the song “We Are The Self-Preservation Society” and the predicament of the final scene have all contributed to film becoming a national treasure. Hang On A Minute Lads… embraces all those quintessential British cultural references, including its sense of humour and, as such, is the perfect way to demonstrate the excellence of current British creativity and artistic practice.
Richard Wilson’s fascination with this dilemma echoes many of his previous works where the concept of the ‘what if’ is brought into reality. Defying formal notions of architecture and engineering he brings thought- provoking and sometimes gravity-defying spectacle to the public, Key works include 20:50 (1987), an installation using waste oil heralded as “one of the masterpieces of the modern age” by the Guardian, Turning the Place Over (2008) a Liverpool Capital of Culture commission where a large disc was sawn out of the façade of a building and slowly turned over, and Slice of Reality (2000) – a section of ship moored near the Millennium Dome, cut vertically to show its cross-section. His most recent commission will be for Heathrow’s new Terminal 2. These works are beautiful; spectacular in their high precision engineering and conceptual brilliance.
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