In June 2016, Television Centre, the iconic former BBC headquarters in White City, played host to eight artists in residence. Chosen from over 360 submissions to an open call, each artist responded to a brief totake over and creatively destroy a floor of the BBC television centre’s East Tower, which is set for demolition and redevelopment. The residencies were commissioned by White Noise, a live research project about urban change.
“The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff. How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where did he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows..”
For over 30 years, CBBC’s Jackanory captivated its young audience with a minimalist format: take a famous face and asking them to read a great story. As the East Tower of BBC Television Centre that was home to the CBBC team prepared to come down, this project occupied a floor of the tower block and took inspiration from the programme’s magic formula for ‘Multistory’. It revives the storytelling tradition of Jackanory with
one last reading of Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man. A lone celebrity actor is replaced by a succession of diverse local people from 6 to 80. The Iron Man is a modern day fairy tale of destruction and redemption and speaks to both the site poised on the brink of transformation and the fragile state of the world. Children from the local White City Adventure Playground took pleasure in the permission to destroy as the world falls down around this narrative of change.
First interview on the project here: ribaj.com/intelligence/hilary-powell