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Somerset House to open 24/7 exhibition to meetings and events market

Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 17:00

Landmark exhibition 24/7 opens at Somerset House on 31 October 2019, exploring our inability to switch off from our 24/7 culture through a series of immersive works from some of today’s most exciting global artists.

Events planners will be able to incorporate private views, curated talks, tours and delegate offers into events held at Somerset House between 31st October 2019 and 23 February 2020.

Somerset House, the creative and versatile central London venue is combining its artistic and corporate offering this autumn and winter in a major exhibition that explores the push towards 24/7 consumption and how it affects our lives.  The 24/7 exhibition explores how we can reset the natural rhythms of life - work, leisure, rest and sleep. Through the work of international artists, designers, scientists and thinkers, the exhibition is perfect for event planners looking for a relevant and creative backdrop to their events.

With event spaces capable of hosting meetings, conferences, product launches, exhibitions and filming or photo shoots, Somerset House’s flexible approach to events will provide delegates with a host of opportunities to experience 24/7 as part of their event.  In addition to private tours and viewings, this can include the development of event content that crosses boundaries between the exhibition and event as well as engagement with resident artists.

“Our creative arts programme rarely delivers an exhibition that has so many parallels and relevant themes to the modern working world,” comments Jenny Freestone, Head of Corporate Events at Somerset House. “24/7 is the perfect opportunity for organisers to align their meeting or event with Somerset House’s artistic offering.  In particular, it will appeal to corporates who are encouraging and developing the best working practices and policies for their staff.  However, the 24/7 themes are also incredibly relevant to associations, third sector and public sector events.”

Pierre Huyghe, Les Grands ensembles, 2001 © Pierre Huyghe

This inability to switch off has become one of the most important issues of our time.  Since 2010 we’ve added a full week (37 hours) to our working year, yet 200,000 working days are now lost annually due to insufficient sleep.  Britain has become a nation of night owls, with almost half of the country (48%) regularly going to bed after 11pm.  Living in the glow of blue light, people in the UK now check their smartphones, if averaged over 24 hours, every 12 minutes.

Jenny Freestone continues: “As a team we are really looking forward to exploring the different ways we can integrate this ground-breaking exhibition with our commercial events offering and deliver some truly inspiring and creative event over the months ahead.”

Over 50 multi-disciplinary works have been brought together to explore the unrelenting pressure to produce and consume around the clock. The exhibition takes visitors on a 24-hour cycle from dawn to dusk through interactive installations and interrogations.  It holds mirror up to a society where complex systems are exerting control, causing us to sleep less and disrupting our instincts to daydream and pay attention to the world around us, and each other.

Amongst other exhibits, a series of immersive works explore the causes, consequences and solutions to our 24/7 lives - these include an opportunity to be completely shrouded in a copper blanket, which blocks electro-magnetic signals. 

Other highlights include:

- 6 months without, where artist Nastja Säde Rönkkö lived for 6 months without internet access

- Tatsuo Miyajima’s meditative isolation chamber - Life Palace (tea room)

- Hyphen Labs’ new photo booth on contagious yawning

- Lawrence Lek’s Play Station, which anticipates the next phase of recruitment in the corporate world – a dystopian world where humans play games whilst robots do their work

- The original diary room chair from Big Brother.