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Preview: The Dalston Mill

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 95 months ago
Preview: The Dalston Mill
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Some of the Mill's inner workings
Some of the Mill's inner workings
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This is the second installation connected to the Barbican, following their waterside pavilion
This is the second installation connected to the Barbican, following their waterside pavilion
Building the stage, which will host, among other thing, the Arcola Theatre's show Kontakt
Building the stage, which will host, among other thing, the Arcola Theatre's show Kontakt
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Small-scale recreation of Agnes Denes' Wheatfield: A Confrontation
Small-scale recreation of Agnes Denes' Wheatfield: A Confrontation
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EXYZT are putting the finishing touches to their latest London project, The Dalston Mill, an off-site extension of the Barbican's Radical Nature exhibition.

Built on a scrap of land just north of what will soon be Dalston Junction station, the 16 metre-high mill is a fantastic, Heath Robinson-style bit of impolite and haphazard design, thrown up amidst the cranes of the nearby luxury flat development like an insouciant 'fuck you' to modern mixed-use housing. It towers over a "rural retreat' (what, in a less pretentious time, would have been called an allotment), which is largely dominated by a recreation of Agnes Denes' 1982 piece of installation art Wheatfield: A Confrontation, originally staged in Manhattan and reproduced here in smaller scale. Beyond the art, the Mill will host a number of events, including theatre (the Arcola have a show, Kontakt, running this week), tea-time talks, and more: see the full list here.

We're informed that the Mill is not only fully functioning — it'll be used to power two ovens which will produce 'bread currency' that can be spent in local cafes and cinemas — but it also powers the DJ's turntable. Dancers best hope that a sudden calm spell doesn't spoil their grinding away to the grooves of Lady Gaga.

The Dalston Mill's opening party is tonight, and it is open to the public from today until August 6th. Opening times are 2-10pm daily, bar open from 7-10pm Thu-Sun. Entrance just off Dalston Lane, by the peace mural (map). Nearest station Dalston Kingsland. The mill is free to visit, as are all events unless otherwise stated.

Last Updated 15 July 2009

sfulgDalston

Just came back from there tonight. It's fantastic, it's such a nice feeling that we have something so creative and DIY on our doorstep, especially in the face of the best efforts of Hackney council trying to turn Dalston into a "who's got the biggest cock" architecture exhibition. They have a DJ, a stage, a food bar using flour that's been grown in the area they've occupied (tastes a bit like rail tracks but it's full of iron). I live 200m away and I'm stunned at what they've managed to achieve. Going back to our local caancil, they could learn a few things about use of local spaces. Full marks to the Barbican for sponsoring it.

Please come, support it, and support Dalston whilst also preventing it turning into another Shoreditch.

Or Croydon for that matter.