It's been a great year for abandoned buildings - having stood empty in various parts of London, defunct power stations, derelict archive buildings and now an abandoned abattoir have been filled with art and opened to the public, turning the unloved and unused into something unforgettable.
The latest in this line of site-specific work is Soul-etude, a performance installation specially commissioned for the second year of Feeast, the Festival of Central and Eastern European Arts. Described as "a spree of magic and trickery" set to a specially composed live musical score, the performance is held in The Old Abattoir on St John Street in Clerkenwell. Anyone wanting to attend is warned that there are many stairs involved, the space is damp and waterproof, warm clothing is the appropriate gear. Oh, and it's in the basement of the old slaughterhouse; don't go if you don't like re-enacting scenes from horror movies, you know, those bits where our hapless heroes go into the haunted house and split up and go straight downstairs...
Four physical performers inhabit curious-sounding "working mechanical installations" as part of an act exploring human isolation and moves the audience through air, sound and water. We have no idea how this is done and we really want to find out. At the helm of this live art installation is Czech's installation artist Petr Nikl in collaboration with The Balanescu Quartet. Previous Balanescu Quartet colloborations include Michael Nyman, David Byrne, the Pet Shop Boys, Kate Bush and Kraftwerk which should give a clue as to what kind of aural delights will accompany the theatrical parts of the evening.
Soul-etude from Thursday 16 November to Sunday 19 November, performances at 7.30pm and 9.15pm each evening except Sunday when performances are at 5.30pm and 7.30pm. For more information and to book for Soul-etude and Feeast, go to the the festival website here.