Digesting Design

Tunnel 228

Posted in Everything Else, Exhibitions by Paul on May 19, 2009



On Saturday at 4.20pm I visited Tunnel 228 in Waterloo. Tunnel 228 is a collaboration between Kevin Spacey, artistic director of the Old Vic theatre and Punchdrunk.

“I’ve always been interested in the bringing the art world and theatre a little closer together” said Spacey.

It is a sensory experience lurking behind the doors of the Leake Street tunnel where the ongoing Cans Festival is taking place. I was one of the lucky ones to get tickets to it as the 15,000 places made available went in a flash, however there are plans to bring it back in Autumn time for everyone who didn’t get to see it this time round. The photos here are from media websites as no photography was allowed inside.

It was probably one the more weirdest things I’ve been to and most of the time you couldn’t see more than a metre ahead of yourself. Visitors were given face masks and this immediately started to block out your senses. The space where everything was set up was huge and featured street artists included Mark Jenkins and Slinkachu, famous for his miniature installations as show in the image below, which we dotted about the space as well; featuring Gala Bingo, Aldi and a Shell garage. Mark Jenkins had worked on most of the mannequin installations in the space, my favourite one being a man face down on the banks of a man-made river in the space and attached to him was a group of colourful balloons.

Other parts to the experience included bouncers dressed with balaclavas, a human running on a hamster wheel, a booth where you looked inside and a woman went under water to what looked like she was drowing, but when you looked through the second eye hole she was kissing a man under water. There was also two men using pulleys on a train track walking on the tunnel’s ceiling, a forest made out of paper and what looked like a New York subway toilet in pitch black. It felt like that if you switched on the light, there would be a person and blood everywhere. A light bulb filled room with a Jesus sculpture and upstairs rooms of a dining scene and a sculpture made of feathers were also great pieces on site. There was one room right at the back of the space, where you honestly couldn’t see anything ahead of you and it felt like you were going to fall at any moment.

Tickets are now all sold out but you can see the website of Tunnel 228 here, with the option to keep a track of things; and you see what the Guardian thought to it here. Punchdrunk can be found here.

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