2020’s been a bumpy ride, and that’s how 2021 is set to start — albeit in a more enchanting way.
From 22 January, the courtyard at Somerset House will be buzzing with bumper cars, as part of a fairground-inspired winter experience: DODGE.
These aren’t any old dodgems, though. As visitors whizz around in the wireless cars, every bump and jolt is tracked by wireless technology, creating a unique audio-visual composition. Then, roughly every hour, Somerset House’s courtyard will explode with a unique three-minute spectacular of light and sound — never to be seen or heard again.
Bumps Per Minute, as it’s called, is the work of Mercury Prize-nominated Anna Meredith, and Somerset House Studios resident Nick Ryan.
DODGE itself is set to be a kaleidoscopic reimagining of the courtyard space, envisioned by British-Nigerian artist and designer, Yinka Ilori (he did that awesome Colour Palace at Dulwich Picture Gallery). Ilori even designed a new flag to flutter over Somerset House. Let’s be honest: we NEED this colourful start to the year.
Elsewhere, the outdoor-only experience promises wintry food from Jimmy Garcia (think duck burgers and cognac cocktails); DJ sets from Queer House Party, Manara and Eliza Rose; and a marketplace featuring independent produce from Somerset House Studios artists and products from Black female-owned businesses.
DODGE is at Somerset House from 22 January-20 March 2012. Entry is free; dodgem ride and packages are available for pre-booking from £5. The organisers guarantee a Covid-secure outdoor space, and refunds if the event has to be cancelled.