If you caught a train at London’s King’s Cross last night you might have spotted something strange glowing in the sky. The elegant domed shape was not an Unidentified Flying Object but, in fact, an Identified Flying Object (IFO) - so named by its artist creator Jacques Rival. The IFO isn’t exactly flying either, but hangs suspended from a bright orange crane, resembling a songbird’s cage.
The installation arrived at the London station last night and is due to hover on the skyline by night for the next two years. Part of the Relay arts project by Anglo-French curating partnership Michael Pinksy and Stephanie Delacroix, IFO is the first fruit of a nine year arts programme being grown to complement the King’s Cross redevelopment.
“Jacques Rival’s response to King’s Cross is both poetic and pertinent,” according to a joint statement from Pinsky and Delcroix. “This nomadic sculpture follows the flux and flow of this new district which is evolving day by day. Over the coming months IFO will be found over coffee kiosks, amidst the construction sites, on buildings and, of course, in the sky.”
The nine metre cage will only light up the sky after twilight. By day it will rest on the ground for tourists and the 47 million people who pass through King’s Cross every year to enter. Those who can muscle into the scrum will be able to sit (and move to and fro joyfully) on the swing at the cage’s centre.
King’s Cross is fast becoming a hub for the arts, housing 5,000 staff and students from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, as well as the nearby Kings Place. The redevelopment project, which stretches 67 brown-field acres, is intended to transform the once dreary part of London into a modern focal point which will be 40 per cent parks and outside spaces. The station’s redevelopment is due for completion early next year.
The biggest crane on site at the building development will be diverted at night from its normal usage to hold up the IFO cage.
Upcoming Relay commissions include works by artists Felice Varini, Marjetica Potrc and Richard Wentworth.