Time out at Somerset House

Does Christmas feel like a lifetime ago already? We can relate. Before we all hit the new decade running, Somerset House is offering new perspectives on our non-stop world with its major winter exhibition, 24/7. If you found it difficult to switch off over the holiday period, this exhibition is for you.

Inspired by the book 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by New York-based art critic and essayist Jonathan Crary, and curated by Sarah Cook, it takes you on a multi-sensory journey for a 24-hour cycle from dawn until dusk, with interactive works from over 50 leading international artists.


Marcus Coates Self Portrait As Time 2016 Julia Varelas X5000 2017 On View At 247 At Somerset House C Stephen Chung For Somerset House

Marcus Coates' 'Self Portrait as Time', 2016 & Julia Varela's 'X.5000', 2017 

Douglas Couplands Slogans For The 21St Century 2011 Present At 247 At Somerset House C Stephen Chung For Somerset House 

Douglas Coupland's Slogans for the 21st Century (2011-Present)

With the inability to switch off one of the most important issues of our time and 200,000 working days lost annually due to insufficient sleep, according to RAND Europe, this exhibition holds up a mirror to our always-on culture and invites you to step outside of your daily routine to refresh, reflect and reset.

Contributors including Douglas Coupland, Mat Collishaw, Harun Farocki, Pierre Huyghe, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Kelly Richardson, Kateřina Šedá, Pilvi Takala, Addie Wagenknecht and 10 artists and designers from Somerset House Studios explore the unrelenting pressure to work and be constantly connected as well as suggesting ways to cope.

The exhibition also looks at how new technologies have blurred the boundaries between day and night, activity and rest, the human and the machine, work and leisure, the individual and the collective.

Spare an hour from your hectic schedule to experience 24/7 and you can expect highlights such as Tatsuo Miyajima’s meditative isolation chamber Life Palace (tea room), in which individuals can climb inside, shut the door and bathe in the blue glow of LED countdowns. Catherine Richards’s Shroud/Chryalis I also invites exhibition visitors to be completely enclosed in a copper blanket to ‘unplug’ and disconnect from their devices by being protected from any electro-magnetic signals.


Installation View Of Tekja Awake 2019 At 247 At Somerset House C Stephen Chung For Somerset House 7 

Tekja Awake 2019 At 247 At Somerset House C Stephen Chung For Somerset House

Both Tekja, Awake, 2019 


Installation View Of Tatsuo Miyajima Life Palace Tea Room C Stephen Chung For Somerset House

Tatsuo Miyajima, Life Palace (tea room) 


Catch 24/7 before 23 February 2020 at Somerset House. For more information, click here.

* Feature images: (c) Stephen Chung for Somerset House

** Cover image: Courtesy of Douglas Coupland, Slogans for the 21st Century, and Maria Francesca Moccia, EyeEm, via Getty Images