Temple (Installation)

Site-specific installation – LCD video walls, camouflage netting, LED lighting, haze, spotlights, surround-sound system,  CGI music videos, surround-sound soundtrack

Exhibition at Transformer: A Rebirth of Wonder, 180 The Strand, London

Press Release   

Using video-game engines, CGI, VR and simulation to construct virtual environments, Lawrence Lek creates slippages between time, space and location that trigger flashbacks in the mind’s eye. Images from film, games, sci-fi and half-forgotten memories swim around so that one’s real-life experience is dislocated and reformatted as a déjà vu within Lek’s hybrid world.

He frequently uses virtual narrative and sound design to map futuristic potential onto existing contexts in the form of speculative fiction. Here, the basement of 180 The Strand becomes the entrance to Temple, a nightclub recreated from his film AIDOL and operated by FarSight, an entertainment start-up from his wider fictional universe. Once the site of hedonism and transgression, this corporate megaclub co-opts subculture into a controlled environment, shaping desire into supervised fun.

In this newly commissioned installation for Transformer, the artist conflates the fabric of the real environment and the fiction of his films, creating an in-between space, framed by a soundtrack of his own music. The journey he renders in CGI and 3D animation presents Temple – the Tube station – as connected with 180 The Strand. Virtual ravers travel from the station to the subterranean world of 180 for a night out, as the first-person journey predicts and mirrors the experience of many real-life visitors. As always, Lek divorces experience from reality using subtle manipulation to glitch, collide and enmesh imagination and materiality.

The soundtrack drifts out into the cavernous space of the building, while lights cut through haze and hanging screens invite the visitor into this “empty orchestra” – a direct translation of the word karaoke. The room reflects the nature of these repurposed spaces as sites for losing, and simultaneously finding, oneself in the walls of a grimy, post-industrial club, or in the music of an ecstatic moment. Memories are rekindled and sensual desire points to the impulse in all humanity to be transported beyond the everyday.

Other Versions

Temple was later released as a soundtrack, and virtual world project.

More details on the Soundtrack release on The Vinyl Factory︎︎︎
Temple Virtual World project page︎︎︎

Exhibition Credits

The Store X The Vinyl Factory presents

Jefferson Hack

Susanna Davies-Crook

Sarah Shattock

Christina Cushing
In collaboration with The Vinyl Factory

KS Objective

Sam Forster Associates

Natasha Chubbuck, Conor Crook, Kris Emerson, David Furlong, Francesca Gavin, Ben Kelley, Jennifer Lewandowski, Sophie McElligott, Other People’s Sculpture, Alim Saleh, Lorna Young 

Exhibition title taken from I Am Waiting, from A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, © 1958 

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