Media Space before construction, 2nd floor Science Museum London © Kate Elliott.
After four years of speculation, delays and funding calls, the Science Museum and the National Media Museum have announced the June 2013 opening of the London-based Media Space.
The Media Space will be located on the second floor of the Science Museum, with renovation works starting in mid-November. Each year, the Science Museum will put on two major paid-for exhibitions, accompanied by a series of installations, temporary projects, talks and events in the Virgin Media Studio.
The first exhibition to take place in the Media Space will be Revelations: Experiments in Photography, which will "explore contemporary art photographers' responses to scientific photography made between 1850 and 1920". Speaking to BJP, a spokeswoman for the Museum says that Revelations will use historical works from the National Media Museum photography collection by artists such as William Fox Talbot, Harold Edgerton and Eadweard Muybridge, and explore the relationship between these works and contemporary art photographers such as Clare Strand, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Joris Jansen, who have loaned their images to the Museum.
The Studio space, which is sponsored by Virgin Media, will welcome an exhibition called Universal Everything, presented in association with Hyundai.
The Science Museum's Media Space is the result of a £4m capital project, paid for, in part, by public funds. Earlier this year, the development of the new photography gallery hit a roadblock when the National Media Museum struggled to find funds to finance the project. But, a spokeswoman for the Science Museum now tells BJP that the "funding for the capital project is in place and we will be seeking ongoing funding to help support the forward programming in Media Space."
She adds: "The ongoing costs will be supported by income generated from the exhibitions programme, corporate sponsorship, and venue hire. The Science Museum Group will also contribute to the runnings costs in the initial stages."
The Space also benefited from a donation from the Dana and Albert R Broccoli Foundation, which helped raised more than £400,000 at a couple of auction events. "Media Space has also received generous support in the form of donations or artworks from a large number of individuals, companies and artists including Ed Burtynsky, Luc Delahaye, Rineke Dijkstra, Mary McCartney and Taryn Simon," the Science Museum Group adds in a statement.
"Media Space is a really exciting project that in many ways realises the original vision for South Kensington to be a place where the two cultures of art and science coincide," says Hannah Redler, head of Media Space. "We've enjoyed a long history at Science Museum of bringing contemporary art interventions into our science galleries, but Media Space offers an unprecedented opportunity for our audiences to encounter photographers' and artists' own investigations into our collections."
For more details about the space, visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/mediaspace.
Media Space before construction, 2nd floor Science Museum London © Kate Elliott
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