Visitors step inside the shifting screen to find themselves immersed in video and sound, including a nightmarish tropical rainforest by Mat Collishaw and a grumpy naked man trudging round the circle, drawn by David Shrigley.
Called Curtain Call, the 18 metre-wide ring plays host to films, live performances and interactive installations until 29 August.
The Roundhouse was built in 1846 and housed a turntable for steam engines. Its circular main hall was converted into a performance venue in the 1960s.
Dezeen filmed a series of interviews with Ron Arad last year to coincide with an exhibition of his work at the Barbican.
Here are some more details from the Roundhouse:
As part of Bloomberg Summer at the Roundhouse, internationally renowned artist, architect and designer Ron Arad has created a unique installation for the iconic London building – Curtain Call.
Arad has responded to the Roundhouse’s spectacular Main Space by creating a curtain made of 5,600 silicon rods, suspended from an 18 metre diameter ring – a canvas for films, live performance and audience interaction.
He has invited his favourite artists, musicians and friends to create unique work for the 360° interactive installation. Each day visitors will be able to see work by Babis Alexiadis, Hussein Chalayan, Mat Collishaw, Ori Gersht, Greenaway & Greenaway, Christian Marclay, Javier Mariscal, SDNA, David Shrigley, and students from the Royal College of Art as part of the piece.
Ron Arad says of Curtain Call: “Walk in, penetrate, cross the moving images to get inside the cylinder. You’ll be engulfed by images – a captive, but also a creator. It’s amazing what exciting things happen on both sides of the curtain. I can’t wait.”
Marcus Davey, Roundhouse Artistic Director and Chief Executive: "The Roundhouse Main Space has been the setting for all sorts of brave, influential work over the years. But this is the first time that an installation of such physical scale and creative scope has been staged. Ron's remarkable project marries experimental design with live performance. It looks set to be an unforgettable experience."
Bloomberg: “We're delighted that our collaboration with the Roundhouse and Ron Arad will inspire artists and audiences to engage in new ways through exciting new technology. We're proud to be part of such a unique and extraordinary event.”
A number of special events will be staged throughout the run, for which tickets range from £12-25, including: acclaimed cellist Steven Isserlis with a performance of solo suites by Bach and Britten (17 Aug); Berlin-based electronic music label Innervisions with an evening featuring a screening of 1920s classic, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, accompanied by a live score (19 Aug); and London Contemporary Orchestra performing Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and other modern pieces on ancient themes (23 Aug).
There will also be free events, including a rude oracle delivered by award-winning American author Jonathan Safran Foer, singer/ songwriter Lail Arad, multi-instrumental duo Cat’s Eyes and Call to Create – a chance for emerging artists to collaborate with AV collective, EYESONTHEWALL. Designer Paul Cocksedge will be heating and moulding old LPs to give them new life as vinyl speakers, which amplify music from smartphones.
Ron Arad’s constant experimentation with materials and his radical approach to form and structure have put him at the forefront of contemporary design. In 1994 he unveiled the Bookworm bookshelf, and in 2005 he designed a chandelier for the Swarovski crystal company, which uses LEDs to display scrolling text messages sent from mobile phones. He was Head of the Design Products Department at the Royal College of Art from 1997 to 2009. Ron Arad Architects designed the Design Museum Holon, which opened in 2010. Recent major shows include the Centre Pompidou, Paris, MoMA in New York and the Barbican in London.
Venue Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH
Dates 9-29 August
Opening hours Mon-Wed & Fri 12pm-7pm (except 17, 19, 23 & 24)
Thu 12pm-10pm; Sat-Sun 10am-7pm
Tickets Pay what you can: there’s no fixed price