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Visit People's Park Plinth

Liliane Lijn – Power Game


Venue: Southbank Centre, London

Follow in the footsteps of Derek Jarman and gamble on the power of words in a casino of ideas.

Take a seat at the table with artist Liliane Lijn, Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff, author Ali Smith, poet Sabrina Mahfouz, technology guru Vinay Gupta and digital artist Alan Warburton for a night which promises to be as inspirational as it is provocative.

When playing cards, everyone knows that the Queen trumps a Jack, and they gamble accordingly. But how should you bet on the words ‘protest’, ‘logic’ or ‘love’?

Presented by Southbank Centre in partnership with Furtherfield, Power Game is both a game and a live, unrehearsed performance that uses gambling as a lens on the politics of identity and power. It holds up a mirror to our preconceptions and fantasies of power, and forms a metaphor for the system we call ‘democracy’. There are no actors, no rehearsals and no script.

Descend to the basement and gather in a pop-up cafe bar where recordings of previous Power Games are projected on the walls. The bold can buy a single chip to enter the casino and encounter a cross-dressed croupier, who presides over a constellation of artists and thinkers from the worlds of literature, music and politics.

Each of these players is ‘power-dressed’, and you may wish to dress in your own idealised costume of power.

At the table, the elite players wager their own money on the power of the words in their hands, weighting the odds in accordance with their confidence in their own powers of oratory and persuasion. If you’re feeling lucky, you could even take a seat at the table yourself. The Power Game begins…

Power Game

Created by the artist Liliane Lijn, Power Game was first staged in 1974. At the heart of the game are the invited players, who in 1974 included figures such as Derek Jarman and Patrick Seale, chosen for their wit, originality and influential economic, political or cultural perspectives.

Each live performance is filmed from beginning to end and is simultaneously broadcast live on screens in the casino and the cafe bar. The live feed of each performance is interwoven with footage of past performances, creating a video record of Power Game that grows in depth and complexity with each new playing of the game.

Spirit Level (Blue Room) at Royal Festival Hall

For ages 18+

Please note, this free event requires a ticket. Please book your free ticket online, by phone or in person (no fees apply).


Power Game by Liliane Ljin is presented by Southbank Centre in partnership with Furtherfield

As part of Furtherfield’s Art Data Money programme

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