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Antony Confirmed As 2012 Meltdown Festival Director

LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Southbank Centre announced that musician/visual artist Antony has accepted the invitation to curate the 19th Meltdown festival, which takes place in August for the first time in 2012. The avant-garde performer and lead singer with Mercury Award-winning Antony and the Johnsons, follows in the footsteps of previous directors including Jarvis Cocker, Robert Wyatt, Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, Ornette Coleman, David Bowie and, most recently, Ray Davies.

Taking over the venues and spaces of London's Riverside Arts Centre, the artist who emerged from the New York underground art scene of the early 1990s will curate twelve days of music, debate and performance that reflect his interests, influences and passions. Issues ranging from environment and spirituality to gender politics will be among themes explored through the festival.

Antony’s Meltdown is part of the Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World with MasterCard, which runs from June 1st to September 9th 2012.

Antony said, "I want to create a kind of paradise. I want to walk through that forest and see and hear the hardcore beauty and strength in art and music that makes sense to me. The weather is changing and everybody knows it. I want to participate; What is my relationship and responsibility to the world around me? Frontier expressions of emotion and beauty can be fantastic tools with which to enter that discussion."

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director at Southbank Centre, said, "From the moment we heard his voice, or caught an early glimpse of him stealing the show on jaw-dropping guest spots, there was no doubt that Antony was a major talent…Each director takes Meltdown in a different direction. We can’t wait to see where Antony will take the festival and us in August 2012.”

Antony emerged with his musical ensemble Antony and the Johnsons in 1998. In 2005 Antony and the Johnsons won the UK's Mercury Prize for the album I am a Bird Now.

Since 2008, Antony has performed with orchestras throughout the world, including The London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, The Chamber Orchestra of Sydney at Sydney Opera House, The Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM.

Antony and The Johnsons' presentation of The Crying Light at the Manchester Festival 2009 was included in Klaus Biesenbach’s 100 Years: A History of Performance Art, at MoMA PS1.

Antony has collaborated with a wide-ranging group of artists and musicians including Björk, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, CocoRosie, and Lou Reed.

— Crystal Lynn Huntoon