Thursday || January 7
A discussion with Italian writer, media theorist, and media activist Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi as part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s Big Ideas talk series – a platform for renowned speakers, from scholars and thinkers to curators and artists, to share and discuss their current research and work. Covering topics from his recent publication, AND: Phenomenology of the End, Berardi analyses the changes taking place in our aesthetic and emotional sensibility today, which he claims are the result of capitalism’s capture of our inner resources and processes: how we experience time, the way we relate to each other, and our ability to imagine a future. He shows how we have arrived at such a complex point that we are no longer able to process the excessive currents of information that flow through smartphones and screens. Ultimately, these sensory and emotional devices destroy our sensibility by submitting it to the stress of competition and acceleration. Booking and ticket required.
Saturday || January 9
Secret Agent is a group exhibition exploring feminist authorship in contemporary art practices. Artists Sarah Beddington, Beth Collar, Aleksandra Domanović, Mathilde ter Heijne, Aura Satz, Maud Sulter, Niina Vatanen and Ye Funa actively challenge the institutional structure of history and patriarchal authority – and imagine alternative narratives, often through the specificity of lens-based media. The exhibition is a touring and evolving composition, which follows its previous presentation at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, to examine feminist positions of revisiting histories through lens and time based media. A programme of related events will accompany the show, including a symposium and film screening.
Assistant Curator Melissa Blanchflower leads a tour of the exhibition by Michael Craig-Martin (b. Dublin, 1941), Transience (admission is free). The exhibition brings together works from 1981 to 2015, including his era-defining representations of once familiar yet obsolete technology; laptops, games consoles, black-and-white televisions and incandescent lightbulbs that highlight the increasing transience of technological innovation. The exhibition also features new wallpaper that has been conceived especially for the exhibition.
Thursday || January 14
Georgina Born, Professor of Music and Anthropology at University of Oxford, and multidisciplinary artist Mark Fell, discuss the history of computer music and its associated ideologies, aesthetics and communities. Chaired by artist and musician Jan Hendrikse, this event is prompted by the exhibition Luke Fowler and Mark Fell: Computers and Cooperative Music-Making (23 October 2015-7 February 2016), which looks at how the use of computers began to shape music-making through experimentation with unfamiliar techniques involving mathematical structures, data and unusual forms of interaction. Booking and ticket required.
Friday || January 15
15 January – 23 March
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art presents Julian Charrière: For They That Sow the Wind, a first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom for this French-Swiss artist. It will include sculpture, documented performance, installations, photographs and film. The show is curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder/Director of Parasol unit.
Saturday || January 16
In this afternoon of talks, artist-in-residence Sam Belinfante invites artists, musicians and academics to think about the voluntary and involuntary movements between sound, music and gesture. Booking and ticket required.
Tuesday || January 19
19 January – 6 March
This archival display documents the 1974 ICA exhibition Art into Society – Society into Art: Seven German Artists (29 October – 24 November 1974), a key part of a season called the German Month that was staged at the ICA and which featured film screenings, talks, performances and exhibitions showcasing the wide-ranging cultural developments emerging from West Germany at that time. Research and display by Lucy Bayley (PhD candidate ICA and Middlesex University) and Juliette Desorgues (ICA).
Wednesday || January 20
21 January – 5 March
Alexandre Da Cunha (b. 1969) has referred to his practice not as ‘making’ but as ‘pointing’. Pointing at existing objects, somehow, in plain sight, and highlighting or revealing new and unexpected facets or meanings within them. This approach has allowed him to unpick our preconceptions and instinctive responses to things and re-direct them into new areas of seeing and understanding, giving way to a lush potential, not only in interpreting his work, but also in everything we subsequently see in the world. Household cleaning objects suddenly conjure spiritual significance and lofty art historical precedents are echoed by hitherto mundane industrial ready-mades. Following up on his first show – Full Catastrophe – in 2012, Thomas Dane Gallery presents Free Fall, in which da Cunha will present a new group of monumental works that reveals the artist’s innate understanding and manipulation of the language of materials and objects.
The second in a series of pre-fair talks hosted in the run up to the 2016 edition of Photo London, Photo London Presents explores the relationship between artist and dealer. This evening will offer the chance to hear Ben Brown (of Ben Brown Fine Arts) speak with one of the artists on his international roster: the leading contemporary photographer Ori Gersht. This unique discussion will provide an insight into the relationships formed between artist and dealer, and will explore how photography is made and sold in view of the commercial art world. Booking and ticket required.
Friday || January 22
22 January – 24 March
Victoria Miro presents an exhibition of new work by Chantal Joffe, in which celebrated writers keep company with the artist’s friends and family members. Practising painting and drawing as the loving collection of subjects, people met in the flesh and on the page, Joffe prompts a re-evaluation of notions of self-disclosure and intimacy in the making of work.
22 January–21 February
Use/User/Used is organized by a group of ten emerging curators as part of the annual Testing Ground for Art Education programme at the Zabludowicz Collection. It presents the result of a three-month collaboration between students on the MFA and MA Curating courses at Goldsmiths University of London, Chelsea College of Art, and Sir John Cass College of Art at London Metropolitan University. Bringing together ideas from five countries across Europe and representing a diverse cross section of curatorial perspectives, the participating curators are: Luis Araujo, Mattia Giussani, Jose Iglesias, Lorna McDowell, Giovanni Rendina, Celine Roblin-Robson, Alexine Rodenhuis, Angela Sanchez del Campo, Duarte Sequeira, and Kirsty White.
22 January – 31 March
Although there’s a growing body of literature addressing PowerPoint’s place in contemporary knowledge production, it has so far been overlooked as an artistic medium and exhibition format, despite its sole function being grounded in visual arts. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Microsoft’s release of PowerPoint, the Media Wall, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut London, are commissioning 15 artists, scientists and theorists to playfully consider the politics and aesthetics of slideware, while speculating on the future of image production.
22 January – 12 March
Lisson gallery presents John Akomfrah’s first exhibition with the gallery, showing new and recent works by this internationally acclaimed artist and filmmaker. Akomfrah’s work is characterised by a rich, multi-layered visual style that is as poetic as it is political and which frequently fuses contemporary issues with history, fiction and mythology. Collaging archival film footage, still photography and newsreel with new material, he investigates personal and collective memories, post-colonialism, temporality and aesthetics in works that frequently explore the experience of the African diaspora in Europe and the US.
Wednesday || January 27
Art duo JODI (Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans) give a presentation in response to the question: Artists, what is your value? This event is presented as part of ICA Talks Series: Artists, what is your value? Replicating productivist injunctions for creative practitioners to serve as entrepreneurs, repeatedly proving and performing their own worth, these talks goad artists, critics and theorists to make estimations of the worth of art and artists in the current age. Booking and ticket required.
27 January – 3 April
Somerset House announces a collaboration with Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk which will see a unique new version of his collection The Museum of Innocence, the physical manifestation of his novel of the same name, travels to Somerset House in January 2016. Both the novel and the museum tell the story of engaged wealthy socialite Kemal Bey’s obsessive love for Füsun, his twice removed cousin and a beautiful shop girl, through an array of everyday items which have taken on special emotional significance as mementos and keep-sakes of the couple’s ill-fated romance. The exhibition at Somerset House will focus on 13 vitrines filled with everyday objects that each represent a single moment within the relationship, interwoven with film by celebrated director Grant Gee, original material about the making of the museum and facsimile manuscripts of the novel.
Thursday || January 28
29 January – 3 April
Chisenhale Gallery presents a new commission and the first UK solo exhibition by New York-based artist Park McArthur who works primarily in sculpture, sound and text. McArthur’s exhibition is a single installation with two main components. The first one is a series of sculptures made from wholesale-size polyurethane foam and the second one engages the properties of superabsorbent polymer powder, a substance developed to soak up large quantities of liquid relative to its mass. For these new works, McArthur combines superabsorbent polymer with traditional papermaking processes. The polymer powder acts and reacts to the processes of papermaking as well as to the conditions of the gallery. McArthur’s work, which includes both visual art and writing, emphasises the viable conditions of life and the ways that such conditions can lead to critique and criticality. Like the bumpers, the pyjamas, and the ramps, the polymeric substances of foam and powder show what it is to insulate, isolate and soak up; what it is to bear, to accommodate and to cushion. At the root of each type of object is a particular obstinacy of material that allows for an analysis of the inseparable material relations of art to life.
Friday || January 29
29 January – 15 May
A major exhibition bringing together over 100 works to show the impact of computer and Internet technologies on artists from the mid-1960s to the present day. The exhibition title is taken from a term coined in 1974 by South Korean video art pioneer Nam June Paik, who foresaw the potential of global connections through technology. Arranged in reverse chronological order, Electronic Superhighway begins with works made at the arrival of the new millennium, and ends with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T), an iconic, artistic moment that took place in 1966. Key moments in the history of art and the Internet emerge as the exhibition travels back in time. The exhibition features new and rarely seen multimedia works, together with film, painting, sculpture, photography and drawing. From Cory Arcangel, Jeremy Bailey, James Bridle, Constant Dullaart and Oliver Laric, to Roy Ascott, Judith Barry, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Ulla Wiggen, over 70 artists spanning 50 years are included.
Saturday || January 30
Artist and musician Anton Kats invites you to an Artist Talk taking the shape of an open studio and live radio performance. Taking the form of a Radio Narrowcast, Anton will introduce an expanded notion of radio as a social construction of power and a mode in which we can navigate through places and moments of social interaction. The Artist Talk will draw upon two ongoing projects which Anton initiated through the Serpentine Galleries Edgware Road Project: Radio Sonar and For a Walk With… to explore the ambiguity of art practice in both institutional and informal contexts. These discussions will derive from questions concerned with developing collaborative and useful site-specific works, in particular in response to redevelopment, dementia, care work and poverty in the neighbourhoods of London, UK and Kingston, Jamaica. The Artist Talk will be accompanied by screenings of the short films Bloxburgh FM: Water Road Education (30 mins) and For a Walk With… (12 mins). Admission is free.
Last chance to see
15 October 2015 – 3 January 2016
This new installation by Ann Veronica Janssens explores light and colour as she invades the gallery with coloured mist. Colour is caught in a state of suspension, obscuring any detail of surface or depth. Instead, attention is focussed on the process of perception itself. Janssens’s work is both disorienting and uplifting as the daily wonder of conscious experience is given renewed emphasis. Entrance into the space is limited. Booking in advance is suggested.
Miriam La Rosa