1st || Monday
Returning to Somerset House for a fifth year, the World Illustration Awards Exhibition, in partnership with the Directory of Illustration, presents highlights from this year’s shortlist of contemporary illustration, entered by emerging and established talent to the Association of Illustrators’ (AOI) annual competition. Presenting over 50 of the very best artworks across the diverse field of illustration, the exhibition will include the crowning of two overall winners that will be announced by illustrator David Hughes at the awards evening on Wednesday 3 August.
4th || Thursday
A group exhibition that gathers the tactile physicality of Daniel J Norie’s installations, Joe J Robinson’s mathematical, architectural abstractions and the harnessing of light itself in the analogue photography of Joshua T Gibbons. Playing on the concept that art transcends the limitations of quotidian existence just as the hypercube transcends three dimensional space.
In Nick JS Thompson’s first visit to his grandparents’ house since his grandfather passed away and his grandmother moved into care, he became aware of the character of the space where once personality had been the focus. Documented in black and white the images are stripped of their warmth as if something is missing. Without the characters that previously inhabited it, the space itself becomes a gallery for relics that are left behind, and we are given an insight into these characters. These stark images in a once loving environment show the inability of the artist to reconcile his emotional response to memory and loss.
Artist and Cass MA Fine Art alumna Nye Thompson uses search engines to unearth images captured by unsecured surveillance cameras from the archive to the Bank Gallery. Deploying algorithms to robotically archive these images, she exposes our vulnerability in cyberspace. This audacious exhibition, at once erasing whatever distinction there may have been between public and private domains, acts as a stark warning about our continued indulgence into virtual realms. It is an investigation into our relationship with technology; a reassessment of our trust in big data, digital culture and our emergence into a landscape that is co-shared with robots, artificial intelligence, governments and larger-than-government corporations all feeding on your personal data. It brings to question our sense of authorship in an age of automation and puts you face-to-face with your inner voyeur.
17th || Wednesday
What Do You Meme? is an exhibition on ‘internet memes’ within online culture. It celebrates memes as a higher art form. It will show how they have moved a long way from websites such as Reddit and 4chan, and how they are used as communication across cultures. It will explore memes as an artistic practice that relate to people in a socio-political (Bernie and Hilary) and creative (Doge) way. It will include female meme collectives, colloquial meme sites, meme archives and gold mines. It will illustrate the transition from a simple ‘internet meme’ to memes that have transferred from URL into IRL. They will no longer be viewed as poor taste or low culture but portrayed as the most democratic art form, similar to folk art.
23rd || Tuesday
The exhibition focuses on the theme of mapping geographies, examining the notion of statehood and exploring how artists engage with the rapidly expanding cities of the Arab region. Drawn from the Barjeel Art Foundation collection of modern and contemporary Arab art, this is the final display in a year-long series at the Whitechapel Gallery. Featuring Iman Issa, Jumana Manna,
Etel Adnan, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Marwa Arsanios, Ali Cherri,Manal Al Dowayan, Sadik Al Fraji, Susan Hefuna, GCC Collective and Sophia Al-Maria. Free entry.
25th || Thursday
As part of The Politics of Food programme of events, Forager Collective have invited Bengaluru based artist Abhishek Hazra to develop a new performance as part of their project Manufacturing Purana. Through enactments and spoken word narrations, this piece will stage a speculative exploration of the pre-history of economic liberalisation in India. The performance provides a critique of the celebratory view of liberalisation. The fictional frame of the performance presents pre-1991 India as a bleak landscape, serving only to stifle the young nation’s seemingly unbounded creative energies. Booking essential.
Through painting, video, collage, sculpture, performance and installation by huber.huber, Manuel Mathieu, Mark Salvatus, Rachel McCrae, Victoria Sin, Omer Even-Paz, and a lecture-performance by Alex Anikina, this exhibition presents a pan-global perspective on the issue of the Anthropocene, an era that started when humanity began to have a significant impact on the planet. This is done through exploring gender, capitalism, identity, automation, materiality and the potential for nature’s reincarnation after the crisis. These artists seek to incite feelings of rage and exhaustion as we witness a new age where artists aren’t able to respond, or, take control, because they are swept up in the current structures of things as much as anybody else.
To celebrate the forthcoming release of their 2nd album on DFA Records former ICA Associates Factory Floor return to premiere material from their latest hi-energy minimalist dance exploration 25 25.
Accompanying Factory Floor are special live performances from British visual artist Haroon Mirza, who is internationally acclaimed for his installations that examine the interplay between light and sound, collaborating and performing with Jack Jelfs and Shiva Feshareki. This is followed by Swedish artist Klara Lewis, who is recognised for her disorientating arrangements of field recordings combined with textured rhythms. In 2012 Factory Floor commenced a year-long residency as ICA Associates which manifested as a series of live collaborations that featured New York composer Peter Gordon, visual artist Hannah Sawtell and British soundtrack producer Simon Fisher Turner. The events sought to challenge the boundaries between collaboration and live improvisation. Booking is essential.
28th || Sunday
Five international renowned artists explore damage and repair, to bodies, minds, objects and landscapes, through stitch and other techniques. Dorothy Caldwell and Saidhbhín Gibson look at mankind’s interactions with nature, while Freddie Robins explores depression and trauma; Karina Thompson delves into medical research; and Celia Pym uses darns to “make it ok”. Featuring Dorothy Caldwell, Saidhbhìn Gibson, Celia Pym, Freddie Robins, and Karina Thompson.