We’ve handpicked nine must-see things to do in London this month. From art and photography exhibitions to contemporary dance and cinema, there’s something for every weekend afternoon in October.



Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings, at Royal Academy of Arts | Renzo Piano (Until 20 January 2019)

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#RenzoPiano: The Art of Making Buildings is now open! Explore the life and pioneering work of one of the greatest architects of our time – the man behind The Shard in London, the @centrepompidou in Paris and the @whitneymuseum in New York. Focusing on 16 key buildings, the exhibition features rarely seen drawings, models, photography, full-scale maquettes and a special interview with the architect. . Book tickets via roy.ac/ArtOfMakingBuildings . Image: Installation view of the ‘Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art, London (15 September 2018 – 20 January 2019). © David Parry / Royal Academy of Arts. Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with Renzo Piano Building Workshop and the Fondazione Renzo Piano. . #architecture #architect #architecturelovers #archilovers #architecturephotography #TheShard #Pompidou #London #Paris #NewYork #exhibition

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It’s quite astonishing how many of the world’s landmarks are thanks to 81 year old architect Renzo Piano, whose oeuvre includes Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Shard in London, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, and Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. This exhibition takes 16 of Piano’s key buildings as it’s focus, and through models, drawings, film and full-scale macquettes, explores how Renzo Piano Building Workshop has left a mark on so many cities.


Martine Syms: Grand Calme, at Sadie Coles HQ | Martine Syms (Until 20 October 2018)

When can I quit my day job? Why is everyone so crap at texting back these days? When will this invoice be processed? Will the self-doubt ever disappear? In Grand Calme, the LA-based artist Martine Syms deftly mirrors a multitude of modern-day anxieties, also placing a digital replica of herself at the centre in eery but increasingly-familiar AI form.  She’s there for you to message, interact and, depending on your view, commiserate with.


Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde, at Barbican | Eileen Gray, Barbara Hepworth, Pablo Picasso, Vanessa Bell, Claude Cahun & More (10 October 2018 – 27 January 2019)

The overlapping love lives and working lives of some of the art world’s most infamous couples is explored in this new exhibition at the Barbican. Some 38 fascinating couples (and sometimes trios) are at the heart on this mediation of creativity and intimacy. Among them are Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry and Duncan Grant; Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore; Lilly Reich and Mies van der Rohe.


New East Photo Prize, at Calvert 22 Foundation | Antal Bánhegyesy, Vika Eksta, Daria Garnik, Ilkin Huseynov & More (12 October – 2 December 2018)

Head down to Calvert 22 Foundation for this year’s New East Photo Prize, which celebrates the an entrancing multiplitude of works by both professional and non-professional contemporary photographers living and working across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia. This year’s longlist includes over 16 finalists.


Turner Prize 2018, at Tate Britain | Forensic Architecture, Naeem Mohaiemem, Charlotte Prodger, Luke Willis Thompson (Until 6 January 2019)

This year’s Turner Prize shortlist is, according to Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson, the most political exhibition in the prize’s history. What is unique about this year’s prize is that all of the artists have been shortlisted for their video work, spanning issues of queer identity, racial and social inequality, borders and forced migration, and police brutality. Naeem Nohaiemen, Luke Willis Thompson, collective Forensic Architecture and Charlotte Prodger’s works are on show until early next year, with a live BBC broadcast on 4 December to announce the winner(s).


Strange Days: Memories of the Future at 180 Strand | Massimiliano Gioni (2 October – 9 December 2018)

New York’s New Museum is coming to London’s The Store X this October for a new exhibition presenting some of its most popular shows over the years. Strange Days: Memories of the Future will open during Frieze London on 2 October at The Store X, 180 The Strand. It will offer a diverse overview of some of today’s most unconventional image-makers, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director at the New Museum, in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory.


Film and Performance

Via Kanana, at Shoreditch Town Hall | Via Katlehong & Gregory Maqoma (10 – 11 October 2018)

In Via Kanana, acclaimed South African dancer and choreographer Gregory Maqoma joins up with the award-winning Via Katlehong, a dance company started as a community project in 1992 to keep young people off the streets in the last years of apartheid. Based in a township just outside of Johannesburg, Via Katlehong’s dance is characterised by the whistling, tapping and clapping of Pantsula, a dance and cultural vernacular combining fast movement, fashion, and mime-work.


BFI London Film Festival, at Various Locations | Steve McQueen, Luca Guadagnino, Carol Morley & More (10 – 21 October 2018)

As ever, the BFI London Film Festival kicks off just as the nights are drawing in, and evenings in dark cinemas will be the most appealing way to spending time until Oscar season. For the 61st festival, Steve McQueen’s much-anticipated female-fronted heist thrilled Widows is the Headline Gala. Look out for new releases from the likes of Luca Guadagnino, Yorgos Lanthimos, a new feature film about the late war journalist Marie Colvin (played by Rosamund Pike) and London-based Writer and Director Tinge Krishnan’s contemporary London musical Been So Long, starring Chewing Gum’s Michaela Coel.



Frieze London, at Regent’s Park | Victoria Siddall (4-7 October 2018)

The annual art fair continues, and this year its works promise to address “the lack of visibility of women in the marketplace, and hidden systems of communication and control.” The theme for this year’s gallery section is ‘Social Work’, featuring women artists who challenged the status quo and explored the possibilities of political activism in their art making during the 1980s and ‘90s, from Nancy Spero in the US to Berni Searle in South Africa to Ipek Duben in Turkey and Helen Chadwick in the UK.


Words by Stevie Mackenzie-Smith | Feature image: Martine Syms: Grand Calme. Photography: Robert Glowacki (via Sadie Coles HQ, London)

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