Something Curated highlights the unmissable arts and culture happenings taking place across London this October, from all the excitement of Frieze week, to the first ever survey of Berlin-based collective the Honey-Suckle Company, via Sprüth Magers’ new Kara Walker show, and a sit-down with pioneering Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao at the Barbican.
TRANSFORMER: A Rebirth Of Wonder, at 180 The Strand || Doug Aitken, Sophia Al-Maria & Victoria Sin, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Donna Huanca, Juliana Huxtable & More (2 Oct – 8 Dec 2019)
The Store X The Vinyl Factory presents a new group show TRANSFORMER: A Rebirth Of Wonder at 180 The Strand this October. Curated by Jefferson Hack, TRANSFORMER features newly commissioned and debut works by Doug Aitken, Sophia Al-Maria & Victoria Sin, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Donna Huanca, Juliana Huxtable, Evan Ifekoya, Dozie Kanu, Quentin Lacombe, Lawrence Lek, Jenn Nkiru, Chen Wei and Harley Weir & George Rouy. The title of the show is inspired by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s ‘I Am Waiting’, which comments on the societal problems of contemporary America, and calls for a change of consciousness – the rebirth of a new wonder.
Welcome to End-Used City, at Chisenhale Gallery || Sidsel Meineche Hansen (Until 8 Dec 2019)
Chisenhale Gallery hosts Welcome to End-Used City, an exhibition by Sidsel Meineche Hansen. The show brings together new and existing works to further explore Meineche Hansen’s on-going enquiry into virtual and robotic bodies and their relationship to human labour within the gaming, pornographic and tech-industries. Central to the exhibition is a new video work End-Used City (2019). Using a game controller, audiences can select and view three short videos, embedded in the eyes of an animated figure.
O’ Magic Power of Bleakness, at Tate Britain || Mark Leckey (Until 5 Jan 2020)
Mark Leckey transforms Tate Britain’s galleries with a life-size replica of a motorway bridge on the M53 on the Wirral, Merseyside, where the artist grew up. The bridge – a recurring motif in his work – is the setting for a new audio play. Focusing on a group of teenagers, the play is inspired by folklore and stories of changelings and ‘fairy raids’ and by the artist’s own pre-adolescent experiences. Since he first came to prominence in the late 1990s Leckey’s work has addressed the relationship between popular culture and technology as well as exploring the subjects of youth, class and nostalgia.
From Black and White to Living Colour: The Collected Motion Pictures and Accompanying Documents of Kara E. Walker, Artist, at Sprüth Magers || Kara Walker (4 Oct – 21 Dec 2019)
Film has long played a crucial role in Kara Walker’s ground-breaking artistic practice. In this new show, eight of Walker’s films highlight her diverse approach to filmmaking, signature use of silhouettes, and insightful handling of space, sound and time to expose profound and enduring historical traumas and narratives. The exhibition will also include an array of artefacts that shed light on Walker’s process as she conceives of and composes her films. Shot lists, handwritten notes, cut-and-pasted lines of text, sketches and puppets are interspersed with the artist’s moving images, deepening our understanding of her films and her expansive practice of unforgettable work across mediums.
Honey-Suckle Company: Omnibus, at ICA || Honey-Suckle Company (2 Oct 2019 – 12 Jan 2020)
This is the first ever survey of the work of the Berlin collective Honey-Suckle Company, which brings together key moments of the group’s twenty-five-year history. Founded in 1994, Honey-Suckle Company identify themselves as a movement, built around an ongoing series of fluctuating and ephemeral interventions in fashion, music and art. The collective emerged from the post-reunification and pre-Internet cultural and social contexts of Berlin, defined by epochal underground techno and squatting scenes.
Claire Tabouret, at Almine Rech || Claire Tabouret (2 Oct – 16 Nov 2019)
Claire Tabouret is acclaimed for her figurative painting representing groups and characters, which may recall those of Romantic painting. The tonalities adopted by Tabouret are sometimes dark and sometimes acidic, making her practice unique. The bodies painted want to harm yet protect, feel, dance, thus opening up a space for the viewer’s sensitivity. The artist’s previous series of works displayed at Almine Rech Paris showcased the theme of the couple. For the upcoming exhibition, Tabouret has returned to portraiture. Depicting her relatives and friends’ figures, the canvases are tainted with personal experience, unfurling a universe of stories and memories.
Making Love Revolutionary, at Whitechapel Gallery || Anna Maria Maiolino (Until 12 Jan 2020)
With simple materials like clay, paper and ink Anna Maria Maiolino constructs a fascinating world rooted in human conditions such as longing, fragility and resistance. This is the artist’s first retrospective in the UK, spanning six decades of work. Born in Italy during World War II, Maiolino has lived in Brazil since 1960. Her oeuvre gives form to her experience of exile, deprivation and survival under authoritarian and patriarchal regimes. Opening the exhibition are hundreds of simple shapes made of clay such as balls, rolls and snakes. Slight variations evidence the work of the hand, kneading and shaping the primal material of art – mud.
Film & Performance
Silent Lines, at Sadler’s Wells || Russell Maliphant Dance Company (18–19 Oct 2019)
Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist and two-time Olivier Award-winner Russell Maliphant has long been fascinated by the human body. For his new work, he delves into his research and studies in anatomy and biomechanics. Drawing on a variety of movement disciplines, and setting them within a landscape of animated video projection from video and light artist Panagiotis Tomaras, Maliphant and his company of dancers explore the poetry of connections between our internal and external worlds, and how they affect the very act of movement.
Close-Up on Djibril Diop Mambéty, at Close-Up Film Centre || Djibril Diop Mambéty (5–20 Oct 2019)
Djibril Diop Mambéty was a renowned Senegalese film director, composer, and actor. He is best known for his distinct surrealist style, and his fascinating portrayal of themes like politics, power and wealth, and social conditions in Africa. He received international acclaim for his experimental and unconventional films, and he still remains an important influence in the present and future of African filmmaking. Close-Up presents Mambéty’s two seminal features alongside his final shorts, all screened in new digital restorations.
Frieze London, at Regent’s Park || Victoria Siddall (3–6 Oct 2019)
Frieze London 2019 will bring together more than 160 galleries from 35 countries, representing the fair’s most international edition since its launch. This year’s fair introduces new curators and sections showcasing performance, emerging artists and the contemporary significance of complex art genealogies and colonial legacies. Opening 3 to 6 October 2019, Frieze London coincides with Frieze Sculpture and Frieze Masters in Regent’s Park, together forming one of the most significant weeks in London’s cultural calendar.
Tatiana Bilbao: Architecture on Stage, at Barbican || Tatiana Bilbao (3 Oct 2019)
Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao, whose work focuses on social and economic sustainability, joins the Barbican’s Architecture on Stage programme this month. In 2004, Bilbao founded Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, working in projects in China, Europe and Mexico. The first project built by her studio was the exhibition pavilion in Jinhua Architecture Park, led and coordinated by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Bilbao’s diverse work includes the Botanical Garden in Culiacán, a master plan and open chapel for a Pilgrimage Route in Jalisco, a Biotechnological Center for a Tech Institution, and a sustainable housing prototype that is built with just $8000.
In Conversation: Rebecca Allen, at Zabludowicz Collection || Rebecca Allen & Maitreyi Maheshwari (5 Oct 2019)
Pioneering artist Rebecca Allen is joined in conversation by Programme Director, Maitreyi Maheshwari, to discuss her innovative practice and her VR work, Life Without Matter, currently installed in the 360: VR room at Zabludowicz Collection. Allen is inspired by the aesthetics of motion, the study of perception and behaviour and the potential of advanced technology. Her artwork, which spans nearly four decades and takes the form of experimental video, large-scale performances, live simulations and virtual and augmented reality art installations, addresses issues of gender, identity and what it means to be human as technology redefines our sense of reality.
Feature image: Anna Maria Maiolino. In-Out (Antropofagia) [In-Out (Antropophagy)], from the series Fotopoemação [Photopoemaction], 1973/74–2000 (detail), Photo: Max Nauenberg, Courtesy the artist and Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan. (via Whitechapel Gallery)