Something Curated highlights the unmissable arts and culture happenings taking place across London in January 2020, from Peter Fischli and David Weiss’ new exhibition at Sprüth Magers, to the anticipated return of Condo London, via the latest in menswear courtesy London Fashion Week Men’s.
Rubem Valentim, at The Approach || Rubem Valentim (11 Jan – 16 Feb 2020)
The Approach presents the first solo exhibition in the UK of one of the key figures of 20th-century Brazilian art and Afro-Atlantic histories: Rubem Valentim. The show features Valentim’s signographic paintings and votive sculptures conceived during the years 1972 to 1990. Starting out as a self-taught painter, Valentim began his practice towards the end of the 1940s. The artist adopted the European artistic languages—which dominated the Brazilian art production scene during the 1950s and 60s—only then to pool and transmute various elements of Afro-Atlantic symbols into a complex rubric of his own.
Hollowed Water, at Camden Arts Centre || Athanasios Argianas (17 Jan – 5 Apr 2020)
Athens-born Athanasios Argianas’ upcoming exhibition will present new film, sculpture and musical works that emerge from his interest in redundant technologies and the traces of modernism found in unthought of places. Drawing on the social and historical specificity of acoustic forms and visual aesthetics, Argianas developed several new works during his residency at Camden Arts Centre in 2018-19. These include modular ceramic sculptures that trace the nuanced shifts from the curves of art nouveau to 1930s modernism, as well as casts and replicas of acoustic technologies, including the Ondes Martenot Resonator – a prototypical instrument that tilts and bends sound, treating it as a tactile material.
No horizon, no edge to liquid, at Zabludowicz Collection || Alvaro Barrington, Varda Caivano, Nir Evron, Richard Ayodeji Ikhide, Saya Woolfalk and more (16 Jan – 23 Feb 2020)
No horizon, no edge to liquid explores the concept of cultural hybridity as a space in which cultures meet: where bridges are built between societies through the processes of communication, negotiation, and translation. The exhibition includes work by thirteen artists, all of whom were born outside North American or continental Europe, although many have since immigrated there. Encompassing a diverse array of media – painting, sculpture, video, installation and new media art – the exhibition explores how varying forms of hybridity can manifest through artworks.
Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair?, at Sprüth Magers || Peter Fischli & David Weiss (17 Jan – 14 Mar 2020)
This marks the fifth exhibition by Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss at Sprüth Magers’ London gallery. The exhibition will present a concise overview of the artists’ extraordinary transformations of the commonplace in the form of three seminal works from throughout their collaborative career. At the centre of this exhibition is the large-format sculptural installation The Raft. The work is made entirely of polyurethane; a material Fischli Weiss first began using for their sculptures in the early 1980s. Polyurethane was originally used mostly in film productions, where it was employed as a component in props and scenery construction. This choice of material situates the installation in the realm of the workshop and labour, a subject the artists explored from the outset of their work together.
Christine Rebet, at Parasol unit || Christine Rebet (23 Jan – 26 Mar 2020)
Parasol unit presents the final exhibition in its current London space, works by French artist Christine Rebet. This, her first solo show in the United Kingdom, will occupy two floors of the gallery and comprise six hand-drawn animated films that address the traumas of personal and collective histories, illusion and the destruction of our shared history and environment. Drawing is at the heart of Rebet’s practice, which she often develops into animated films, sculpture, installations or performance art. With a background in theatre design, Rebet presents her hand-drawn animations within immersive environments and sculptural props. Working with the traditional techniques of early animation she explores the unconscious and creates tales that are both anti-heroic and satirical.
Film & Performance
Paris, Texas, at Close-Up Film Centre || Wim Wenders (1–6 Jan 2020)
The wide-open spaces of the American West turn into “a place for demons, a place for heartbreak,” in Wenders’s magisterial deconstruction of multiple myths: family, masculinity, and even America itself. Written by Sam Shepard, the film follows a Bukowski-like drifter (Harry Dean Stanton) as he staggers under a bright, uncaring Western sky, seemingly looking for another drink, but actually seeking his long-lost young son. Finally reunited, they search for Mom (Nastassja Kinski), and find her in a peep show. A slice of Americana as authentic as any John Ford film, Paris, Texas finds its darkness not in the terrain, but the heart.
CBM 8032 AV, at Barbican Hall || Robert Henke (23 Jan 2020)
Part-artist, part-scientist, Robert Henke is one of the most influential electronic musicians working today. Old technology meets new sounds – Henke commands a line-up of five 1980s Commodore computers to create this retrofuturistic audiovisual work. These computers were never supposed to be used to create music. Modifying them with his own software, Henke wrestles out extraordinary sound and imagery – digital clicks and glitches with geometric projections reminiscent of old sci-fi. Though vintage, this hardware produces an audio-visual experience which is at once modern, complex and fluid.
London Fashion Week Men’s || Natalie Massenet (4–6 Jan 2020)
London Fashion Week Men’s, formerly London Collections Men, showcases a breadth of exciting new and emerging talent alongside established favourites, running from 4–6 Jan 2020. Expect to see the latest offerings from London designers Craig Green, Stefan Cooke, Wales Bonner, Art School and John Alexander Skelton, among others.
Condo London 2020 || Vanessa Carlos (11 Jan – 8 Feb 2020)
Condo, conceived by London art dealer Vanessa Carlos, co-founder of Carlos/Ishikawa gallery in Whitechapel, launched its inaugural edition in January 2016. The concept involves London galleries lending their spaces for a month to foreign dealers to stage collaborative exhibitions, showcasing artists from both rosters. Condo offers an exciting chance to get to grips with a diverse group of artists who might otherwise seldom make an appearance in London.
Feature image: Peter Fischli & David Weiss, The Raft, 1982 (via Guggenheim)