5 To See This Weekend

Winter makes its presence felt this weekend as the first hoards of Christmas shoppers crowd the streets and rumours of oncoming snow storms begin. This Saturday and Sunday is therefore a great time to get prepared and get your fix of the best art from around the world before the roads freeze over and the white stuff hits. Here’s a run-through of our top exhibitions, from the bracing streets of Edinburgh to the busy boulevards of Paris, that are well worth dragging you away from the fire this weekend.

1. Ubermorgen: userfriendly, Carroll/Fletcher, London
Swiss- Austrian-American duo UBERMORGEN present their first solo exhibition where pixellated prints meet digital-oil paintings and photography meets video, in a hyper-active, super-enhanced exploration of censorship. Setting up a troubling delve into surveillance, torture, newspeak and e-commerce, audiences may be destabilised in this collection of politically-minded, multi-layered works. Wireless routers hanging from the ceiling and a print series app that confronts viewers with their own morality are set to be among the highlights.

2. Fotofever, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris
Back for a fourth year, Fotofever Paris transforms the magnificent Carrousel du Louvre into a hub of burgeoning and daring contemporary photography. Panning out through the diversity of today’s photography, Fotofever aims to introduce new collectors to galleries, publishers, artists and amateurs, putting the most enthusiastic, vibrant and creative figures of the photo world into one room to debate, discuss and marvel. Organised by the daughter of celebrated photographer Roger Schall, Cécile Schall, this is a young and unique fair with big, exciting ambitions.

3. Palle Nielsen: The Model, Tate Liverpool
Get lost in the politics of the playground once again with Danish artist, Palle Nielsen’s groundbreaking social experiment. Bringing together archival sound recordings, documents and photographs from the original project, carried out across three weeks in 1968 at the Moderna Museet, The Model explored what happened when 20,000 children where left to their own devices among a jungle gym, water chutes, foam rubber “diving pools”, swings and carnival masks. Now reconstructed for the Tate Liverpool, guests can delve back into a giddy childhood age in an exhibition that highlights the importance of fun and creativity in the world of adventure play.

4. Louise Bourgeois: I Give Everything Away, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
Influential American sculptor, painter and print-maker, Louise Bourgeois’ (1911-2010) final work I Give Everything Away (2010), stands at the heart of this new exhibition as a pressing reminder of the impact this introspective artist made on the art world throughout a career spanning seven decades. Viewing life and relationships through an impish, yet dark and sometimes unsettling lens, this latest collection tracks Bourgeois’ obsession with the personal and a mining out the psyche, exploring sleep and insomnia, frustration and vulnerability, through mediums and materials including felt-tip and biro drawings, ink works and pencil sketches. One startling exhibit, a hankerchief embroidered with the sentence “I have been to hell and back. And let me tell you, it was wonderful”, speaks volumes about the cheeky intelligence of this iconic artist and the playful exploration this new exhibition will launch you into.

5. John Keane: Fear, Flowers Gallery, London
The Moscow show trials of 1930’s Stalinist terror forms the basis of John Keane’s (b.1954) menacing new exhibition, Fear. Capturing an era where no one was safe from denunciation and accusations of political deviancy bounced around society with alarming frequency, Keane’s work draws on source material from Kafka-esque documentary film grabs of the trails and haunting mug shots of the Secret Service Police. A bleak and sombre reflection of the role of collective fear, remembering terrors past and looking to the possibility of hope in the contemporary world, in the likes of the Pussy Riot revolt, Fear injects a very real and disturbing danger into the heart of Flowers Gallery.

Katharine Wootton

1. Perpetrator i (detail), 2008. Pigment Print on Paper, 220 x 146 cm.