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Cosima von Bonin’s Surrealist Playground @ Arnolfini

Review by Regina Papachlimitzou

Cosima von Bonin’s exhibition Bone Idle is permeated by contradiction. Her work, aiming to explore notions of sloth and fatigue, comprises a surprisingly energetic – at times almost manic – conglomeration of mediums. Through the use of materials as diverse as giant stuffed toys and larger-than-life streetlamps, von Bonin undercuts visitors’ expectations and invites them to reconsider pre-established ideas on how art sets about achieving its objective.

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To Kill A Mockingbird – Review of the play, touring the UK

Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird (1960) is one of the most widely discussed novels; dealing with racial inequality, violence and rape, it summarises a bleak time in American history. Countless essays and book reports have been written about this text, Robert Mulligan’s adaptation of the story into an Oscar winning film in 1962, and the fact that the play opened in York on 15 February and tours the UK until May, is a testament to this story’s enduring presence.

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PUBLICSFEAR @ South London Gallery

Review by Paul Hardman

Walking first up stairs into the dark, then along a black felt lined corridor, around a corner and finally into an almost entirely lightless circular room, a feeling occurs of retreating into ones own mind, into the roof of consciousness. This experience is further enhanced by ambient sounds, a long harmonic drone that becomes ever louder, until entering the chamber where the acoustic effect blocks out all background noise and comes from all sides creating complete immersion. The amplifier providing this music is the only thing visible. It glows benignly in front of cushioned seats providing a shrine like focus in a meditative space.

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The Flirtatious Aura of Jean-Marc Bustamante @ Fruitmarket

Review by Colin Herd

Jean-Marc Bustamante, who represented France at the Venice Biennale in 2003, began his career as an assistant to the renowned fashion photographer, filmmaker and artist William Klein. You’d never guess it, though, from a visit to this career-spanning show at the Fruitmarket Gallery. Walking around the still, monumental, people-less works that make up Dead Calm, the connection feels surprising and counterintuitive. Klein’s career has been devoted to photographing and filming myriad people in his vivid New York and Paris crowd scenes, motion-blurred street photography and boisterous satirical fashion films. The representation of people is at the core of Klein’s art; his work teems and throngs with faces and bodies, often caught in some kind of action or movement.

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Carey Young – Memento Park @ Cornerhouse, Manchester

Review by Kenn Taylor

Born in Zambia, Carey Young (b. 1970) grew up and studied in Manchester. She now works internationally utilising a variety of different media and settings. In particular though, her works critique contemporary culture and its prevailing systems. Memento Park is largely a retrospective, however the title comes from a new piece commissioned by the exhibition’s organising partners.

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Zhivago Duncan @ CFA Berlin

Review by Jaga N.A. Argentum

In his first solo exhibition, Dick Flash’s Souvenirs of Thought, Zhivago Duncan invites us to accompany him and his protagonist, Dick Flash, on a multi-media journey through a series of large-scale paintings and dioramas, commenting on classical philosophy and contemporary socio-economic issues. This exhibition featuring works such as, Pretentious Crap, is not as serious as it might sound.

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Sieving for Gold @ St Barnabas’ Church, Dalston

Review by Liz Lau

The title of the show Ordinary Time is a reference to where the date of the exhibition falls on the liturgical calendar. Nevertheless it soon becomes noticeable whilst searching through this interventionist exhibition, nestled into alcoves, arches, on and around the fixtures and architecture of the space that there is nothing ordinary about this assortment of works.

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The Magik of Dirk Bell @ The Modern Institute in Glasgow

Review by Alistair Quietsch

Dirk Bell’s work is a diverse mix of masterly observed drawings, minimalist sculpture and an artistic play with technology. Upon entering the show there is a large mix of objects to piece together. Darkly toned paintings of rotten apples looking like organs juxtaposed against a seemingly rigid large steel grid pattern. Two skilfully drawn eyes avoid each others gaze in the far corner while a giant striplight star structure clicks and fizzes governing the centre of the space, humming off an irresistible omnipresent sleekness. It is this piece that truly adds the ambience to the show, its presence dominates the space and intrigues onlookers, with its immaculate black and white sheen of steel and glass.

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Invocations of the Blank Page @ Spike Island

Review by Regina Papachlimitzou

The quietness and stillness you might generally associate with the blank page is challenged and eventually rejected in the artworks showcased in Spike Island’s Invocations of the Blank Page exhibition. Instead, the potential for meaning latent in a blank page is sharply brought to our attention, accompanied in turn by frustration, obsessive compulsion, the rawness of physical effort and even playfulness.

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Pragmatic Design: Pop Up Architecture

Review by Nathan Breeze

Last summer, when struggling to find a job in London I stumbled across an intriguing advert online seeking volunteers to help convert a derelict petrol station into a temporary cinema. Frustratingly I had prior engagements but I was to see the finished project, Cineroleum a few weeks later, enthusiastically covered in both the architectural and general press.

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An Unresolved Reminder of the Past: Thomas Houseago @ Modern Art Oxford

Review by Matt Swain

Thomas Houseago is a British contemporary visual artist based in Los Angeles, California. What Went Down is his first major solo exhibition in a UK public gallery. Houeseago’s monumental, figurative sculptures, which are spread across three galleries at Modern Art Oxford, subvert the expectation of sculptural form using lo-fi materials such as plaster, clay and ply-wood.

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David Hockney: Bigger Trees Near Warter

Works by some of the most famous names in the world of art are coming to Yorkshire this year as part of a compelling programme of exhibitions and events. Art in Yorkshire- supported by Tate, will see works by iconic artists such as David Hockney, Henry Moore and Dame Barbara Hepworth featured in exhibitions taking place in 19 urban and rural galleries across the county. Not to mention The Hepworth Wakefield will be opening this May!