We are living in interesting times. The past five years have seen a dramatic shift in our attitudes and behaviour, however I have recently noticed an undercurrent of optimism. I am excited by this, and it can be seen in new works by a range of artists. I pose a question: is the age of doom and gloom over? I think so.
Winners of the Troika Editions/FORMAT13 Award, Tim Bowditch and Nick Rochowski will exhibit their project Hind Land in a solo show at The Front Room Gallery, London, 5 – 30 June. An intricate and fascinating photographic survey, the work grew out of an interest in the interplay between the M25 and local woodland. Focusing on the forgotten spaces and pedestrian walkways found beneath the orbital M25 motorway, the photos uncover the relationship between nature and the man-made.
Featuring ten artists working over the past two thousand years, this exceptional exhibition visually investigates the theme of Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s essay What is the Contemporary?
The 55th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale is entitled Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace) and opens to the public tomorrow. Curated by Massimiliano Gioni and chaired by Paolo Baratta, 88 National participants will be exhibiting in the historical Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the city of Venice. Among these, 10 countries are participating in the Exhibition for the first time: Angola, Bahamas, Kingdom of Bahrain, Republic of Ivory Coast, Republic of Kosovo, Kuwait, Maldives, the Holy See, Paraguay and Tuvalu. This year’s Italian Pavilion is entitled vice versa, and 47 Collateral Events, approved by the curator of the International Exhibition take place in several locations in Venice.
Picturing Derry is the first major photographic exhibition of Derry-Londonderry’s UK City of Culture 2013. Opening to the public at the iconic City Factory venue on 31 May, the exhibition brings together, for the first time, some of the most iconic images of the troubles in the city in one exhibition. Legendary French photojournalist Gilles Caron’s previously unseen major body of work during the Battle of the Bogside in August 1969 forms a major part of the exhibition. It also includes the work of other visiting photographers from around the world as well as images by local news photographers.
Set in the serene St Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art, photographer Liz Hingley’s Under Gods: Stories from the Soho Road is quietly thought-provoking and provides a thorough and honest assessment of true multi-culturalism. In one of the poorest parts of Birmingham, Soho Road is home to a huge variety of religious denominations; Sikhs, Hare Krishnas, Buddhists, Jains, Polish Catholics, Baptists, Muslims, Anglicans and Hindus all feature in Hingley’s portraits of the road’s residents.
Stephen J. Morgan’s The Other Side of Everything is a striking series of photographs, documenting familiar, urban places. Uncovering the artist’s own journey through life and examining his identity as a second generation Irish boy growing up in Birmingham, the photos follow his personal story within the wider narrative of England’s recent political history and the legacy of the British Empire. Running 31 May until 13 July at the Wapping Project Bankside, the images focus around the country’s most potent and ubiquitous symbol: the flag.
Stephen Willats’ latest exhibit at Modern Art Oxford, Conscious – Unconscious, is a collection of works ranging from 1998-2013. His fourth solo exhibit at the gallery, each work addresses Willats’ persistent interest in the mediation of personal and interpersonal relationships as they manifest in a world saturated with mass production and communication technology.
Curated by Domingo Milella and Bacarelli Botticelli, What is Contemporary? is now open at Brancolini Grimaldi, London. The group exhibition combines contemporary photography with works of art from the past and includes work from Dan Holdsworth, Lise Sarfati, Clare Strand and Milella alongside antique sculpture, painting and artefacts. With a range of works that span time periods, the show asks audiences to think outside of the usual prescribed categories of art and to re-consider boundaries determined by place and time.
The work of two leading world figures within the Land Art movement, Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson are on show at John Hansard Gallery, in a new exhibition England and Wales 1969, seeking to examine a short but significant moment within their working life together: a trip made to the UK in August and September 1969. Prompted by Smithson’s inclusion in the seminal ICA exhibition When Attitudes Become Form, Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt came to the UK and spent one month travelling together to various sites in England and Wales, from Chesil Beach, Dorset to Old Sarum, Wiltshire, Oxted chalk quarry in Surrey and Pembrokeshire, Wales. The exhibition provides an immersive overview of this journey, bringing together, for the first time, photographic and sculptural works produced by Holt and Smithson throughout.
Italian photographer, Daniele Tamagni, comes to ArtEco to exhibit a collection of works from 2007 to date. Global Style Battles is a diverse selection of images, celebrating music and fashion in a colourful display of photographic skill. Running 24 May until 22 June, the showcase includes pieces like The Flying Cholitas, Playboys of Bacongo, Havana Glam and Afrometal. A street photographer, Tamagni has traveled to places as exotic as Africa and Cuba.
Film-maker turned fashion designer Miles Aldridge has delivered seductive sirens silk-screened in an electrifying palette to the forefront of the fashion world for 15 years. Although beginning his artistic career in the studios of Central St Martins, his photographs are heavy with references to 1950s America, reminding of Stepford wives and the blinding lights of Hollywood.