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5 to See: This Weekend

5 to See: This Weekend

This week’s recommended exhibitions look to contemporary visual culture, investigating the societal and environmental impacts of censorship and media saturation.

Thomas Wrede: Sceneries, Von Der Heydt Kunsthalle, Wuppertal-Barmen

Questioning how nature is presented within today’s media, Wrede’s (b. 1963) compelling images occupy the lines between simulation and reality. The artist manufactures compositions from commonplace objects: toy cars, classic houses and model pine trees are strikingly lit within expansive landscapes. Until 26 August.

Prix Pictet Space, CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, Torino

The winning works chosen by the Prix Pictet, a photography award dedicated to sustainability, address a range of subjects including overpopulation, atmospheric pollution and extreme weather, offering reflection on the fragility of the planet. Featured artists include Michael Wolf and Richard Mosse. Until 26 August.

Mária Švarbová: Swimming Pool, PHotoEspaña, Madrid

Švarbová’s (b. 1988) series fills places of recreation and leisure with unsettling emptiness and static figures. Still water and transfixed characters are colour-coordinated, as if manufactured. The chilling group of works turns familiar places of enjoyment into surreal playgrounds. Until 26 August.

Killed Negatives: Unseen Images of 1930s America, Whitechapel Gallery, London

This show highlights destroyed images of the US throughout the 1930s,  transforming an act of censorship into an art form. Works by practitioners such as Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange are accompanied by abstract, conceptually rich contemporary pieces. Until 26 August.

Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves, The Whitworth, Manchester

Julien’s (b. 1960) film combines ancient and present-day visual culture, blending news footage of the tragic 2004 Morecambe Bay rescue mission with seafaring legends. Exploring themes of desire, loss and separation, it interweaves scenes of southern China and the fast-developing city of Shanghai. Until 28 August.

1. Mária Švarbová, Trinity, from Swimming Pool.
2. Stadt am See, 2018 © 2018 Thomas Wrede, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
3. Beate Gütschow, S #24, 2007.
4. Mária Švarbová, Garden(Red), from Swimming Pool.
5. Paul Carter, Untitled photo, possibly related to: Tobacco fields devastated by the Connecticut River near Northampton, Massachusetts, March 1936, digital print from scanned 35mm b&w negative, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, [reproduction number, LC-DIG-fsa-8a20599]
6.  Isaac Julien. Hotel (Ten Thousand Waves). 2010. Courtesy of the artist