Culture Diary w/c 20-02-2017

Our pick of this week’s arts, design, film and music events from around the UK – and most of it’s free!

Monday – Exhibition Open: Holly Hendry: WROT 10am–6pm @ BALTIC, Gateshead — FREE

Born in 1990, WROT – defined as “timber with one or more surfaces planed smooth” – is sculptor Holly Hendry’s first institutional solo show. Hendry, utilising materials including plaster, wood, steel and foam, creates “a geology of oozy forms peppered with comic elements, such as dog chew bones and spinning plaster teeth”. Rendered in a variety of cartoonish shapes and colours, expect pleasingly tactile-looking sedimentary cross-sections, that are impressive in both their scale and humour. See it until 24 September 2017.

Tuesday — Lost In France Plus Live Performance 8.15pm @ FACT Liverpool/Nationwide – £11/10/9

While many in the ’90s were caught up in the media-led ferment of Blur vs Oasis, Glasgow was home to a flourishing scene of its own. It included the likes of Bis, Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai, Arab Strap, and The Delgados, who founded indie rock label Chemikal Underground in 1995. Lost in France (above) explores this parallel – some may say antidote – to Brit Pop, by revisiting a trip to France in the musicians’ early careers. The screening is followed by a performance broadcast live via satellite to cinemas across the UK and Ireland, featuring a supergroup including Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), and RM Hubbert, plus The Delgados’ Emma Pollock and Paul Savage.

Downtown 81 (1981)

Screened/Downtown 81 (1981) With Tim Lawrence 7pm @ Texture MCR, Manchester — £5.90

Join author and Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London, Tim Lawrence, as he discusses his new book: Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983, followed by a screening of 1981 drama comedy Downtown 81. As previously hosted in MoMA, New York, expect an evening reliving what the city was like for artists and creatives in the early ‘80s — including a cameo from the wonderful Jean Michel Basquiat (pictured, above).

Wednesday — In Conversation: Sally Tallant & Kitty Scott 6.30pm-8pm @ The Bluecoat, Liverpool — FREE

How are arts festivals programmed? Get a sense of some of the thinking and decision-making involved by joining Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial, and Kitty Scott, Co-curator of Liverpool Biennial 2018, who will be discussing starting points for next year’s iteration. It will be the 10th edition and also a decade since the city’s stint as European Capital of Culture. But with a fraction of the budget to play with, how to balance ambitions while marking the occasion properly? It’s a fascinating question, one that will surely be posed here.

Electricity: The Spark Of Life @ Wellcome Collection

Thursday — Exhibition Opening: Electricity: The Spark Of Life 10am–10pm @ Wellcome Collection, London — FREE

As the exhibition blurb points out: “For centuries electricity has captivated inventors, scientists and artists alike, and in the modern era it has transformed our world.” Wellcome Collection’s new show demonstrates that our fascination with the subject continues unabated. Here, three new commissions from artists John Gerrard, Bill Morrison and Camille Henrot explore, respectively, experiments into bioelectricity, electricity’s interconnectedness with our lives, and our energy-dependent lifestyles. Until 25 June 2017.

Andy Warhol Dinner @ The Whitworth, Manchester — £25

Been to see ARTIST ROOMS: Andy Warhol at The Whitworth Gallery yet? No? This week might be a good time to remedy that as the exhibition is opened after hours. A three course dinner, as well as an aperitif on arrival, will be accompanied by a soundtrack Warhol himself would have approved of (think the likes of Patti Smith and the Velvet Underground). After which, a special curator-led tour of the show. Expect context and insight into works exploring themes of death, politics and identity from the prescient pop artist. Book tickets here.

Stephen Forge: Downwards 6pm-9pm @ Cactus Gallery

Friday – Exhibition Opening: Stephen Forge: Downwards 6pm-9pm @ Cactus Gallery, Liverpool – FREE

Sculptor Stephen Forge presents a fitting new body of work for Cactus’s new building, situated within both The Royal Standard Gallery and Studios, and in Baltic Triangle’s exciting new studio complex, Northern Lights. A craftsman by trade, expect painstakingly crafted pieces, made with robust materials like concrete, and referencing Modernist architecture and public spaces.

Rogue Cinema Presents: George Kuchar Retrospective 7pm @ Rogue Studios, Manchester – FREE

“I developed a fascination with thunderstorms and the furious whirlwinds they sometimes unleashed on the landscape…” Noted for influencing John Waters, Guy Maddin and more, indie filmmaker George Kuchar (who died in 2011) is celebrated tonight, via his Weather Diaries series. Hunting thunderstorms without a car, the films become a chance for Kuchar to reflect on American life, while waiting patiently in fields, cars, and motel rooms for the perfect storm to descend.

George Kuchar, still from The Weather Diaries

Saturday – PICK OF THE WEEK: Where Art Meets Literature 11am–8.30pm @ DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation), London — £69/60/20

“How do artists work with words, and writers with images? Is the gallery today the space for avant-garde literary exercises to be realized and experienced? How has the relationship between literature and the visual arts manifested in both forms?” All of which are good questions, posed by Where Art Meets Literature, an all-day symposium investigating these two frequently overlapping disciplines. A line-up of guest speakers and panellists – including Ben Eastham, Brian Dillon and Tom McCarthy – will, we are promised, “provide a critical overview of visual arts’ engagement with the written word and vice versa”.

Sunday — Day Of The Wacko (2002) 6pm @ Liverpool Small Cinema — £4/3

A middle-aged teacher questioning reality on a trip to the beach; blaming everyone else for his crap life, including ex-wife, his neighbours, and even his mum… Expect a dark comedy from director Marek Koterski; described by TimeOut as an “absurdist Polish comedy of dejection and rejection.”

Mike Pinnington/Laura Robertson

Posted on 20/02/2017 by thedoublenegative