Culture Diary w/c 23-09-2019

AR00467_10 Vija Celmins Drypoint - Ocean Surface

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

Monday – ARTIST ROOMS: Vija Celmins @ Quay Arts Centre, Isle of Wight – FREE

“I’m not a very confessional artist, you know. I don’t ever reveal what I’m feeling in my work, or what I think about the President. I use nature. I use found images.” In case (like us) you missed it, this presentation of Latvian-American artist Vija Celmins’ work opened over the weekend at the Isle of Wight’s Quay Arts Centre. Meticulous in her exquisite renderings of natural phenomena, at Quay Arts, that includes depictions of the ocean, the vastness of the night sky, the darkness of deep space and the intricacies of a spider’s web.

Tuesday – Exhibition Opening: Mark Leckey: O’ Magic Power of Bleakness @ Tate Britain, London – £13

Speaking to The Double Negative back in 2012, Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey said: “What everyone says about the art world being London focused and up its own arse isn’t that wrong.” Interesting, then, that O’ Magic Power of Bleakness – an exhibition of ‘atmospheric, theatrical experience of spectral visions, sound and video’ opening today at Tate Britain – sees a life-size replica of a Wirral motorway bridge transposed to Pimlico. Proving that, while you can take the boy out of Wirral… From the archive: Read our interview with Mark Leckey


Volver 6pm @ FACT Liverpool – £8

With Pedro Almodóvar’s latest, Pain and Glory, still in cinemas, now is a great time to discover and/or reacquaint oneself with the Spanish auteur’s back catalogue. Tonight, FACT screens Volver, starring Penélope Cruz. Meanwhile, streaming service Mubi has programmed The Art of Transgression: The Cinema of Almodóvar, a season of films in his honour. With many a critic declaring Pain and Glory one of the director’s finest, you’re hardly short of opportunities to judge for yourself right now.

Wednesday – Leviathan: Empathy In and Out of Species 6.30pm @ the Bluecoat, Liverpool – £5/3

Currently on display at the Bluecoat, Shezad Dawood’s Leviathan (including film, VR, textile and neon works) places us in an imagined future to explore connections between mass migration and marine environments. Empathy In and Out of Species is the first of a pair of complementary symposia relating to the themes in Dawood’s work. This week, Professor Alex Balch (University of Liverpool), PhD student Samantha Hook (University of Manchester) and Jennifer Verson (Director of Migrant Artists Mutual Aid) discuss immigration, man’s threat to our fellow species and political engagement.

Deborah Levy 27.2.17

Thursday – Book Launch: Deborah Levy’s The Man Who Saw Everything 6pm @ Tate Liverpool – £5

Deborah Levy (The Cost of Living) first came to our attention speaking at Frieze event, Where Art Meets Literature. Speaking on ‘the art world as home of literary experiment’, she knocked our socks off with a reflection on the work and process of photographer, Francesca Woodman (a version of which was later published in Tate Etc.) We’re over the moon, then, that the author is at Tate Liverpool this week to discuss new novel The Man Who Saw Everything, described in a recent review as “An utterly beguiling fever dream of a novel…”

Parasite 6pm @ Liverpool John Moores University Redmonds Building – FREE

Those familiar with Bong Joon-ho’s 2006 picture The Host (in which military pollutants herald sightings of a mutant amphibious creature) may be forgiven for assuming that his latest film, Parasite, is a sequel of sorts. In fact, commenting on engrained social strata, the film is more satirical suspense thriller than ecological sci fi. That said, in his review, the Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw called it: “almost a supernatural or sci-fi story; an invasion of the lifestyle snatchers.” But if you’re squeamish about lingering genre associations, don’t let the assessment put you off: Parasite unanimously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, the first Korean film to do so.


Friday – Scalarama: Anthropocene: The Human Epoch 7.30pm @ Glasgow CCA – £8/FREE

Scalarama, the annual nationwide celebration of cinema, continues. Running until the end of this month in venues large, small and often non-traditional, it is inspired by the energy and DIY spirit of the legendary Scala Cinema. Founded in 2011, the festival runs on the dictum of “by everyone, for everyone, everywhere,” foregrounding the passion of exhibitors and audiences above all else. Among this week’s screenings (and chiming with Dawood at the Bluecoat), is Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, which explores how our activities have impacted the earth.

Exhibition Opening: Works from the Hallucinated Archive @ Bonington Gallery, Nottingham – FREE

Nottingham-based artist Wayne Burrows’ work is interested in the overlaps between historical fact, fiction and myth. Blurring the authentic and imaginary, new show Works from the Hallucinated Archive includes five real, and one not-so-real artist (Burrows alter ego Robert Holcombe) to ‘explore ideas of authenticity, class and cultural identity’. Alongside Burrows/Holcombe, the exhibition features the work of contemporary artists Aslı Anık, Arianne Churchman, Maryam Hashemi, Chloe Langlois and Z.K. Oloruntoba, united in their interest in ideas around ‘folklore, spiritual(ist) belief and art as psychic manifestation or transmission’.


Saturday – Exhibition Closing: A Foul and Awesome Display – Kirsty Harris @ Vane, Newcastle – FREE

The term ‘decisive moment’, is most commonly related to photography. It describes that split second where patience, discipline and inspiration combine to produce a truly great image. But, for painter Kirsty Harris, it is the moment that “iconically represents our race,” via nuclear bomb testing, “to self-destruction. The beauty and awe of the landscape, the dust, the glow, the force of the explosion. The myths surrounding the characters in this master-plan to kill ourselves off. The fight for survival. We’ve shown ourselves THE END.” Born in 1978, Harris grew up at the tail end of the cold war, joining her family on CND marches, when man-made Armageddon still loomed large; her vast paintings a kind of memento mori for humanity.

Sunday – Exhibition Closing: David Lynch: My Head is Disconnected @ Home Manchester – FREE

Intrigued by Twin Peaks as a kid, but unable to catch it often enough (it definitely was not on my folks’ watchlist), my first proper encounter with the work of David Lynch was Lost Highway. It’s still one of my favourite films of his and, thankfully, it formed part of the Lynch cinema strand at HOME, programmed for July’s Manchester International Festival. In addition to the screenings, though (and perhaps more intriguing), My Head Is Disconnected, is the first major UK exhibition of Lynch’s paintings, drawings and sculpture – darkly complementary in tone to his on-screen output. Read our review

Exhibition Closing: Ibrahim Mahama: Parliament of Ghosts @ the Whitworth, Manchester – FREE

At the Whitworth gallery, Ghanaian artist Mahama combines painting, sculpture, photography and film; reclaimed train seats and railway sleepers, school furniture and retrieved archival documents to reflect upon and bring focus to the unfolding history of his home country. Overlooked documents of post-colonialism made visible, Parliament of Ghosts gives voice to a country negotiating and stating its independence.

Mike Pinnington

Images from top: Vija Celmins, Drypoint – Ocean Surface (1983). ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. © Vija Celmins; Volver (still); Deborah Levy; Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (film poster); Kirsty Harris, Charlie (2017); Home page/main: Arianne Churchman, We Entered Through The Chime Line – Chime Cockadoodledoo (2019)

Posted on 23/09/2019 by thedoublenegative