Culture Diary w/c 02-12-2019

Installation view of DC Semiramis (2019) by Tai Shani at the Turner Prize exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate. Photo: David Levene; © the artist

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 – Reflecting on Histories 6.30pm @ Tate Modern, London – £12/£8

“I’m interested in grand themes and small human frailties” said Kara Walker recently on the occasion of her Hyundai Commission for Tate Modern: Fons Americanus. A monumental fountain, it was inspired by Buckingham Palace’s Victoria Memorial. Those aware of Walker’s brand of iconoclasm will not have been surprised to see the artist subvert the intention of the tribute to Queen Victoria, Empress of India, questioning narratives of power and addressing the transatlantic slave trade. Tonight, poets Bridget Minamore, Amaal Said, Rachel Long and Linda LaBeija explore the work’s many layers.

Tuesday – Turner Prize 2019 @ Turner Contemporary, Margate – FREE

On display since the end of September, it’s a perfect time to visit the Turner Prize exhibition, as tonight sees 2019’s winning artist crowned. Awarded to a British artist for ‘an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the past twelve months’, the shortlist of four is made up of Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani. Who’s it going to be? Does it matter? Of course it does, and our money’s on Shani. Nominated for solo exhibition DC: Semiramis at The Tetley, Leeds (above) and participation in Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance at Nottingham Contemporary and the De Le Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, her multi-layered practice is in-part inspired by 15th century feminist, Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies.

Unused poster designs for Eyes Wide Shut (1999) by Christiane and Katharina Kubrick Credit: Courtesy: Stanley Kubrick Film Archives LLC, Warner Bros. and University of the Arts London

Eyes Wide Shut 6pm @ FACT Liverpool – £8

An underwhelming last act or – as Sight & Sound would have it – ‘Kubrick’s misunderstood masterwork’? When it was released just months after his death in 1999, although it attracted some good notices, the reception for Eyes Wide Shut was shrouded in scepticism. Did the director’s swansong do him and his towering career justice, being the key question the film had to satisfy. Twenty years on, somewhat less encumbered with that crippling responsibility, his tale of sex, power and jealousy can be viewed with fresh eyes. The anniversary screening is accompanied by the bonus inclusion of Never Just a Dream: Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut, a short documentary in which those close to Kubrick tell their story of the project.

Wednesday – Workshop: Visions of the Deep Past – Make a World, Make a Game 5pm @ FACT Liverpool – FREE

Since October, Southend-on-Sea’s Focal Point Gallery has hosted artist David Blandy’s The World After, an exhibition comprising a film, installation and analogue role-playing game. Drawing on the ‘wild spaces’ of Essex’s Canvey Island, Blandy’s RPG of the same name is set in the world of Fain, which has emerged in the wake of man made ecological collapse. There, humankind’s diverse surviving population must work together to write society’s next chapters. Join the artist this evening to add Liverpool’s own myths, legends and ecosystems into the game’s developing narrative.


Thursday – Park of Hope: Sefton Park on Film 6pm @ the Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool £8/£6

Green spaces in cities are key to the environment and our mental health, but how can they be reclaimed for the benefit of all? Park of Hope seeks to answer this and other questions through screenings ranging from archival footage of how the public has engaged with – and saved – Sefton Park, to silent era film and contemporary documentary. Archivists, activists, and custodians will be on hand for introductions and to share their expertise.

SixbySix 7pm @ Ropes & Twines, Liverpool – FREE

Photography is a many splendored medium. You have its adherents (and critics) who see it as being one purely of documentary. Then there are fine art photographers, conscious and confident of their place in the contemporary art conversation. Others magpie from each of those traditions to produce something singular and distinct. SixbySix’s launch earlier this year grappled with the current trends and ideas in photography and tonight sees them present their third exhibition – Graeme Oxby’s The Kings Of England, a project which examines the world of Elvis impersonators.

The Telescopes, image courtesy the band.

Friday – The Telescopes, RongoRongo, Green Tangerines 7pm @ Phase One, Liverpool – £10

Formed amid the shoe-gaze haze in 1987, The Telescopes drew on bands such as Suicide and The Velvet Underground for inspiration, while The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3 were contemporaries. Now, on the 30th anniversary of their debut long player, Taste, they headline Getintothis’ Deep Cuts Christmas special, ably supported by local darlings RongoRongo and Green Tangarines.

Saturday – Open Culture Winter Arts Market 10am @ Liverpool Cathedral – £3/FREE for under 16s

The mere mention of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sends us into a tailspin of shopping dystopia, conjuring images of Romero’s zombies banging at shopping mall doors and windows. Just as well then that there is always the possibility of opting out and spending your hard earned on the wares of local, independent makers. With around 200 exhibitors, take your pick of pressies from ceramics and painting, to screen printing, illustration, textiles and more. Some of our faves include Toucan Tango (who have a very cool line in print and design), illustrator (and TDN Artist of the Month alumna) Katie Craven, and jeweller Ria Fell.

Swedenborg Film Festival 2019

Saturday  Swedenborg Film Festival 2019 with Chloe Aridjis 6pm @ Swedenborg House, Bloomsbury, London – FREE (Booking Required)

A showcase of experimental and artistic cinema in the lovely, Grade II-listed Swedenborg Hall (usually dedicated to the works of Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg), expect a smorgasbord of short film around the concept of ‘Use and Purpose’. With the selection down to curator Gareth Evans (Whitechapel Gallery), editor Nora Foster (Frieze) and guest judge Chloe Aridjis (Sea Monsters, 2019), this is bound to be an evening of excellent, surreal stories and moving image.

Sunday – Magazines for Good 12pm @ Ace Hotel, Shoreditch, London – FREE

Ah, there are few things more satisfying than the discovery of a brilliant new magazine. So, Magazines for Good organised by indie magazine subscription service Stack, sounds great. With savings of 50% on some of the best, most innovative publications out there, and money going to youth homelessness charity, Centre Point, get yourself down to Shoreditch’s Ace Hotel this Sunday for bargains and good vibes.

Mike Pinnington

Images from top: Installation view of DC Semiramis (2019) by Tai Shani at the Turner Prize exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate. Photo: David Levene; © the artist. Unused poster designs for Eyes Wide Shut (1999) by Christiane and Katharina Kubrick Credit: Courtesy: Stanley Kubrick Film Archives LLC, Warner Bros. and University of the Arts London. David Blandy: VISIONS OF THE DEEP PAST – MAKE A WORLD, MAKE A GAME. Image courtesy the artist. The Telescopes, image courtesy the band. Swedenborg Film Festival 2019

Posted on 02/12/2019 by thedoublenegative