Culture Diary w/c 06-01-2020


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 – Saad Qureshi: Something About Paradise @ Yorkshire Sculpture Park – FREE

What is paradise? In these polarised, dark days, it seems a question rarely considered; the vision being so far from reality as to render it ridiculous. For artist Saad Qureshi, however, born into a religious household, the paradise people spoke of when he was growing up was “often radically different from” the one in his own imagination. For this new exhibition Qureshi asked those with and without faith the same question. He responded by making physical their replies, in what he calls ‘mindscapes’, representing places seen in imaginations and dreams – common ground on which to begin conversations and consider new possibilities.

Tuesday – Perspectives on Fellini 6.20pm @ BFI Southbank, London – £12.50/£10.20

Federico Fellini was born 20 January 1920 (and died 31 October 93). To mark the centenary, BFI has programmed a two-month retrospective, while the rest of the country is being treated to a re-release of La Dolce Vita (above), alongside other classic Fellini films in cinemas nationwide. This opening event delves deeper into the Italian director’s cinematic world as season programmer Pasquale Iannone is joined for clips and discussion by academic Richard Dyer, personal assistant to Federico Fellini, Fiammetta Profili and broadcaster Francine Stock.


Wednesday – Tours of Liverpool’s Old Dock 10.30am, 12 and 2.30pm @ the Merseyside Maritime Museum – £6.50/£5.50/£2

Today, Liverpool is a city whose fortunes are reliant upon the twin engines of culture and commercialism – the latter of which is perhaps best illustrated by Liverpool ONE’s shopping centre. The origin of the city’s prosperity (at least in-part), fittingly, lies beneath that very space. Revealed during excavation work in 2001, step back in time and learn about the world’s first commercial enclosed wet dock, Liverpool’s evolution at that time and more on this city walking tour.

Thursday – Atlantics + Intro 6pm @ Home, Manchester – £9.50

Director Mati Diop’s feature debut (above) dealing with migration looks at the trauma wrought by the often perilous journey on those left behind: friends, family – and in this case – loves. Available to stream on Netflix since November of last year, this Cannes 2019 Grand Prix winner is accompanied tonight by a filmed intro from Diop. More added value comes by way of a live response from award-winning poet Be Manzini and post-screening panel discussion hosted by Oscar winning producer and Birds’ Eye View’s own, Mia Bays.

Field Music in-store show / album signing 7pm @ Phase One, Liverpool – £Various

New year, new Field Music record. For Making A New World, the band, led by brothers Peter and David Brewis, have created a post-First World War concept album. About “ultrasound and about shooting yourself for the sake of art and about gender reassignment surgery and about Becontree housing estate”, in Field Music’s hands, you can rest assured this is no album of glib battlefield heroism and remembrance. Hear for yourself with this special in-store performance by the art pop darlings.

Friday – Exhibition Opening: Bands FC v Dorothy 7pm @ the British Music Experience, Liverpool – FREE

Aligning their twin passions of music and football, Bands FC manifests the idea of “Bands as Football Teams, Football Teams as Bands”. Now, the British Music Experience has pulled their crest designs together with the perfect addition of design agency Dorothy – whose contribution we can’t wait to see – for this exhibition. Bands receiving the treatment range from the massive to the niche and downright obscure; the fun is finding one you love among those depicted. Tonight’s opening includes an in-conversation with 6Music DJ Chris Hawkins, Bands FC and Dorothy, plus music in the bar from guest DJs.


Exhibition Closing: The Input Exhibition @ OUTPUT gallery, Liverpool – FREE

OUTPUT’s Input exhibition represents a fine opportunity to assess the state of the arts and artists operating in the city right now. For anyone who’s visited the gallery before, its usual three surfaces have been extended with a nifty bit of temporary wall-building, so that many artists’ work is accommodated, including new and familiar names alike. Catch it while you can – you rarely get the chance to see so much locally-based talent exhibited in any one place at the same time.

Saturday – A Brief History of Painting 2pm @ the Bluecoat, Liverpool – £3/£2

At what point did Impressionism give way to the beginnings of Modernism? Who led the charge? How, with the weight of art history, do contemporary artists respond? What sets them apart from their forebears, and what melds them, inextricably, together? Join Bluecoat curator Adam Smythe as he discusses painting’s progression, “from religious iconography to royal portraits, landscapes to abstraction, to leaving the canvas behind altogether”.


The Best of Blondie 9pm @ the ICA, London – £13

Friday saw the opening of this year’s London Short Film Festival (returning for its 17th year, it runs until 19 January). Of the many screenings across the city that caught our eye, an art film comprising all of Blondie’s music videos made up to 1981 loosely tied together by the story of a New York cabbie spoke to us most! Including the hits, earlier experiments with punk – and, later, hip hop – the VHS (natch!) screening is complemented with and followed by a panel discussion.

Sunday – Exhibition Closing: Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus @ Nottingham Contemporary – FREE

One of our shows of last year, Nottingham Contemporary’s Still Undead reflects on the thrilling Bauhaus movement’s continued international influence. Exploring how the school shaped British pop culture from the 1920s to the 90s. Artists, designers and musicians in the exhibition include Leigh Bowery, Kraftwerk, Liliane Lijn, Lucia Moholy, László Moholy-Nagy, Mary Quant, Peter Saville, Oskar Schlemmer and Soft Cell, to name a few. Recommended.

Cui Jie From Pavilion to Space Station at CFCCA (2019)-main.web

Exhibitions Closing: Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman – Manchester Plan, New Bees/ Cui Jie: From Pavilion to Space Station @ CFCCA, Manchester – FREE

This pair of exhibitions at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art take urban spaces as their starting points. Cheng Ran’s films (including new commission Manchester Plan, New Bees) depicts the outsider experience of new cities, blending narrative and abstract reflections, to produce disorientating yet poetic responses. Cui Jie’s From Pavilion to Space Station, meanwhile, makes a study of Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak asking what architecture can tell us about a place, its citizens, their beliefs and the impression they want to project to the world. Read our review.

Exhibition Closing: Turner Prize 2019 @ Turner Contemporary, Margate – FREE

On display since the end of September, this is your last opportunity to visit the exhibition of the latest Turner Prize winners. You’ll recall the prize being shared equally by the four shortlisted artists at a ceremony in December last year – Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani.

Mike Pinnington

Images/media from top: La Dolce Vita film still; Atlantics film still; Field Music – Money is a Memory; Alexis Teplin, It’s My Pleasure to Participate, Bluecoat (exhibition view) Photograph by Mark Blower; The Best of Blondie, USA, 1981, 48 min.; Cui Jie, From Pavilion to Space Station, at CFCCA (2019). Photograph by Michael Pollard

Posted on 06/01/2020 by thedoublenegative