Culture Diary w/c 09-03-2020

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 – New Writings: Star Attractions: Twentieth-Century Movie Magazines and Global Fandom 6.30pm @ the BFI Reuben Library, London – £6.50

Sight & Sound, Little White Lies, Empire. We all have our favourite film magazine, but if those three don’t do it for you, it’s kinda tough luck. There aren’t many others to choose from that you could readily find in newsagents. Online, of course, there exists a plethora of platforms serving up the latest news, reviews and essays on cinema, and you likely visit more than one to put together a grab bag of reading material. Long before digital technologies emerged, however, specifically between the 1920s and 50s, there were more than thirty major magazines to choose from. New publication, Star Attractions, whose editors Tamar Jeffers McDonald and Lies Lanckman are joined in conversation tonight by contributors Alissa Clarke, Oana-Maria Mazilu, Sarah Polley and Michael Williams, celebrates the era.

Tuesday – Book Launch: The Eleven Associates of Alma-Marceau 6pm @ Hatchards, Piccadilly, London – FREE

A strange revelation in front of The Mona Lisa one summer in Paris for art student and museum intern Adam King sets off a chain of events taking in late capitalism, the media and surveillance. The first novel from friends The Old School Writers Circle, The Eleven Associates of Alma-Marceau tells a tale of art-themed adventure and questions the very nature of perception. Join members of TOSWC and the publisher, Anomie, to hear more about the book and its writing.

Installation view_ Jonathan Baldock, Facecrime, solo exhibition, Camden Arts Centre, London,2019. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Photo_ Luke Walker (4)

Wednesday – In Conversation: Will Harris 6.30pm @ Tate Liverpool – £5

In current Tate Liverpool exhibition Amalgam, artist Theaster Gates uses the context of a mixed-race community being forcibly removed from their homes to foreground and consider perceptions of mixed-race identity. In a nice bit of complementary programming, tonight sees author Will Harris discuss his book Mixed-Race Superman, which explores the experience of Barack Obama and Keanu Reeves, and the misreadings and misuse of his own contested identity.  

Thursday – Exhibition Opening: Jonathan Baldock & Frances Disley 6pm @ the Bluecoat, Liverpool – FREE

In Frances Disley and Jonathan Baldock, the Bluecoat have programmed a pair of contemporary artists whose work seems to continually be developing and progressing. Exploring how texture and sensory experience can add deeper layers and meaning to the art gallery experience, Disley’s Pattern Buffer invites visitors to make use of her art works for play and contemplation. Baldock’s Facecrime (above), meanwhile (taking its name from George Orwell’s 1984), asks questions of how people’s facial expressions are increasingly policed. Hear from them both at tonight’s opening.


Vertigo 6.30pm @ FACT Liverpool – £8

Every decade, Sight & Sound magazine invites film critics to nominate their Greatest Films of All Time. The last time the selection was made, in 2012, Vertigo came out on top, dethroning Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. I’d argue that Vertigo – a tale about obsession, the doppelgänger and male frailty – while outstanding, isn’t even Hitchcock’s best, never mind ‘The Greatest’ of all. But when writer Peter Matthews asserts that it is “a crafty, duplicitous machine for spinning meaning”, it is hard to deny. Anyway, it’s back in cinemas this week, providing a great opportunity to make your own minds up.

Exhibition Opening: Andy Warhol @ Tate Modern, London – £22

Does the world need another Andy Warhol exhibition? The answer is that Warhol – the king of pop art (sorry Roy Lichtenstein, there’s no contest) and one of the most fascinating cultural figures of the twentieth century – guarantees audiences in their droves. Not only for his art or his innovation, but also for the coterie with which he surrounded himself. He was a tastemaker and (largely metaphorical) star fucker rolled into one, attracting and grooming creative risk-takers, including The Velvet Underground, Jonas Mekas and more. Emphasising recurring themes around desire, identity and belief, Tate has given itself the almost impossible task of providing a new lens through which to view Andrew Warhol

Friday – Julia Bardo 7.30pm @ Studio 2, Parr Street, Liverpool – £7

Singer-songwriter Julia Bardo cut her teeth with new wave art-popsters Working Men’s Club. Opting to go solo, the self-taught guitarist re-emerged last year with single, Desire, whose nostalgic inclinations hold the attention even as they drag us back to an earlier, unspecified but sepia-toned era. Add to that her debut EP, Phase, which builds on classic song-writing equations of vocal and guitar, Bardo – on the evidence so far – is one to watch and, of course, hear.

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Saturday – Exhibitions Opening: Kiki Kogelnik: Riot of Objects / Athena Papadopoulos: Cain and Abel Can’t and Able @ MOSTYN Gallery, Llandudno – FREE

In 1961, Austrian Kiki Kogelnik, whose ceramic sea monster we can see above, left behind the Viennese avant-garde scene, trading it for Santa Monica. In the US, she was influenced by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Robert Rauschenberg and Claes Oldenburg. Responding to this male-dominated world, she introduced feminism and criticality to the already fertile ground of mass media and consumer culture, becoming an interesting (and underexposed) outlier of pop art in the process. This MOSTYN Gallery show is the first in the UK to focus solely on her ceramics output. Opening at the same time is a new body of work from Canadian artist Athena Papadopoulos, which questions traditional binary perceptions of gender and sexuality.

Sunday – Exhibition Closing: Matisse: Drawing with Scissors @ Lady Lever Art Gallery, Wirral – FREE

A key figure (with André Derain) of the Fauves, and rival and friend to Picasso, due to illness in later life, Henri Matisse no longer had the strength to continue painting. Rather than be defeated, the artist put down the paint brush and took up scissors, developing a new method of making, which saw him carving into colour, literally drawing with scissors. This exhibition brings together 35 posthumous prints of the famous cut-outs that Matisse produced in the highly fruitful final years of his life.

Mike Pinnington

Images/media from top: Vertigo trailer; Jonathan Baldock, Facecrime, solo exhibition, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2019. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Photo, Luke Walker; Andy Warhol Ladies and Gentlemen (Wilhelmina Ross) 1975. Private Collection © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London; Kiki Kogelnik, Untitled (Sea Monster), c. 1974. Glazed ceramic. Courtesy Kiki Kogelnik Foundation

Posted on 09/03/2020 by thedoublenegative