Culture Diary – On Our Radar

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Our pick of this week’s arts, design, film and music events looks a little different. Gone for now is the strict(ish) adherence to daily openings/closings – we’re keeping it simple with what’s on right now for you to view from the comfort of your couch and irl! Stay safe everyone!

Celebrating Liverpool’s Black Artists – Sumuyya Khader @ Bluecoat, Liverpool (Blundell Lane façade) – FREE

Catch this display, which ends on Sunday, while you can. It features the work of artists Amber Akaunu, Sumuyya Khader, Kiara Mohamed, Salma Noor, and Millie Toyin Olateju as well as a text from writer Jamel Burke, illuminating Liverpool’s rarely formally spoken about part in the slave trade. Intended to elevate the profile of the city’s Black artists Khader, who devised the project, said: “We have one of the oldest Black communities in the UK and a wealth of creative talent that often gets overlooked. Although Liverpool is known for being a city that celebrates culture as a Black woman I rarely see people who look like me being acknowledged and their work shared.”

Read our Interview with Kiara Mohamed  

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Jonathan Baldock & Frances Disley @ 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. 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, meanwhile (taking its name from George Orwell’s 1984), asks questions of how people’s facial expressions are increasingly policed.

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Don McCullin @ Tate Liverpool, £13

Over more than half a century, Don McCullin has produced difficult but indelible images that brought news of world events to the front page of western audiences’ newspapers and magazines. This retrospective exhibition at Tate Liverpool brings together over 200 of these photographs, ranging from international conflict zones to the post-industrial north of England. As he told us last year, “you don’t have to get on a plane and go to somebody else’s country, there are wars going on in this country – social wars and wars of poverty”. A vital, if at times painful, exhibition.

Further Reading: Don McCullin: The Sublime amid the Maelstrom

Linda McCartney Retrospective @ the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool – £9

Across more than 250 photographs, this exhibition captures the Beatles in relaxed mode, McCartney family life and Linda’s love of the natural world. The juxtaposition with McCullin at Tate Liverpool is a fascinating one. In McCullin you have a genuine icon while, in McCartney, you have a figure – perhaps unfairly – best remembered as Paul’s other half. But, she is also undoubtedly the light to McCullin’s shade, a necessity not lost on us right now. And if her strongest works are instinctive – those demonstrating what Cartier-Bresson referred to as the ‘decisive moment’ – in these days of tier 3 lockdown, it is the more carefree images of yesteryear that live long in the memory.


And Say the Animal Responded? @ FACT Liverpool – FREE

A timely-feeling show even before being curtailed by lockdown, And Say the Animal Responded? is, if anything, even more poignant owing to recent events. This group exhibition is concerned with creating a space for the voice of the animal. It includes work such as Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg’s Machine Auguries, which looks at how sound and light pollution affects birds, for instance.

German Revolution Expressionist prints @ Lady Lever Art Gallery, Wirral – FREE

Including names such as Picasso, Kollwitz, Munch and Schiele, this exhibition of German Revolution Expressionist prints explores the ‘social, political, sexual and moral struggles’ of a country in free fall. As turmoil in the aftermath of the First World War saw the German constitutional monarchy give way to the Weimar Republic, some of the era’s finest artists documented the ensuing chaos, anarchy and violence.

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Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio @ Nottingham Contemporary – FREE

Nottingham Contemporary’s Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio, described in the blurb as ‘a cross between fan-fiction, study and biography’, aims to skew our reading of the titular icon. Actress, pop star, catwalk model: Jones has played numerous roles with aplomb during a long career defying expectations, and this exhibition reflects her dizzying multiplicity via the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Peter Hujar, The Black Beauty Agency and more.


Writing on the Wall: Black History Month – £Prices Vary

Writing on the Wall has done an incredible job of programming across 2020′s Black History Month. Early October’s wide-ranging talks and events saw the likes of author Marlon James, Councillor Anna Rothery and ex-Liverpool player John Barnes beamed digitally into our homes. The rest of the month is similarly varied, and includes talks from former Green Party MEP Magid Magid and The Goddess Projects, as well as a look at the vibrancy of the UK’s music scene thanks to Windrush Generation voices among the highlights still to come.

Larry Achiampong: Reliquary 2 Online @ John Hansard Gallery – FREE

“I can only write at night time these days, when most things are asleep, on standby, still, numb, dead”, begins Larry Achiampong’s latest work, Reliquary 2. In a recent conversation, the artist explained how the script for this work was written “in the form of a letter to my children”; and that it deals with – among other things – the “manifestation of racism”. Made in collaboration with illustrator Wumi Olaosebikan, the work ably demonstrates Achiampong’s knack for weaving together pop culture references and real life events to interrogate those in power. “How do so many governments have capital, stockpiles and contingency for war? But no real plan to protect the people they serve in the event of a pandemic?” he asks, pointedly, as his prose continues. Good question.

Mike Pinnington

Images from top: Larry Achiampong, Reliquary 2 (2019). Single channel 4K video with stereo sound. Commissioned by John Hansard Gallery. Courtesy the artist and Copperfield, London; Changing Winds, Sumuyya Khader © the artist; Don McCullin Liverpool 8 1961 Tate Purchased 2012 © Don McCullin; Paul, Stella and James. Scotland, 1982 © Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney; Grace Jones, NYC, 1970s. Photograph by Anthony Barboza; Black History Month, WOW, © WOW

Posted on 19/10/2020 by thedoublenegative