Last week I spent a few days in London. The reason for the trip was to gather cultural research for my current uni projects, and to add to my general contextual knowledge. I love visiting cities and anywhere rich with culture and art. So with only a couple days to explore I packed as many things as I could in to the itinerary, and heres a little note on what galleries and exhibition are worth a look:
The Tate is always one of my favourite museums to go to, there is always something great in the turbine hall and this trip was no different. HYUNDAI commission: Philippe Parreno, Anywhen is a immersive experience that is said to challenge your perception of time and space. The french artist has responded to the Turbine hall through acoustics, lighting, moving objects and film. You enter the large space and are immediately aware of the relaxed tone and atmosphere, most people are sitting or laying on the floor, looking up at the ceiling, taking it all in. The feeling I got was similar to sitting in a cinema- I was excited and suspenseful however relaxed in my surroundings. My eyes weren’t drawn to one point, rather flitting around the room. It made me question the sequences of our environment and feel as though it is a comment of an ever changing life cycle- random elements and no real formula. After leaving the exhibition I wanted to know more and was interested in the ideas and artist behind the work. I found out that the piece is evolving daily, and will do so for the whole of its six week commission. A truly immersive experience and worth a visit if get the chance, I loved it.
I’d never been to the Barbican art gallery before and wasn’t sure what to expect, however I would definitely visit again. We made our way to Shoreditch to see the exhibition The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined.
‘Scandal of good taste’
Fashion curator and exhibition maker Judith Clarke has collaborated with Adam Phillips, a psychoanalyst and writer to build on Phillip’s definition of ‘The Vulgar’ as a bases. The exhibition highlights 500 years of fashion guiding you through pieces from the Renaissance to present day. Weaved together with the theme of vulgarity, whilst celebrating the incredible innovations of all the designers included. I really enjoyed this and feel it was worth the £10 fee of entry. Sadly they didn’t allow photographs so you”l have to check it out yourselves!!
The Hayward Gallery:
The Hayward was another gallery that I’ve never set foot in before and I still haven’t actually set foot in it… the exhibition we went to see was called The Infinite Mix. However it was held off site to our despair as we’d already walked all the way to the gallery to only find out that we were in the wrong place.
When we finally got to the correct location we spent the next hour and a half walking in and out of different but very basic screen rooms. The Infinite Mix is a collection of contemporary audiovisual artworks. Ten rooms in total exploring our cultural tensions all through varied genres.
‘They pointedly remix our notions of history and fiction, the real and the staged, and the sublime and the everyday’
Another one that is completely free and so great to go and see! Each film and soundtrack was completely different, some I connected with and some I didn’t understand at all. Thats all part of it. Its a really interesting space and a very thought-provoking experience I would recommend it if you love music, contemporary art or film.
White Chapel Gallery:
It was a few days of discovery it seems as White Chapel was also a first for me. A much smaller gallery but always worth having a look what they have on. We’d made the effort to see an exhibition about the anonymous feminist activists; Guerrilla Girls. If you don’t known who they are, look them up! These women wear gorilla masks in public to conceal their identities and take on the names of women artists from the past all for the fight against sexism.
The exhibition was called Guerrilla Girls: Is it even worse in Europe? The small exhibit is a room plastered with questions, statistics and proof on the subject of sexism in the art world. It highlights daunting facts about the industry and challenges how we can make change. The activists sent out hundreds of questionnaires to museums and galleries quizzing them on the diversity of their representation. With interesting results of inequality all over Europe- go check it out its really quite shocking and worth a visit.
My FAVOURITE museum on the planet… The Victoria and Albert. Not only equipped with the best gift shop but also housed a fantastic exhibition that is incredible useful to my current uni projects. You say you want a revolution? Records and rebels 1966-1970. The exhibition encapsulates the vibrant and explosive attitudes of the late 60’s, displaying fashion, film, design, music and political activism. Once again no photos were allowed and in terms of budget it was the most expensive to visit but worth it.
-The Lanky Giraffe