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LONDON FOR FUN Newsletter: 15 December 2009 Issue No.187



1.) Top 10 London events
2.) Other Events, Theatre listings, Museums and Galleries
3.) How to unsubscribe


1. Top 10 London events

1 - Johann Strauss Gala - David Juritz directs the Johann Strauss Orchestra from the violin in the traditional Viennese manner with sparkling soprano Caroline MacPhie and the Johann Strauss Dancers in beautiful costumes of the period. 31 December. www.barbican.org.uk

2 - Sophie Calle: Talking to Strangers - Acclaimed for her photographic and film installations, Sophie Calle’s work reports on encounters and situations that she sets in motion. Whether asking strangers to sleep in her bed, or inviting an author to take charge of her destiny, she documents social interactions that require a pact of complete trust. This exhibition brings together major works from the 1980s to the present. Until 3 January. www.whitechapel.org

3 - Tatsuo Miyajima - Since 1987, Tatsuo Miyajima has been constructing installations using LED digital counting devices. His works combine a performative aspect with architectonic structures, sometimes taking the shape of geometric patterns or organic shapes as well as encompassing vertical and horizontal surfaces. The LED devices count progressively from 1 to 9 or backwards – Miyajima never employs 0 – establishing a rhythm as definitive as repetition itself and the inexorable passing of time. Sometimes the colored numerals run at different speed, synching to the rhythm of natural events or the pulsing of life in individual subjectivities. The series Counter Fragile Lifestructurism is a reflection on the becoming of life. Each human being is constituted by over 60 billion cells, testifying at every moment the miracle of living. Each LED panel, with its individual flashing element counting in reverse from the digit 9 to 1, represents one cell. As the numbers progressively count down and start anew, they renew each time the cycle of death and life. Until 16 January. www.lissongallery.com

4 - Szymanowski and Shostakovich - London Philharmonic Orchestra with Vladimir Jurowski conductor and Carolin Widmann violin. How ought one express one’s country in music, when that country is under the grip of a despotic regime, or when one’s homeland has been wiped out by occupying forces? Such questions were all too familiar to Shostakovich and Szymanowski. Shostakovich's immense and gripping Fourth Symphony seems a screaming plea to the submissive subjects of the soviet state. The latter’s concerto, pitting a singing violin against a magical kaleidoscope of orchestral colour, echoes the Poland Szymanowski longed to see restored but whose sovereignty would never be recognised in his hometown of Tymoszowka. 16 January. www.southbankcentre.co.uk

5 - The Sacred Made Real - Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600 - 1700 - This exhibition will bring together paintings and painted wooden sculptures by the great Spanish realists of the 17th century. ‘The Sacred Made Real’ will provide a reappraisal of the crucial role of these hyper-realist sculptures in the development of Spanish art. Providing a unique experience, sculpture and painting will be displayed side-by-side. This will be the first major exhibition to explore this relationship. Until 24 January. www.nationalgallery.org.uk

6 - Swan Lake - Now firmly crowned as a modern-day classic, this iconic production is perhaps best-known for replacing the traditional female corps de ballet with a menacing male ensemble. Matthew Bourne blends dance, humour and spectacle with extravagant, award-winning designs by Lez Brotherston, to create a provocative and powerful Swan Lake for our times. Until 24 January. www.sadlerswells.com

7 - Cirque du Soleil - Varekai - In a dream forest, acrobatics and beauty meet. Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world—a world where something else is possible. A world called Varekai. From the sky falls a solitary young man and the story of Varekai begins. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered. The word Varekai means 'wherever' in the Romany language of the gypsies, the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai. From 5 January until 13 February. www.royalalberthall.com

8 - Peter Campus: Opticks - Peter Campus is a seminal figure in the history of video art. In a distinguished career that spans four decades, he has been crucial in developing the potential of video within a gallery space and he has been a major influence to artists from Bill Viola to Douglas Gordon. This new exhibition, opening on 11 December brings together some of his key works alongside a new commission for the BFI, and a retrospective of his video work in the BFI cinemas. Campus’s close-circuit works subvert the viewer/work relationship; it is only when the visitor enters the field of the work that the piece is actually activated. Far from being interactive in the better known sense of the term, these works are fully realised only through the visitor’s movements within the space; but while visitors observe and explore a different, yet live and highly recognisable portrait of themselves, such physical engagement soon becomes mental and emotional. Until 14 February 2010. www.bfi.org.uk

9 - Mike Ballard - The All of Everything - This is a specially commissioned work which turns the entire gallery space into an all-encompassing installation covering floors, walls and ceilings featuring the artist’s flamboyant vision of art history. Transporting the viewer on a supersonic journey through a galaxy of hypermodern and prehistoric art, The All of Everything races back and projects forward through art history, fusing, referencing and sampling at blistering speed. Merging painted floors and walls and a baroque collage ceiling into one gargantuan installation, the gallery will ultimately become one immersive artwork into which the viewer is absorbed. Negotiating the space, the observer becomes a participant in the installation’s embodiment of the eternal loop of life and regeneration; ciphers of the human endeavour to gain and preserve in a continuous trajectory of creation and accumulation. Until 20 February. www.arts.ac.uk

10 - Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective - Tate Modern will present the first major retrospective of Arshile Gorky (c.1904-1948) to be seen in Europe for twenty years. Celebrating one of the most powerful and poetic American artists of his generation, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective will examine the extraordinary contribution of this seminal figure in Abstract Expressionism. The exhibition will span Gorky’s 25 year career and offer the opportunity to see this complex and moving body of work as a whole. It will include more than 150 paintings and works on paper, many of which have not been shown in public previously. From 10 February until 3 May 2010. www.tate.org.uk/modern


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