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LONDON FOR FUN Newsletter: 19 April 2011 Issue No.204



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


1. Top 10 London events

1 - The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei - Sunflower Seeds is made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, but actually unique. However realistic they may seem, these life-sized sunflower seed husks are in fact intricately hand-crafted in porcelain. Each seed has been individually sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. Far from being industrially produced, they are the effort of hundreds of skilled hands. Poured into the interior of the Turbine Hall’s vast industrial space, the 100 million seeds form a seemingly infinite landscape. Porcelain is almost synonymous with China and, to make this work, Ai Weiwei has manipulated traditional methods of crafting what has historically been one of China’s most prized exports. Sunflower Seeds invites us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today. Until 1 May. www.tate.org.uk/modern LAST CHANCE

2 - Janice Kerbel - Following the conventions and mechanics of stage lighting and dramatic genres and forms, Kerbel has written a cue script for lights in the vein of a mythic odyssey. Desiring to be seen as light itself, rather than as light serving to illuminate form, a single ‘spotlight’ becomes the key protagonist on an epic journey of conflict and transformation to become one with the ‘worker’ lights, and to realise his dream of ‘open white’. Dramatic tension and plot progression are conveyed through changes in the intensity, colour, pattern and direction of the stage lights. The work consists only of a lighting rig and the lights become both characters enacting scenes -‘the farewell’, ‘lost in the forest’ or ‘dream interlude’ - and technicians responsible for conjuring atmosphere. Until 15 May. www.chisenhale.org.uk LAST CHANCE

3 - Nathaniel Mellors: Ourhouse - This spring, the ICA presents the first major solo exhibition in a UK public institution by Nathaniel Mellors. In recent years, Mellors has produced a distinctive body of work that combines video, sculpture and writing. The complex relationship between language and power is a recurring theme in his multifaceted work, typically manifesting itself in absurdist, humorous narratives which reveal a penchant for satire and the grotesque. Until 15 May. http://ica.org.uk LAST CHANCE

4 - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Great Classics: Mahler Symphony No8 - Five choirs, including the Vivace Chorus and the London Symphony Chorus, are combining with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to perform one of the greatest and most ambitious choral works, Mahler's Eighth Symphony – the Symphony of a Thousand – to mark the centenary of the composer's death. The sheer scale of this symphony means that it is rarely heard live. This highlight of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's London concert season will involve a full symphony orchestra, eight soloists, two huge choruses and a children's choir. 15 May. www.royalalberthall.com

5 - Cory Arcangel: Beat the Champ - Brooklyn-based Cory Arcangel is one of the leading media artists of his generation. He often appropriates, manipulates and subverts new media, including video games, computer software and the internet. Arcangel's project for The Curve is an installation featuring 14 bowling video games from the 1970s to the 2000s. Using custom manufactured electronics, Arcangel has hacked each unit to play a loop of a game in which the bowler fails to score. Presented chronologically, the games collectively create a collage of sound from the abstract static of Atari to Nintendo's bleeps and bloops to the more realistic simulation of bowling sounds of recent PlayStation consoles. Arcangel also displays the video game console themselves, each with a small computer chip attached, flickering at one end of the darkened gallery. Until 22 May. www.barbican.org.uk

6 - Jan Gossaert's Renaissance - Jan Gossaert, a native of Flanders (active 1503; died 1532), was one of the most startling and accomplished artists of the Northern Renaissance. ‘Jan Gossaert’s Renaissance’ is the first exhibition dedicated to the artist for over 40 years, and presents the results of a complete re-examination of his work, including new technical discoveries. The exhibition features over 80 works, including many of the artist’s most important paintings, including the ‘Virgin and Child’, 1527, Prado, Madrid, and ‘Hercules and Deianeira’, 1517, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham. It also features drawings and contemporaneous sculptures of the Northern Renaissance. Until 30 May. www.nationalgallery.org.uk

7 - Paul Graham: Photographs 1981-2006 - Through renowned photographic series such as the A1, Troubled Land, New Europe or American Night British artist Paul Graham presents vivid portrayals of people and places. This comprehensive survey of over 25 years of work demonstrates his innovative approach to documentary, reinventing traditional genres of photography to create a unique visual language. Until 19 June. www.whitechapel.org

8 - Mark Leckey - The exhibition will show major works from Leckey’s multi-disciplinary practice, which encompasses sculpture, sound, film and performance and addresses themes of human desire and transformation. Leckey’s best-known works feature meticulously sourced and reconfigured archive footage and the exhibition will include the artist’s seminal film work on the history of underground UK dance culture from the 1970s to the 1990s, Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, 1999. From 19 May until 26 June. www.serpentinegallery.org

9 - Afrocubism - AfroCubism was the original idea for Buena Vista Social Club. The original plan conceived in 1996 was to bring the foremost Cuban musicians and their Malian counterparts together to record in Havana and explore their shared musical history. As it turned out the Malians couldn’t make it to Cuba so an exclusively Cuban album was recorded instead and thus began the legend that became the multi-million selling Buena Vista Social Club. AfroCubism will be joined by special guest Fatoumata Diawara. Introducing a fresh new talent with a unique sound, a bagful of beautiful self-penned songs and a tumultuous life story behind her, Fatoumata's debut album, Fatou, is released this September. 27 June. www.royalalberthall.com

10 - Sylvie Guillem Evening - The evening features works by three of today's most important choreographers: a new solo by Mats Ek, a new duet by William Forsythe (created especially for Guillem and Paris Opera Ballet star Nicolas Le Riche), and a film by Jiří Kylián, which is followed by a duet from his work 27'52''. From 5 July until 9 July. www.sadlerswells.com


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