Autumn always brings a swathe of great new exhibitions to explore. Here are some of my top picks this autumn.
Various locations, Birmingham, 7-11 October 2015
Fierce is an international festival of cross art form performance centred in Birmingham. The festival embraces theatre, dance, music, installations, activism, digital practices and parties. Fierce fills the city with performances in theatres, galleries and other out-of-the-ordinary spaces.
Highlights from this year’s programme include Still House: Of Riders and Running Horses, Simone Aughterlony / Antonija Livingstone / Hahn Rowe: Supernatural and Rosalie Schweiker & Maria Guggenbichler: Sleep with a Curator.
Emma Hart: big Mouth
Grand Union, 5 September – 31 October 2015
Out from the gallery wall clay fists throw punches, rub crying eyes, clutch their stomach, whilst squeezed clay hair cascades through anus-like scrunchies. There are those clumsy spills from ceramic wine glasses that we all make from time to time. Sculptures fight and choke (classic attention seeking behaviour) and a video is coughed up, which lands unhealthily on the viewer.
Fiona Banner: SCROLL DOWN AND KEEP SCROLLING
Ikon Gallery, October 2015 – 17 January 2016
This is the most comprehensive exhibition of Fiona Banner’s work to date, re-presenting key early projects alongside recent and unseen works that span a period of 25 years. “It is not a survey – more of an anti-survey,” says the artist, “A survey suggests something objective, historical, and fixed. This is subjective; nothing else is possible.” Throughout the exhibition Banner revisits her work with intensity and humour.
Ulla von Brandenburg: Objects Without Shadow
Pilar Corrias, 11 September – 15 October 2015
For her third solo exhibition at Pilar Corrias Gallery, Objects Without Shadow, German artist Ulla von Brandenburg presents a new series of paintings alongside a constellation of objects and props that take leave from her recent film ‘Sink Down Mountain, Raise Up Valley’, which explores ideas and rituals from the commune of Saint-Simonians – a French political and social movement of the early 1800s.
Ulla von Brandenburg has a richly complex and multifaceted practice that is realised through a combination of black & white film, installation, performance, drawing, and painting. The vocabulary of von Brandenburg’s work comes from a basis of using approaches and methods of the theatre, the stage, and rules of performance to engage with cultural or social issues from different moments in history to explore how stories, rituals, and symbols of the past have constituted our societies.
Coco Fusco: And the Sea Will Talk to You
Cecilia Brunson Projects, 3 September – 23 October 2015
“I have learned to swim on dry land. It turns out to be better than doing it in the water. There is no fear of sinking because you are already at the bottom, and by the same logic, you are already drowned beforehand.”
These are the opening lines of ‘Y entonces el mar te hablará (And the Sea Will Talk to You)’, the film interdisciplinary artist and writer Coco Fusco first presented in 2012 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and that we are proud to be showing in London for the first time. Born in New York to Cuban parents, a prevailing focus of Fusco’s work has been geared towards the political conditions in Cuba and the population’s means of coping with them. In this film, Fusco’s concerns with the mechanisms of power and control in the political, economic as well as social spheres shed a light on the personal experiences within the broader and longstanding emigration problems between Cuba and the United States.
DRAF, 25 September – 12 December 2015
Etel Adnan, Ida Applebroog, XXXXXXX XXXX, Philip Guston, Sergej Jensen, Hans Josephsohn, Oscar Murillo, Andreas Slominski and Michael E. Smith
Rarely seen artworks from the David Roberts collection become accomplices of an uncanny fiction. Albert the kid is ghosting occupies the entire DRAF building, transforming the space into an unsettling mise-en-scene of defiance: a crime scene. However, one artist remains unnamed: the ghost. His presence is haunting the space, and traces are visible everywhere.
The exhibition presents each work in a precisely-designed environment of bespoke materials and furnishings. Hans Josephsohn’s 1979 brass head sits on a beige concrete plith, facing gold damask curtains. Etel Adnan’s 2000 landscape hangs over a floor of polished red pebbles. Beside Philip Guston’s ‘Drive’ (1969), is a wall of dark floral wallpaper. Vases of lilies, crimson walls, neon sheer fabric curtains and chainlink screens shape emotionally-charged situations throughout the space.
This exhibition presents the artist’s first major solo show in London, and consists of entirely new and previously unseen works. It continues Goudal’s interest in manmade interventions into the natural world through photographs which portray complex and ambiguous constructions created by the artist within the landscape.
Reflecting a fascination with human’s relationship to the sky, the exhibition draws upon a rich history of myths, legends, religious symbolism and early scientific theories. Through photographs, stereoscopes and architectural installations the exhibition aims to explore the intangible nature of celestial space – long considered a mirror of terrestrial turmoil as well as an expression of the sacred.
(All text taken from gallery press releases)