December 16, 2010


Never the Same River (Possible Futures, Probable Pasts)

Since the 1960s, the Camden Arts Centre has been one of the cutting-edge spaces for contemporary art in London. This new exhibition, curated by Simon Starling - who won the Turner Prize in 2005 - brings together fragments of many exhibitions held there over the past 50 years. Works by 30 artists and designers including Francis Bacon, Christian Boltanski and Henry Moore have been reinstalled in the positions where they were previously shown. As well as revisiting the past, Starling has also looked ahead and assembled a selection of new works to represent his vision of the Centre's future exhibition programme. Never the Same River runs until 20 February 2011.


London Under Siege: Churchill and the Anarchists, 1911

On the night of 16 December 1910, a group of armed Latvian revolutionaries tried to break into H.S. Harris' jeweller's shop in East London. Three policemen were shot and two more disabled for life. Two weeks later, more than 200 armed police and a detachment of Scots Guards laid siege to 100 Sidney Street in Stepney, where two of the gang were hiding. The events soon became iconic in local culture and memory. To mark their centenary, a team including David Lawton - the great-great-grandson of the jeweller Henry Harris - has created this exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands (18 December to April 2011). Objects on display include guns from the crime scene, safe-breaking equipment, the overcoat worn by Winston Churchill, then the home secretary, on the day of the siege and details of the funeral service for the murdered policemen at St Paul's Cathedral.


The Kite Needs the String: the book illustration of David Gentleman

For more than 40 years, David Gentleman has been one of Britain's leading illustrators and graphic designers. He has produced murals, stamps, covers for books including the Penguin Shakespeare series and posters for everyone from the National Trust to the Stop the War campaign against intervention in Iraq. This major exhibition (until 19 March 2011) is being held in the Special Collections Gallery of the Sir Kenneth Green Library at Manchester Metropolitan University, which specialises in 20th-century book illustration and illustrators' archives. Gentleman has always argued that fundamental principles of drawing and design apply across all media. In exploring his working methods, The Kite Needs the String presents his finished illustrations alongside preliminary drawings and layouts.



Below the surface of the ocean lies an eerie, haunting and disturbing world. This exhibition at the Bluecoat (until 13 February 2011) is devoted to the work of 10 international artists who want to take their viewers there and give them the experience of total submersion. In a video by Bill Viola, two intertwining lovers slowly descend into dark waters, exhaling their last breaths together. In a video by Dorothy Cross, a woman wafts in sunlit water that teems with jellyfish. Ed Pien's drawings create a nightmarish realm of ghastly creatures doing battle, Daniel Gustav Cramer's photographs reveal an ominous seabed of towering rocks and rising silt, and Klaus Osterwald's metallic sculptures emit the strange recorded chirrupings of fish.


Hyperlinks: Architecture and Design

The many opportunities for accumulating and remixing data opened up by the internet are having a profound impact on architecture and design. This exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago (until 20 July 2011) explores more than 30 international projects that address the potential and the challenges head-on. One film investigates environments enhanced by advanced technologies, another the possible ecological benefits of artificially generated species of plant. Specially commissioned works include inventive new elements of furniture and a multimedia project that attunes the ambience of an interior space to the exterior climatic conditions.

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