March 10, 2011


Igloo: Visitor

The London-based duo of Ruth Gibson and Bruno Martelli, who exhibit under the name of igloo, have created installations, videos, online projects and performances for international festivals and exhibitions including the 52nd Venice Biennale. Visitor (at the Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham, 12 March-2 May) consists of two separate pieces inspired by a trip to the Canadian Rockies in 2009. Where the bears are sleeping is a video of snowy landscapes that evokes the strange beauty of the natural world, where the viewer slowly becomes aware of a solitary presence emerging, appearing and disappearing among the woods, frozen lakes and hillsides. Vermilion Lake is a full-sized wooden cabin whose interior offers a startlingly realistic interactive mountain adventure.


Life after Oil?

Is the UK preparing for life without oil? Is global demand about to exceed supply? Or will new technologies be developed in time to allow our dependence on oil to continue? Such questions are at the heart of this debate, organised by the Institute of Advanced Study and Durham Energy Institute, which brings together leading experts at the Calman Learning Centre, University of Durham (16 March, 5.45pm). Moderated by Alistair Buchanan, chairman of the UK energy regulator, Ofgem, the panel will include environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, founding director of Forum for the Future; Ian Marchant, chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy; and Michael Izza, chief executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.


Census and Society: Why Everyone Counts

Britain's 21st census will be held on March. This exhibition (at the British Library until 29 May) explores how censuses are shaped by the values of those commissioning them, and in turn influence how we look at society. It is divided into sections exploring families and households, health, employment and migration, where census data are juxtaposed with maps, photographs, public-information broadcasts and other material illustrating changing UK life. It considers the challenges of assessing and presenting ever-increasing volumes of information, and innovations such as population density maps. Censuses offer invaluable insights for those interested in family or local history (as witness the returns submitted by Annie Besant, the political author and campaigner). Yet they have also attracted suspicion and hostility, reflected here in cartoons, a sermon, a poem, a play and even a rap.


The Golden Age of Dutch Painting: Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum

In what is claimed to be a first for the region, the Qatar Museums Authority is collaborating with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which has agreed to lend 44 of its major Dutch paintings, mainly from the 17th century and including work by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals. The exhibition (at the Museum of Islamic Art, 11 March-6 June) is divided into sections exploring the diverse genres of Dutch art, paintings of richly detailed but often imaginary Dutch cities and landscapes, the world of Rembrandt and his contemporaries, the social trends for flaunting refinement and elegance, while a concluding film brings the story up to date in the Netherlands of the 21st century.


Desert Quartet

Elisabeth Frink (1930-93) was one of Britain's leading post-war sculptors. Towards the end of her life, she worked on a series of four monumental white heads, like abstracted images of Roman emperors, inspired by a visit to the Tunisian desert. They were cast in bronze and produced in an edition of six in 1986, although only two were finished with white patination. One of those two is now on display, until May, in the Harold Martin Botanic Garden at the University of Leicester. The garden has hosted an international sculpture show for the past nine years. Its 10th anniversary will be celebrated in A Decade of Sculpture in the Garden, from 26 June to 30 October.

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