Feature

The Best of Spring in London: Our Top Contemporary Art Picks

07 Mar 2018

Sandy Di Yu

The warmer weather has us giddy with excitement and a renewed will to explore all the best that London’s contemporary art scene has to offer. Take a peek at ArtRabbit’s top picks and come explore with us.

Counter Investigations: Forensic Architecture at the ICA

Forensic Architecture, an independent research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London, presents a survey exhibition premised on investigations into state crimes and human rights violations, and the rising availability of digital recording equipment, satellite imaging, data platforms, and other forms of surveillance and control. Specific cases addressed includes the racist murder of a man in Kassel, Germany by a member of a far-right group, and instances of deferred responsibility by state agencies that have contributed to the deaths of migrants at sea in the Mediterranean.

 

Ian Cheng and Sondra Perry at Serpentine Galleries

Ian Cheng populates the Serpentine with artificial life in a two-part exhibition. BOB, or Bag Of Beliefs, is the first sentient artwork that you’ll meet, and permanently influence. Each BOB may become interested in you, learn from you, ignore you, hate you, and most of all, regard you just as you regard them. Then, Emissaries, a “habitat for stories” that features a cast of computer-generated interacting flora and fauna, will be exhibited from April 24 until May 28.

 

In her first European solo exhibition, Sondra Perry explores black identity and black femininity within the context of digital power structures in this multidisciplinary exhibition titled Typhoon coming on. The site-specific installation incorporates existing works including a 3D avatar of the artist questioning the current productivity and efficiency of culture, and digitally altered versions of JMW Turner’s 1840 painting, The Slave Ship.

 

Are We Alone? At Platform Southwark

This multidisciplinary exhibition is based on research from recently declassified military archives of extraterrestrial encounters and explores possibilities of sentient life beyond earth, our relation to technology, the conspiracy theories that this espouses, and investigations of cosmic noise. British artist Sol Bailey-Barker uses repurposed and obsolete technology, DIY contact mics, and “alien-megalithic” sculptural forms to create an (extra)terrestrial sound machine.

 

de-leb at Banner Repeater

Opening this weekend, “de-leb” comes from the phenomenon wherein a dead celebrity (de-leb) has more agency and choice over their data than those still living. This group exhibition considers the currency of data and the protocols of platform capitalism, becoming a site for collective authorship and a science-fiction based on fact, time-stamped via smart contracts on the blockchain.

 

Signe Pierce: Metamirrorism 

Signe Pierce's second solo show at Annka Kultys Gallery sees a use of paintings, recordings and projections that could make even Lacan dissolve in an apperceptual daydream. The immersive installation instantaneously records and projects viewers' "reflected" image onto the gallery walls, with an aesthetic recognizably attributable to the artist.

 

Anthea Hamilton Tate Britain Commission 2018: The Squash

We've eagerly awaited the unveiling of Anthea Hamilton’s Tate Britain Commission, and we were rewarded for our patience. This major new work transforms the heart of Tate Britain into an immersive installation. Based on an image initially of unknown origins that the artist had photocopied, the entirety of the space is submersed in a surreal grid of white tiles, with performances by individuals donned in outfits inspired by that first photograph.

 

Juno Calypso: The Salon at Galeria Melissa

An immersive art installation, The Salon is at once lush and lurid, a lucid dream or oneiric reality. The fantastical landscape of the incorporated animated video, rife with rosy hues, seeps into the surreal landscape of the basement level, a serene yet nightmarish beauty salon filled with anonymous clients that may or may not be real.

 

Thermal Time at the Ryder Projects

This group exhibition explores the link between time and temperature, and the notion of time as a presence in the human body. Through sculpture, video, installation and performance, the works reflect on the impossibility of grasping time through one’s physical fragility, ephemeral condition or embodied struggle.

 

Faisal Abdu'Allah: Facets of a Community at Camberwell Space

In this collaborative work exploring what it means to be part of a community, artist Faisal Abdu’Allah organised Jacquard woven tapestries and community generated materials. These works act as a medium for shifting repositories of thought, stories, and images that will gradually populate the gallery over the course of the exhibition.

 

Andreas Gursky at Hayward Gallery

After two years of hardhats and scaffolding, Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre has re-opened with the first major UK retrospective of the work of acclaimed German photographer Andreas Gursky. Around 60 of his groundbreaking photographs from the early 1980s through to his more recent work are on display, showcasing his investigation with democratic perspective and the limits of human perception. You can see more of his work at White Cube Bermondsey until 8 April.

Sandy Di Yu is a London based writer, art theorist and artist. Follow her on Instagram or visit her website.