ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)



Founded in 1946 by a collective of artists, poets and their supporters,

the Institute of Contemporary Arts is an independent organisation

and registered charity which supports the most pressing debates in

contemporary culture. The ICA stages groundbreaking exhibitions,

performances and keynote lectures by many of the world’s leading thinkers.

Previously home to the Independent Group, the ICA played a pivotal role

in the development of Pop art and charted the course of punk, performance

art and independent cinema. The ICA staged the first institutional

exhibitions by Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tacita Dean, Damien

Hirst, Mike Kelley, Mary Kelly, Barbara Kruger, Gerhard Richter, Dieter

Roth, Cindy Sherman, Nancy Spero, and Cosey Fanni Tutti and early

exhibitions by Bernadette Corporation, Robert Mapplethorpe, Steve

McQueen and Tino Sehgal; many now historic performances including those

by Laurie Anderson, Einstürzende Neubauten and Yoko Ono; legendary

concerts by The Clash, Throbbing Gristle, The Smiths, David Bowie and

The Beastie Boys; and critical discussions by the likes of Kathy Acker,

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Stuart Hall and Homi K. Bhabha. The ICA

Cinema and its dedicated artist’s film programme continue to showcase

independent film and support pioneering filmmakers including Chantal

Akerman, Kenneth Anger, Matthew Barney, Derek Jarman, Ken Loach and

Laura Poitras. From its home on The Mall – the geographic heart of the

UK establishment – the ICA is an organisation in which different modes of

cultural production thrive on the mutual engagement with one another, and

a programme that speaks to the challenges of the 21st century.

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