Photography Alex Prager

Art shows to leave the house for this month

New York City’s first-ever Latin American Foto Festival, the dark side of Los Angeles with Alex Prager, Reba Maybury on how capitalism has ruined sex, and a fun house from Snarkitecture

DO YOU KNOW YOUR MIDDLE?, JOY MIESSI, 198 GALLERY, LONDON

Artist Joy Miessi has launched her first solo exhibition, which draws on memories of her mother braiding and parting her hair. Titled Do You Know Your Middle?the works utilise a range of found objects, as well as cardboard and wood, and explore the tension of everyday life and Miessi’s Congolese heritage. “These paintings are reminders, they are here when I question the truth from a dream. They act as photos that ignite memories I thought I’d lost. These paintings are a way of preserving these moments of love, the conversations with my mum and my everyday life,” explains the painter in the show’s press release.

On July 17, from 6.30pm – 9pm, Miessi will be in conversation with friend and independent curator Amrita Dhallu to discuss the ideas behind her art. Miessi’s mother has also curated a playlist specifically for the event, and on July 27, the artist will welcome Touching Bass and Finding Soul to respond to the music with some “free-flowing improv music inspired by Congolese music”. Miessi invites visitors to relax and listen to “the sounds which have played a part in my childhood”.

Do You Know Your Middle? runs at London’s 198 Gallery until July 27, 2018

SILVER LAKE DRIVE, ALEX PRAGER, PHOTOGRAPHERS’ GALLERY, LONDON

Currently on at The Photographers’ Gallery is a major new exhibition of Alex Prager – the first-mid career survey of the American photographer and filmmaker. The show spans two floors and including over 40 photographs, as well as her notable large-scale Technicolour images and her entire film oeuvre. A blend of art, fashion, and film, Prager’s works are applauded for “exposing human melodrama and dark unsettling undercurrents”, and often nod to 20th century Hollywood. Speaking with AnOther last month, she mused on how Los Angeles has influenced her: “The city itself was built on artifice,” she said. “It’s a strange alternative reality. There is perfection on the surface, but the underbelly is right there and if you dip your toe in just a little bit, it gets ugly, weird and strange. I’m constantly examining these hidden layers.”

Silver Lake Drive runs at London’s Photographers’ Gallery until October 14, 2018

PUTTING OUT, VARIOUS, GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE, NEW YORK

Curated by Reba Maybury and Taylor Trabulus, Putting Out is a melting pot of artists (Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Sophia Al-Maria, Juliana Huxtable, Amalia Ulman, and Cosey Fanni Tutti, to name a few) and uses the Industrial Revolution (1760 – 1840) as a jump-off point to explore contemporary attitudes to sex. “Since (the Industrial Revolution) the class system has increasingly exploded,” writes Maybury in the show’s release/essay. “It has become immovable and overwrought with complexities and the one thing we all share because it made us – sex – is divided for the haves and have-nots based on what monetary and emotional jobs we perform.” She adds that we are often too tired to seek pleasure because we need to work for our financial livelihoods.

Putting Out runs at New York’s Gavin Brown’s Enterprise until August 11, 2018

FUN HOUSE, SNARKITECTURE, NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM, WASHINGTON DC

In 2015, Snarkitecture covered 10,000 square feet of the National Building Museum’s Great Hall with around one million clear plastic balls. Three years on, “Participation and exploration” still sit at the heart of its latest show, titled Fun House, which opens up the museum’s doors to offer a series of surprises. As with most of its projects, “the goal of Fun House is to make architecture as engaging and accessible to a wide and diverse audience as possible”.

Fun House runs at Washington DC’s National Building Museum until September 3, 2018

;, VARIOUS, ENTERPRISE PROJECTS, LONDON

@BoiHugo, Carlos Alba, Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee, and Marvin Tang’s upcoming show, simply titled ;, places a microscope over ideas of the personal, familial, and collective and national identity, by expanding them out into issues of race, sexuality, colonialism, exoticisation, patriarchy, and collective memory.

@BoiHugo takes dating apps as a baseline to open dialogues on “the exclusion and festisations of East Asians in a white-dominated gay community”. Alba’s research-based work looks at domestic violence and patriarchy through the medium of family photos in which his grandmother had cut the face of his grandfather out of – behaviour which Alba realised had resulted from domestic abuse. His video, Text me when you get home, will give a new dimension to his work, as he asks visitors to message him if they wish to receive the video, offering “the choice to visitors to view and therefore confront, or ignore”, reads the show’s press release. Lee’s These hands shall carry you home is made up of her own family photos which she “manipulates into abstraction” and has ultimately turned into a wallpaper which resembles “a galaxy in which memories, reclaimed or imagined, are scattered”. Lastly, Tang’s series, The Colony and Guardians, Dogs, and other Objects reflects on the history of London’s Botanic Gardens and Kew Gardens and its ties to colonisation.

; runs at London’s Enterprise Projects from July 20 – 22, 2018

BOYS, ROSIE MATHESON, THE BLACK AND WHITE BUILDING SHOREDITCH, LONDON

Rosie Matheson’s long-awaited Boys series will finally make an IRL debut in London later this month, with a photo exhibition and the first screening of a short documentary that Matheson has worked on with Kaj Jefferies. Matheson has been shooting the series since 2015, as she explains, “documenting young men express themselves, capturing their emotions, looking at how they present themselves in everyday life.” She adds, “Ultimately, the work is about people who don't realise how special and interesting they are, and whose faces tell their story.”

Boys will run at London’s Black and White Building on July 27, 2018, from 7 – 11pm

MEMORY PALACE, WHITE CUBE (BOTH VENUES), LONDON

Taking place across the White Cube’s two London spaces – Mason’s Yard and Bermondsey – is Memory Palace. It comprises of more than 40 artists, such as Tracey Emin, Christian Marclay, Michael Armitage, Mona Hatoum, Georg Baselitz, as well as more than 100 recent and new works. Anchored in memory, the show uses six touchpoints to guide visitors through its journey; “Historical”, “Autobiographical”, “Trace”, “Transcription”, “Collective”, and “Sensory”.

Memory Palace runs at at White Cube Mason’s Yard and Bermondsey until September 2, 2018

FUGITIVE FEMINISM, VARIOUS, ICA, LONDON

Across five days, London’s ICA will bring together artists, academics, and activists who are “focused on contemporary black feminist politics, examining the impossibility of black women’s claims to womanhood, and the new spaces that are created by a politics of refusal”. The event, titled Fugitive Feminism, places the question of gender at its centre and is programmed by sociologist Akwugo Emejulu – who also took part in Post-Cyber Feminist International last November. Emejulu hopes to open up important conversations around black women and their struggle for recognition by asking, “Whose interests, experiences, and perspectives are contained in the dominant conceptions of gender?” and “What possibilities are created when black women abandon gender?” You can see the full line up of events and participants here.

Fugitive Feminism runs at London’s ICA from July 18 – 22, 2018

BEHOLD A FIGURE, SERPENTINE, SOFT OPENING, LONDON

London-based artist Louis Morlet’s first solo exhibition (Behold A Figure, Serpentine) takes place at Piccadilly Circus tube station’s resident gallery, Soft Opening. Featuring five clay and latex sculptures, a new video work, as well as an accompanying sound piece, the way in which Morlet acquired the materials to create his works was over a series of nightly ventures into London parks. Described by the gallery as “covert missions”, Morlet’s nocturnal activities allowed him to “steal surplus material to allow the artist to confront his woes with capitalist society in as banal a way as possible”, often from the Serpentine River in Hyde Park – which the artist nods to in the show’s title.

Behold A Figure, Serpentine runs at London’s Soft Opening until July 29, 2018

FLIPSIDE, VARIOUS, FOLD GALLERY, LONDON

Inspired by Ursula Le Guin’s essay “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction”, Fold Gallery will launch Flipside, a group exhibition featuring Lotte Andersen, Phoebe Cummings, Paloma Proudfoot, and Rosie Reed, amongst others. In Le Guin’s writings, the American novellist challenges ideas around male heroism and hunting, eschewing the idea that human civilisation was dependent on men to go out and bring hunt for meat, instead arguing that people relied mostly on seeds, roots, berries, leaves, nuts, and grains. The gallery explains, “This indicates that the most important tool for survival must have been a vessel or container to hold gathered products, rather than a stick of a spear to poke and hit with”. The show, in its underground, cave-like space, will offer “unique carrier bags; bags; brimming with sensitivity, kindness, courage, intricacy, generosity, beauty, feeling, reflection, speculation and hope”, each crafted by the 12 artists enlisted to participate.

Flipside runs at London’s Fold Gallery from July 20 – August 18, 2018

PARK NIGHTS, VARIOUS, SERPENTINE GALLERY, LONDON

The Serpentine Gallery’s annual programme of “experimental and interdisciplinary encounters” will host eight international artists and ask them to respond to the 2018 Serpentine Pavillion (designed by Frida Escobedo). Featuring artists from diverse disciplines, such as Victoria Sin, TELFAR (with South African band FAKA), Megan Rooney, Pedro Reyes, Yaeji, Kamasi Washington, Flavien Berger, and Dorothy Iannone, all specifics can be found here.

Park Nights runs at The Serpentine Gallery from July 13 – September 21, 2018

WELCOME TO THE MYSTIC HOLE, QUEENIE BON BON LADYBEARD, QUEENIE BON BON, ENTERPRISE PROJECTS, LONDON

Ladybeard magazine will host sex worker and performance artist Queenie Bon Bon for one-night-only (July 21), as it takes its audience on a voyage into the Mystic Hole. Asking questions such as “What should we do if we feel our body is failing us? What do we store in the body and what do we release? How do we clean it off the rug? Why can’t we live our whole life from the bed? And why can't we all be adult about adult industries?” Tickets are very limited and available here.

Welcome to the Mystic Hole, Queenie Bon Bon x Ladybeard runs at Enterprise Projects, London on July 21, 2018, from 8pm – midnight

LATIN AMERICAN FOTO FESTIVAL, VARIOUS, BRONX DOCUMENTARY CENTRE, NEW YORK CITY

The Bronx Documentary Centre is currently playing host to New York’s City’s first-ever Latin American Foto Festival. Bringing together award-winning photographers from across the Caribbean and Latin America, the venue is also hosting workshops and panel discussions – all curated by Michael Kamber and Cynthia Rivera.

Latin American Foto Festival runs at New York City’s Bronx Documentary Centre until 22 July, 2018

NOCTURNAL CREATURES, VARIOUS, WHITECHAPEL GALLERY, LONDON

On Saturday 21 July, the Whitechapel Gallery’s late-night festival will launch with a line-up of artists including, Larry Achiampong, Rachel Pimm, Marina Abramović, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, and more. With the East End being taken over by performance, video, sculpture, and sound, with local galleries also opening their doors in honour of the evening. Full line-up can be found here.

Nocturnal Creatures will run at various venues within walking distance from the Whitechapel Gallery on July 21, 2018, from 6 – 11pm

PACHA, LLAQTA, WASICHAY: INDIGENOUS SPACE, MODERN ARCHITECTURE, NEW ART, VARIOUS, WHITNEY MUSEUM, NEW YORK

Alongside the Whitney Museum’s current show on David Wojnarowicz sits Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Art. Made up of seven mid-career and emerging Latinx artists who are based in the US and Peurto Rico – william cordova, Livia Corona Benjamín, Jorge González, Guadalupe Maravilla, Claudia Peña Salinas, Ronny Quevedo, and Clarissa Tossin. The show addresses the “complex ways in which Indigenous American notions of the built environment and natural world are represented in contemporary art”. Curated by the museum’s Marcela Guerrero and assistant curator Alana Hernandez, Pacha, Llaqtal Wasichay features close to 80 wors of art which have all been created in the past five years, traversing sculpture, video, installation, photography, and drawing

Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Art runs at New York’s Whitney Museum from July 13 – September 30, 2018

WITHIN, CROWNS & OWLS, PROTEIN GALLERY, LONDON

In association with Mind in the City, Hackney, and Waltham Forrest, filmmaking and photography collective, Crowns & Owls present Within. The show lifts the lid on mental health by using a series of images and a short film to visually convey the struggles that approximately 25 per cent of people in the UK experience each year. Catalogue Design has also collaborated on merchandise, created especially for the event, with proceeds going to Hackney’s local Mind centre, with the aim to raise enough funds to pay for three people’s therapy for a year. Crowns & Owls explain that it hopes to “add another angle to the mental health conversation and raise awareness of how vital Mind is in keeping services available to people in the UK, where demand is huge and services are beyond stretched.”

Within runs at London’s Protein Gallery on July 18, 2018. Spaces are extremely limited and anyone wishing to attend should email within@crownsandowls.com to RSVP

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