A free party at Ministry of Sound to celebrate subculture and nightlife, Theaster Gates and his epic and important collaboration with Prada, a new immersive and transcendental group show at 180 Strand, and more
Another year, another Frieze descends on London’s Regent Park. Sure, Frieze can be great if you can afford the ticket and manage to grab yourself a couple of glasses of free Champagne. But if that all sounds like too much money and effort, then the best part about this week is that the city goes art mad. Openings, pop-ups, talks, and special events are everywhere. You just need to know where to look (hint: below). To help you navigate it all, I’ve rounded up my favourites.
KARA WALKER: FONS AMERICANUS, TATE MODERN
Kara Walker will unveil her Hyundai Commission at London’s Tate Modern this Wednesday 2 October – a 13-metre-high fountain, which the museum says it one of its “most ambitious” in the series to date. Titled Fons Americanus, the installation stays true to themes Walker has been exploring across her career, such as “race, sexuality, and violence through the history of slavery”. While inspired by the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, which was created in celebration of Queen Victoria in the early 1900s, Walker’s Fons Americanus is instead a critique on the power structures that oppress us. Featuring Walker’s sculptural figures, Fons Americanus is an allegory for the Black Atlantic and explores “the interconnected histories of Africa, America, and Europe through fact, fiction, and fantasy.”
Kara Walker: Fons Americanus will be free to view at London’s Tate Modern, and will be on display from 2 October 2019 – 5 April 2020
TRANSFORMER: A REBIRTH OF WONDER, 180 STRAND
On Wednesday, Dazed founder Jefferson Hack opens Transformer: A Rebirth Of Wonder at 180 Strand, an immersive group exhibition he has curated with themes such as ritual, magic, and transcendence in mind. Featuring artists such as Jenn Nkiru, Dozie Kanu, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Harley Weir & George Rouy, and more, each artist takes us on a journey through the bowels of the Brutalist building – which previously hosted Infinite Mix.
Transformer: A Rebirth Of Wonder will be free to attend at 180 Strand from 2 October – 8 December 2019
CARRIE MAE WEEMS: A MEDITATION ON THE HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, THE SERPENTINE
Seminal American visual artist Carrie Mae Weems arrives in London for a special performance as part of the Cos x Serpentine Gallery’s Park Nights programme this Friday. Described as “a series of fragmented moments linked together to form a meditation on the history of violence”, Weems will invite musicians Nona Hendryx and Carl Hancock Rux to join her in a night of performance, spoken word, music, and contemplation.
Carrie Mae Weems: A Meditation On The History Of Violence is hosted at The Serpentine Gallery on Friday 5 October 2019. Tickets here
DRAF: AN EVENING OF PERFORMANCES, MINISTRY OF SOUND
An Evening of Performances will take place this Thursday evening at London’s Ministry of Sound, courtesy of DRAF. Featuring Gaika, Hannah Perry, Kai-Isaiah Jamal, and more, the legendary nightclub will host a programme curated by Louise O’Kelly (founder of Block Universe). The one-night-only event will seek “to explore the importance of alternative subcultures and London’s nightlife as a space for freedom of expression in an era of rising conservatism”.
DRAF: An Evening of Performances is free to attend (tickets here) and runs for one-night-only on 3 October 2019
THE STANDARD LONDON
London’s favourite new hangout, The Standard, is hosting a series of panels and talks this week, with a selection being made available to the public to book. Don’t miss Thursday’s event, when Dazed favourites, filmmaker Akinola Davies will be in conversation with artist Martine Syms at 4 pm in the hotel’s Library Lounge. There will also be art-focused events and activations going on throughout the hotel and (if you have a Frieze ticket) the team will also be hosting some amazing talks at Frieze London itself.
THEASTER GATES: THE BLACK IMAGE CORPORATION, 180 STRAND
American artist Theaster Gates and Prada continue their collaboration by presenting Gates’ THE BLACK IMAGE CORPORTATION. The project consists of an archive of imagery that elevates and explores the legacies of the now-defunct Ebony and Jet magazines, as well as “the visual and cultural representation of contemporary black identity and material culture”. Gates has taken the archive around the world, to cities such as Paris, Miami, and Chicago, with the aim that these important archives are shared with communities who can connect to them.
THE BLACK IMAGE CORPORATION by Theaster Gates is at 180 The Strand from 4 – 27 October 2019, presented by Prada, featuring Collective Intimacy, a live performance program curated in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory and The Showroom, London
CULTURAL TRAFFIC, OLD SPITALFIELDS MARKET
Toby Mott’s arts and publishing fair returns for one-day-only with its fourth edition and a programme of talks which feature Blitz kids Philip Sallon and Scarlett Cannon, as well as latex icon Pandemonia, and photographer Dinah Gold aka The London Vagabond, amongst others. Totally free to the public, Cultural Traffic “focusses on counter culture’s pre-internet roots while embracing new innovators who operate outside of the mainstream” and has travelled to New York City, LA, Detroit, Chicago, and Miami.
Cultural Traffic runs on the 5 October at Old Spitalfields Market. More information on the fair can be found here
OTHER SPACES WITH UNITED VISUAL ARTISTS, 180 STRAND
London’s busiest building, 180 Strand, is also home to The Store X The Vinyl Factory’s multi-sensory audio/visual exhibition from UVA (United Visual Artists). In collaboration with Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris, the show will feature three-large scale installations by the multi-disciplinary collective.
Other Spaces with United Visual Artists runs is free to attend at 180 Strand from 2 October – 8 December 2019
THE OTHER ART FAIR, VICTORIA HOUSE
If you’re looking to invest and begin building your own art collection but can’t quite afford the Frieze prices (yet), check out The Other Art Fair at London’s Victoria House. Presented by Saatchi Art, the fair allows art-lovers to buy directly from some of the best emerging art talents.
The Other Art Fair runs at Victoria House from 3 – 6 October. Tickets are around £9 and can be purchased here
1:54 CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ART FAIR, SOMERSET HOUSE
Coinciding with a handful of other art fairs is the return of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, hosted at Somerset House. It’s the first leading international art fair dedicated to art from Africa and its diaspora and also travels to cities such as New York and Marrakech. A day pass clocks in at £25, but check out which talks are happening on each day to make it worth your money.
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair runs 3 October – 6 October at Somerset House. Tickets are £25 for a day pass and can be purchased here