Safouane Ben Slama captures the ‘sweetness’ of the Paris suburbs, Harley Weir gets radical in London, and the Venice Biennale returns for another iteration of city-spanning shows
SINS OF A DAUGHTER, HARLEY WEIR, HANNAH BARRY GALLERY, LONDON, UK
Harley Weir returns to the gallery space with a new “radical” series of images that swing between the obscure and the explicit, the rapturous and the profane. While known globally as one of fashion’s foremost photographers, Weir’s personal and unseen bodies of work are often her most gripping – and that’s what visitors to south London’s Hannah Barry gallery can expect, or, in their words: “A world in which the body is turned inside out.”
JAMES BARNOR: ACCRA/LONDON, MASI LUGANO, SWITZERLAND
If you find yourself in Lugano, Switzerland, this month, James Barnor’s retrospective – which was shown at London’s Serpentine last year and garnered five-star reviews – has opened at MASI Lugano. Barnor was born in Ghana and was given a Kodak camera when he was a teen. At 70, he finally gained the recognition he deserved after several decades of capturing culture, fashion, and music across his home country and its diaspora in Britain.
SAFOUANE BEN SLAMA, J’PRÉFÈRE QUAND C’EST RÉEL, CAC BRÉTIGNY, BRÉTIGNY‑SUR‑ORGE, FRANCE
Safouane Ben Slama’s first personal exhibition in France explores the people we share public space with and the “sweetness” of those, often silent, interactions across 15 photographs. During a four-month residency, Slama explored Essonne, in the southern suburbs of Paris, where the show’s curator Camille Martin is from – trusting Slama to shoot portraits with sensitivity and sans stereotypes not usually afforded to the capital city’s outskirts. The resulting exhibition is full of what Slama calls “precious gestures”.
RADIO BALLADS, THE SERPENTINE & BARKING TOWN HALL, LONDON, UK
Sonia Boyce, Helen Cammock, Rory Pilgrim, and Ilona Sagar have been working for the last three years on a series of film works, drawings, paintings, and contextual materials that explore social care services and community settings in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Inspired by a BBC radio documentary that ran from 1957 to 1964, Radio Ballads aims to show the value of art and culture in the community.
FUTURE SHOCK, 180 STUDIOS, LONDON, UK
Dissolving the line between the physical and virtual, artists Ryoichi Kurokawa, Lawrence Lek, Weirdcore, and others will exhibit their visionary work at 180 Studios’ latest exhibition Future Shock. From generative algorithms to AI and 3D mapping, laser work, and holograms, Future Shock promises to “challenge our preconceptions and offer up new possibilities.”
FEELING SEEN, CAMPBELL ADDY, PROTEIN STUDIOS, LONDON, UK
Photographer Campbell Addy will bring his work – and his just-released book – to life in his home city of London with an exhibition celebrating what he calls the end of issue 0. For more than half a decade, Campbell Addy has blessed us with his vision and taken on the world to become one of the world’s most sought-after British photographers. So, make sure to head down if you’re in London for the Easter break and read my interview with Addy, published last month, to get up to speed.
MAN AND BEAST, FRANCIS BACON, ROYAL ACADEMY, LONDON, UK
It’s the final run of Francis Bacon’s Man and Beast exhibition at London’s Royal Academy. Find out why the artist was art’s greatest punk and explore the British artist’s 50-year career, from his earliest works to his last-ever painting, and everything in between.
THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I MEAN YOU, BARBARA KRUGER, LACMA, LOS ANGELES, USA
For those of us dropping into (or living) in LA, Barbara Kruger’s epic show at LACMA is not to be missed. There are traces of the seminal artist across the city, but Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You brings four decades of her work under one roof – from large-scale vinyl room wraps to multi-channel video installations, and audio soundscapes.
ON GOLDEN DAYS, JAMES J ROBINSON, HILVALE GALLERY, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Photographer and director James J Robinson will open his first solo exhibition in his hometown. In On Golden Days, the photographer’s series borrows the tropes of Hollywood to explore the “architecture of nostalgia” and how our rose-tinted view of the past risks fetishising an era where marginalised people were overlooked or erased. Robinson pays homage to his own queer, Filipino identity by photographing an all-Asian cast in this powerful re-write of history.
DEANA LAWSON, MOMA PS1, NEW YORK, US
Photographer Deana Lawson receives her first museum survey, showcasing her work exploring and challenging representations of Black life over the last 15 years.
FOR THE RECORD: PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE ART OF THE ALBUM COVER, VARIOUS, THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S GALLERY, LONDON, UK
When I was an angsty teen, I’d steal my dad’s records from his prized collections, stick Blu-Tack on the back and hang them on my wall – much to his dismay. I saw them as art, and so too does For The Record, currently on at The Photographer’s Gallery, which brings together over 200 covers created by artists and photographers like Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Nan Goldin, and more.
A CENTURY OF THE ARTIST’S STUDIO: 1920 – 2020, VARIOUS, THE WHITECHAPEL GALLERY, LONDON, UK
80 (!) artists and collectives worldwide are on show in this exhibition that shines a light on the artist’s studio – from Egon Schiele, Francis Bacon, Kerry James Marshall, Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, and more. These “crucibles of creativity” are often kitchen counters, attics, and abandoned factories where some of the most extraordinary art of the 20th and 21st centuries has been made.
VENICE BIENNALE, VARIOUS, VENICE, ITALY
The Venice Biennale returns for another iteration of city-spanning shows, exhibitions, performances, and installations. Centred around the theme “The Milk of Dreams” – borrowed from Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington’s book of the same name – the Venice Biennale’s artistic director Cecilia Alemani said it will span three themes: “the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between individuals and technologies; the connection between bodies and the Earth.” A total of 213 artists from 58 countries will be descending on the Italian city later this month. Keep an eye on Dazed for on-the-ground coverage.