A trip through the subversive extremities of sexuality, a celebration of romantic gestures and an immersive experience recreating the tension of being in a football firm... here’s your list of summertime art happenings
LOVE SONGS, THE ICP, NEW YORK CITY, USA
Remember when making a mixtape for a lover was one of the most romantic gestures? Well, ICP’s latest show aims to capture that sentiment through its latest group show Love Songs, featuring 16 artists, including Nobuyoshi Araki, Collier Schorr, Lin Zhipeng, Leigh Ledare, and Clifford Prince King. Described as a show “conceived as a mixtape of songs gifted to a lover”, it presents a kaleidoscopic perspective of love from 1952 until 2022 in all its messy, gorgeous glory.
From June 2 – September 11 2023
SAINT AND SINNERS, GUTS GALLERY, LONDON, UK
Happy Pride month and happy launch of this all-LGBTQIA+ identifying artist group show from Guts Gallery. Titled Saints and Sinners, the show makes space for queer people in a world where it is increasingly being taken away or policed. Described as a “disruptive” show that “actively forces viewers out of their comfort zones and forces them to engage with the historical and present-day societal injustices that queer people face, it is also a loud and proud celebration of existence, survival, and visibility.
From June 9 – July 7, 2023
DEAR EARTH: ART AND HOPE IN A TIME OF CRISIS, HAYWARD GALLER
In case anyone forgot, the world is burning (!) and Hayward Gallery’s latest show wants to remind us of that increasingly real reality. Dear Earth: Art and Hope in a Time of Crisis is inspired by artist Otobong Nkanga’s belief that ‘caring is a form of resistance’. Featuring 15 artists, including Nkanga, Richard Mosse, Cornelia Parker, Hito Steyerl, amongst others, the show explores themes of care, hope, interdependence, emotional and spiritual connection, and activism, and the ways artists can push us to act in the fight against climate change.
From June 21 – September 3, 2023
WALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS, MAISIE COUSINS, TJ BOULTING, LOND
Photographer and artist Maisie Cousins returns for her second show at TJ Boulting, bringing her delightfully distinctive style. Most will know Cousins from her gross, girly aesthetic that balances beauty and chaos. Close-up shots of bugs, sweets, food, liquids, and ephemera find the “irreverent beauty in the curious wastelands of life’s crevices”. Walking Back to Happiness sees her branch into AI, with a series of family album-style images generated through DALL-E. The series remakes or reimagines Cousins childhood memories spent with her grandfather at Blobbyland. While the memories were lost and her grandfather since passed, Cousins turned to AI to make new memories. It’s a fascinating, at times freaky, amalgamation of reality and fantasy that adds to the current conversation surrounding AI’s possibilities and pitfalls.
Until June 17, 2023
BUFFALO: FUTURE GENERATION, JAMIE MORGAN, LADBROKE HALL, LON
In the late 1970s, a teenage Jamie Morgan began photographing the New Romantic scene spilling out of the city’s clubs and onto the streets of London – notably Boy George, Steve Strange, and Marilyn. With stylist Ray Petri, he co-founded the Buffalo movement, a style that reflected British youth culture of the time and subverted the gender, age, and cultural norms of the time. Think: men in skirts and boots, sportswear and high fashion, casting boys as girls, children as adults, and so on.
Morgan’s latest exhibition Buffalo: Future Generation continues the legacy of Buffalo and the spirit of street casting to realise a new series of portraits of British youth today. On show later this month at Ladbroke Hall in West London, where Buffalo was born.
From 29 June – 1 July 2023
SIGNALS: HOW VIDEO TRANSFORMED THE WORLD, MOMA, NEW YORK CIT
Screens – can you remember a time without them. Not only have they been transformative, but they’re unavoidable. Before you had these handy, life-changing, portable devices that you’ll likely (definitely) read this on, artists were experimenting with the potential of technology, screens, and video.
Signals: How Video Transformed the World at MoMA celebrates those pioneers, past and present, who use “video as an agent of global change”. With 70 media works on display from the past six decades, expect to see Nam June Paik (aka the godfather of video art), Sondra Parry, Martine Syms, John Akomfrah, and more, working with CCTV to viral video, broadcast, social networks, and large-scale videos.
Until July 8, 2023
THE FLESH DISAPPEARS BUT CONTINUES TO ACHE, SASHA GORDON, ST
Sasha Gordon is one of my favourite painters. Her dreamy, surreal, and hyperrealistic works act as a twin for herself - doppelgängers that she uses to examine the complexity of being a young, queer, Asian-American woman. Gordon takes many forms in this new body of work – as a pruned plant, reminiscent of the “Birth of Venus”, to a volcano, and a cat. Through these inhabited characters, she “portrays the othering of unconventional human bodies and examines her own experiences of alienation, whilst challenging the logic of certain limiting social norms.”
From June 1 – July 22, 2023
EASTERN VOICES: CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS FROM EAST AFRICA, ADDIS
Showcasing 18 artists from Ethiopia, Kenya, Egypt, Uganda, Eritrea, and Sudan, Eastern Voices surveys contemporary East African artists and galleries. Featuring Ermias Ekube, Adiskidan Ambaye, Amel Bashier, Nigatu Tsehay, Engdaye Lemma, Sanaa Gateja, and more, the show aims to start a dialogue between contemporary artists and galleries working in East Africa. The show is in collaboration with Circle Art Gallery and AfriArt Gallery.
From June 1 – July 29, 2023
HARDCORE, SADIE COLES HQ, LONDON, UK
Sex sells! So what better place to put it than in an art gallery. Hardcore at Sadie Coles HQ is a delightful, perversive trip through an array of artists. It includes a collaboration with Climax Books, selling its finds relating to the themes or artists in Hardcore in the gallery’s foyer. “This exhibition has no straight lines and sex is never identical, it is always unique,” reads the show’s press release, before stating that not all works in the show are “necessarily pornographic in its most robust understanding of the word”. Instead, Hardcore invites us to traverse the various contradictions, power plays, and socially non-dominant perspectives on display. Expect Cindy Sherman and Bruce LaBruce, alongside 16 other artists. “More importantly”, the text concludes, “this show stands for pleasure as something to take seriously.”
Until August 5, 2023
BODY SUIT, GEORGE ROUY, HANNAH BARRY GALLERY, LONDON, UK
I couldn’t be more pleased to see George Rouy is holding his first solo show in three years. Body Suit at Hannah Barry is comprised of 10 works, the show is both psychological and physical, internal and external – “the contents of the unconscious mind, the world of fantasy and imagination, and lived experience”. On July 19, Soft Toys will set the musical backdrop for the show, but with little details available on the performance as yet, it’s best to keep an eye on Rouy’s or Hannah Barry gallery’s Instagram for more information.
Running June 3 – September 9, 2023
DATA • GLITCH • UTOPIA, JAKE ELWES, GAZELLI ART HOUSE, LONDO
AI is popping up everywhere, but there’s a need to cut through the noise and see who is using it excitingly – ideally, one that doesn’t threaten the existence of Earth. Look no further than Jake Elwes and their first solo exhibition at Gazelli Art House. This work “demystifies, opens up, and plays with AI”. With a practice based on their research into AI and Machine Learning, a key project in the show is the recent exploration of the intersection of AI and drag performance. The show aims to offer “glimpses of messy manifestations of queer technological futures.”.
Until July 8, 2023
HOME IS NOT A PLACE, JOHNY PITS, THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S GALLERY,
“What is Black Britain?” It’s a question photographer and writer Johny Pitts and poet Roger Robinson sought to answer in 2021 when they set off around the British coast with a camera. Their collaboration has since evolved into the series and exhibition Home is Not a Place, launching at The Photographer’s Gallery later this month. Accompanying Pitts’ photographs is Robinson’s poetry, and a worthy attempt at discovering as many “manifestations of Black British culture” as possible.
From June 23 – September 24, 2023
NEOPLAN, MARCIN DUDEK, EDEL ASSANTI, LONDON, UK
Marcin Dudek’s solo exhibition launched with a bang – well, technically a three-minute smoke grenade intervention, using flares synonymous with football fans. Neoplan is an immersive exhibition that pulls from Dudek’s past as a member of one of the most violent footaball gangs in Poland. His fascination with the sport, but mainly with crowd psychology, swells into the space in the physical form of a decommissioned, dilapidated bus, which channels the tension of a football fan club journeying to a rival city. Accompanying the immersive installation are Dudek’s collages, which continue his exploration of football, players, and its fans.
Until 1 September 2023