Our pick of this week’s art events: 11 – 17 December

RA Recommends

Published 11 December 2015

From a unique photography project on display in Liverpool to an installation of interactive tales in South London, we bring you the must-see shows opening this week.

  • Rose English: A Premonition of the Act

    Camden Arts Centre, London, 11 December 2015 – 6 March 2016
    Influential British artist Rose English has spent ten years developing A Premonition of the Act, an installation comprising glass works, video, a storyboard and a sound installation. English collaborated with composer Luke Stoneham on the audible element; her libretto – a collection of words lifted from her artistic oeuvre, 2006 to present – comes together with Stoneham’s score in an “aural diagram” or musical description of the acrobatics on display across three separate screens. Part opera, part circus and part art installation, A Premonition of the Act feels like a work in progress – leading the viewer to wonder what will happen next?

  • Rose English, Ornamental Happiness

    Rose English, Ornamental Happiness, 2006.

    Photo: Alastair Muir.

  • Stephen King: Dry Your Eyes Princess

    Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool, 16 December 2015 – 31 January 2016
    Stephen King has photographed 12 transgender veterans from the British Armed Forces for this new exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool. Dry Your Eyes Princess has been created in collaboration with Dr Emma Vickers, Senior Lecturer in History, at Liverpool John Moores University, whose research is focused on the experience of being transgender before, during and after military service. King’s images are informed by academic study and candid conversation: the result is intimate, revealing and deeply personal. King and Vickers hope to encourage tolerance and understanding of the trans veteran community through their complimentary practices.

  • Stephen King, Any earlier it would have been a disaster. Caroline.

    Stephen King, Any earlier it would have been a disaster. Caroline..

    © Stephen King Photography.

  • Heman Chong: An Arm, a Leg and Other Stories

    South London Gallery, London, 11 December 2015 – 28 February 2016
    This exhibition is all about stories. The floor of South London Gallery’s main room is covered in a million blacked-out business cards, the walls are decorated with stickers and paintings, and a small signpost reads: “THIS PAVILION IS STRICTLY FOR COMMUNITY BONDING ACTIVITIES ONLY”. Multimedia Singaporean artist and writer Heman Chong’s first story begins with this instruction, and other narratives are scattered throughout the building: in the gallery shop second-hand novels are available to visitors, a designated performance area will see a short story learnt and performed between 1pm and 5pm every Wednesday, and upstairs the galleries have become a casual residence for fiction writers. This show of old and new work examines ideas of exchange, as well as the rules that govern codes of behaviour.

  • Alice Theobald and Atomik Architecture: It’s not who you are, it’s how you are

    BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 10 December 2015 – 10 April 2016
    BALTIC Ryder commissions bring together artists and emerging architectural practices. For the second commission in the series, performance artist Alice Theobald has worked with Atomik Architecture, a young London-based practice with an eye for creativity. It’s not who you are, it’s how you are is a site-specific installation that includes elements of sound, video and live performance. Purpose built rooms are round rather than square, and are filled with everyday objects made strange. The performance is both improvised and choreographed while the accompanying soundscape explores the circularity and slippage of language as well as the relationship between performer and viewer. Everything in BALTIC’s Level 2 gallery is a little off-kilter: this collaboration is a unique, aesthetic interpretation of the uncanny.

  • Alice Theobald and Atomik Architecture, BALTIC Ryder Commission

    Alice Theobald and Atomik Architecture, BALTIC Ryder Commission

    Image courtesy Alice Theobald and Atomik Architecture

  • Oscuramento: The Wars of Fabio Mauri

    Hauser & Wirth, London, 11 December 2015 – 6 February 2016
    Fabio Mauri uses art to work through the trauma he suffered growing up in Fascist Italy. His formative years were framed by dogmatic ideology and war. These issues colour his work, which spans photography, film, installation, performance and theoretical writing. Oscuramento: The Wars of Fabio Mauri is a sobering display. At once personal and political, it critiques collective cultural memory and reminds us of what history can forget. A highlight of the show can be found in a separate room within the main Hauser & Wirth Gallery – Oscuramento (“Darkening” in English) brings together 30 life-size wax figures, all in military dress, one in the image of Mussolini. At a time when the world is once again threatened with international conflict, this exhibition feels both apposite and important.

  • Fabio Mauri, Oscuramento (Darkening)

    Fabio Mauri, Oscuramento (Darkening), 1975.

    Room installation; wax figures, table, wallpaper, paintings, various objects and materials.

    Dimensions variable. © Estate Fabio Mauri, Courtesy Estate of Fabio Mauri and Hauser & Wirth.