Our pick of this week’s art events: 19 – 25 February

Published 19 February 2016

As Tate examines the “selfie” throughout art history, Modern Art Oxford celebrates its 50th birthday. See what shows are opening this week.

  • Performing for the Camera

    Tate Modern, London, until 12 June 2016
    In this ‘age of the selfie’, pouting and posturing in photographs feels like a contemporary phenomenon. However, as this Tate Modern exhibition aims to show, people have been performing for the camera ever since its invention. Over 500 photographs are on display, from vintage prints of Victorian stage stars, through documentation of performance art happenings in the 1960s, to recent work by Instagram artist Amalia Ulman. Selfies are often denigrated as narcissistic, short-lived and shallow, but this exhibition connects them to a deeper, high art lineage.

  • Amalia Ulman, Excellences & Perfections (Instagram Update, 8th July 2014),(#itsjustdifferent)

    Amalia Ulman, Excellences & Perfections (Instagram Update, 8th July 2014),(#itsjustdifferent), 2015.

    Courtesy the Artist & Arcadia Missa.

  • The Indivisible Present

    Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, until 20 March 2016
    In 2016, Modern Art Oxford is celebrating its 50th anniversary with KALIEDOSCOPE, a year-long programme of exhibitions that sees key works from past shows return to the gallery to be shown alongside new commissions. The Indivisible Present is the first such exhibition, focussing on unconventional perspectives on time. Highlights include Douglas Gordan’s 24 Hour Psycho (1993), a film installation in which Hitchcock’s film is slowed down to play over a 24-hour period (first shown in the gallery in 1999); Yoko Ono’s Eye-Blink (1996), featuring a slow motion, close-up shot of Ono’s eye blinking (first exhibited in Ono’s solo show at the gallery in 1997); and Sleep (2013) by Elizabeth Price, a film based upon the standby mode of digital devices. Photographer Viola Yes?iltaç has also created a new series of works: photographs of paper sculptures captured at the point just before they collapsed.

  • Yoko Ono, Eyeblink

    Yoko Ono, Eyeblink, 1966.

    © Modern Art Oxford.

  • Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion

    Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, until 5 June 2016
    The clustering of art galleries and events in London is a serious issue in contemporary Britain, but this was not always the case. In the Victorian era, the Northern art scene rivalled that of the capital city. This exhibition brings together over 120 paintings by artists such as Ford Maddox Brown and Dante Gabriel Rossetti – many of which have never been on public display before. Work by the London-based Pre-Raphaelite painters is shown alongside that of their Liverpool contemporaries, and the relationship between the art movement and the two cities is uncovered.

  • In the Grass, Arthur Hughes

    In the Grass, Arthur Hughes, about 1864–5.

    Oil on board. 26.5 × 35.6 cm. Exhibited at the Liverpool Academy in 1865, lent by George Rae © Museums Sheffield.

  • The Imitation Game

    Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, until 5 June 2016
    While working at the University of Manchester, the genius Alan Turing famously created a test to probe a computer’s ability to imitate human thought. Taking inspiration from this, The Imitation Game features work by contemporary artists who explore machines and the imitation of life – with uncanny results. The art on show in this exhibition will make you question the boundaries between the human and non-human. Lynne Hershman Leeson’s Agent Ruby (1998-2002), for instance, is an artificially intelligent web agent whose conversational abilities have been increasing steadily over time, while Ed Atkins’ video work Performance Capture (2015) features a computer generated avatar composed from captured live performances.

  • Tove Kjellmark, artist's drawing for Another Nature

    Tove Kjellmark, artist's drawing for Another Nature, 2015.

    Courtesy the artist.

  • Chris Orr RA – A Vision of London

    Jill George Gallery, London, until 27 February 2016
    Chris Orr RA was born and bred in London, and has long been capturing the ever-evolving state of the capital in his work. This solo show features new paintings and prints of London, some of which Orr painted on site at Tower Bridge, from where he had a dramatic view of the Thames and the landmarks of the City skyline.

  • Chris Orr RA, From Walkie Scorchie to Tower Bridge

    Chris Orr RA, From Walkie Scorchie to Tower Bridge, 2015.

    Drawing. 90 x 135 cm.