Our pick of this week’s art events: 26 August – 1 September

Published 26 August 2016

From underwater theatre in the Square Mile to the bright lights of Blackpool, we guide you through the best of this week’s art events and exhibitions.

  • NEON: The Charged Line

    Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, 1 September – 7 January
    As the show’s curator Richard Parry says, neon is ‘a light that is designed to be seen rather than merely to illuminate’. This exhibition has a fitting home in Blackpool, not least since the neon medium was pioneered in the town in the early 1930s. Featuring infamous work by Tracey Emin RA, Gavin Turk, and Fiona Banner, this major survey also encompasses artists less widely seen in UK galleries, such as François Morellet, a key figure in French art and one of the first to experiment with neon in abstract and geometric forms.

  • Prem Sahib, BUMP

    Prem Sahib, BUMP, 2013.

    Neon glass tubing, acrylic. 41 x 43 x 15. Courtesy the artist & Southard Reid, London.

  • A Psychology of Indirect Surveillance

    EXHIBIT, London, 25 August – 30 September
    Endless images seem to float and proliferate in the infinite soup of cyberspace. Brighton-based printmaker Trevor Abbott copies, compresses, and distorts the internet’s flotsam and jetsam, then screen-prints the various iterations. The result is a set of prints that seem both wonderfully hazy and masterfully precise, echoing the artist Hito Steyerl when she wrote that ‘the closer we get to reality, the less intelligible it becomes’. With banal and repeated fragments of planes, people and landscapes, these works are also a reminder of the determined invasion of digital surveillance techniques into everyday lives.

  • Trevor Abbott, Contemplating the Sublime II

    Trevor Abbott, Contemplating the Sublime II, 2015.

    Screen print on 410 gsm. 50 x 50. Credit Trevor Abbott.

  • Dinh Q. Lê: The Colony

    133 Rye Lane, London, 25 August – 9 October
    Dinh Q. Lê’s immersive film installation for Artangel traces the story of the Chincha Islands off the coast of Peru and their once-abundant mountains of guano – the prized fertiliser produced by bird droppings. Both the landscape and its story are bleak: though Great Britain, North America, Spain, Peru, and Chile once scrambled for control of the islands, today all that remains are abandoned buildings and flocks of birds. Installed in one of London’s first cinemas, The Colony is a haunting scrutinisation of the not-so-distant past.

  • Dinh Q. Lê, Dormitory and worker kitchen on Chincha Norte Island.

    Dinh Q. Lê, Dormitory and worker kitchen on Chincha Norte Island., 2016.

    Production shot of The Colony, Dinh Q. Lê, 2016. Commissioned by Artangel, Ikon, Birmingham, Han Nefkens H+F Collection and Proyecto Amil, Lima..

    Photo courtesy Dinh Q. Lê.

  • Will Nature Make a Man of Me Yet?

    Pi Artworks, London, 25 August – 10 September
    The Anthropocene: our present age, defined by the beginning of humanity’s significant impact on the planet. A daunting concept, and, despite concerted efforts otherwise, one that is increasingly difficult to ignore or deny. As this show demonstrates, environmental problems are entwined with other contemporary issues: capitalism, gender and identity, to mention but a few. Attempting to give a pan-global perspective, this show is the realisation of proposals submitted to Pi Artworks by students of Goldsmiths’ Curating department. A particular highlight is Victoria Sin’s forest of larger-than-life plastic banana balloons at the entrance of the gallery. Will Nature Make a Man of Me Yet? captures the overwhelming feelings of incompetence and frustration that accompany both living in – and responding creatively to – this strange new era.

  • Omer Even-Paz, Then You Are Now A Woman (Spotted Hyena)

    Omer Even-Paz, Then You Are Now A Woman (Spotted Hyena), 2016.

    Foil and wire. 120 x 110 x 30. Omer Even-Paz and Pi Artworks Istanbul/London.

  • London's Burning

    Various venues, London, 30 August – 4 September
    Marking the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, a spectacular art festival by the creative producing company Artichoke is setting the city alight this week. Several public interventions – from fiery projections onto St Paul’s Cathedral to a six-hour underwater performance installation at Broadgate – are ignited by a series of talks exploring both the history and the contemporary resonance of the Great Fire. The grand finale sees a 120-metre long wooden sculpture of London’s 17th-century skyline set afloat and alight on the River Thames.

  • Early Morning Opera, Holoscenes, Miami

    Early Morning Opera, Holoscenes, Miami, 2015.

    Photograph by Lars Jan.

  • Alice Primrose is an editorial intern at RA Magazine.

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