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Our pick of this week’s art events: 29 July – 4 August

Published 29 July 2016

From a major reassessment of Middlesbrough to a dress that has succumbed to the alchemy of the Dead Sea, we guide you through the best of this week’s art events and exhibitions.


    Somerset house, London, 30 July – 7 August
    Imagine: the despair of being driven from your war-torn home, hoping to find safety abroad, only to become trapped in no man’s land. This is reality for the thousands of refugees living in Calais’ ‘Jungle’. Good Chance theatre was established at the end of last year by playwrights Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy to provide ‘Jungle’ residents with a safe space in which they could share their experiences through song, dance and story-telling. The theatre was dismantled in March during the French authorities clear out of the camp, but Robertson and Murphy have orchestrated two projects at Somerset House to highlight their charitable work. The Machine To Be Another provides a virtual reality experience of life in the camp, while Encampment Installation physically transports the ‘Jungle’ to London – with tents and wooden shelters set up in Lancaster Place.

  • , Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy

    Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy

    Photo by Sarah Lee.

  • Please Turn Us On

    GoMA, Glasgow, until 22 January 2017
    ‘Please Turn Us On’ explores the important role that video art played in establishing counterculture during the 1970s. The exhibition looks at the ways in which home video equipment empowered artists both at home and abroad. Archival work, such as the newly acquired What’s it to you? (1975) by influential video artists Madelon Hooykaas and Elsa Stansfield, is shown alongside a contemporary commission by Heather Phillipson, which looks at the effects that our modern-day obsession with documenting our lives is having on society at large. Another work of note is Arthur Ginsburg’s The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd (1970–1975), which marks one of the first instances of people living alongside a video camera for a prolonged period – something that has become normal today.

  • Arthur Ginsberg with Video Free America, The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd

    Arthur Ginsberg with Video Free America, The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd, 1970-75.

    Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

  • Sigalit Landau: Salt Bride

    Marlborough Contemporary, London, 29 July – 3 September
    Gazing at the fairy-tale like transformation of a plain black dress into a shimmering white wedding dress, it is difficult to envisage the struggle artist Sigalit Landau and her partner Yotam From went through in order to capture these eight large-scale photographs. The dress, which was loosely stitched into a netlike structure, was restrained underwater with wires strong enough to support the hundreds of pounds of extra weight it gained as the salt began to settle, while From strapped 150 pounds worth of weight to his body in order to steady himself underwater for long enough to take the photographs. The large-scale prints allude to the story of Leah from the Yiddish play The Dybbuk (translated as ‘to cling’) in which the young bride becomes possessed by an evil spirit on the eve of her wedding and is subsequently exorcised. Just as the evil spirit clings to Leah, so the salt clings to her dress, providing her with the wedding dress she was previously denied.

  • Sigalit Landau, Salt Crystal Bride Gown VI

    Sigalit Landau, Salt Crystal Bride Gown VI, 2014.

    Colour Print. 163 x 109 cm. Courtesy the artist and Marlborough Contemporary, London. Photo: Studio Sigalit Landau.

  • Mark Wallinger: Self Reflection

    The Freud Museum, London, until 25 September
    Prepare to see double as you enter into psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s former study. Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger has created a mirror work, Self-Reflection, to adorn the ceiling. The art of psychoanalysis is an art of reflection in which both patient and analyst are called upon to expose hidden truths by exploring beneath the surface – a concept that Wallinger plays on with his work, which both reveals and distorts. Outside, a new permanent sculpture, entitled Self, represents the letter ‘I’ or Freud’s ‘id, ego and superego’ – the three parts that constitute the human psyche. The idea of ‘self’ has been a recurring theme within Wallinger’s work and these new commissions are accompanied by a selection of earlier self-portraits.

  • Mark Wallinger, Self Reflection

    Mark Wallinger, Self Reflection, 2016.

    Photographer: Karolina Urbaniak/Freud Museum London.

  • extra{ordinary} Photographs of Britain by The Caravan Gallery

    MIMA, Middlesbrough, 30 July–18 September
    Middlesbrough has often lingered in the shadow of its larger neighbour, Newcastle, but the Caravan Gallery is now shining the light on this former industrial town. Photographers Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale have been travelling around Teesside’s neighbourhoods, capturing real images of everyday life. The touring exhibition celebrates aspects of Middlesbrough that will be familiar to locals – Middlesbrough’s famous Parmo (breaded chicken topped with Bechemel sauce and cheese, available, with a pint, for £6.95) – but would not be considered conventionally beautiful subject matter. The images form part of ‘extra{ordinary} – Photographs of Britain’ – which looks at life across the country as a whole – and runs in conjunction with the ‘Middlesbrough Pride of Place Project’. The project sees an empty shop on historical Linthorpe Road – formerly the home of Middlesbrough Cricket Club and Middlesbrough F.C – converted into a civic centre that looks at the town’s past, present and future identity.

  • , Middlesbrough Publicity Transporter Bridge

    Middlesbrough Publicity Transporter Bridge