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Exhibition Review – Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics at the Barbican Art Gallery from 8 September 2022 – 8 January 2023

Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics is the first survey in the UK of the work of American artist Carolee Schneemann (1939-2019) and the first major exhibition since her death in 2019. The exhibition explores Schneemann’s diverse and interdisciplinary work over six decades.

The exhibition features over 300 objects, from the Carolee Schneemann Foundation, as well as numerous private and public collections. Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics brings together paintings, sculptural assemblages, performance photographs, films and large-scale multimedia installations, as well as rarely seen archival material including scores, sketches, scrapbooks, programmes and costumes.

Although today, the personal and political are often enmeshed by many artists, Schneemann using this approach in the 1960s and 70s was considered radical. Schneemann often took her own body as a model and starting point to recognise and challenge how history had defined the lives and bodies of women.

Although predominantly known as a performance artist, she considered herself foremost a painter. Opening the exhibition are the artist’s rarely seen early gestural paintings, including Aria Duetto (Cantata No.78): Yellow Ladies (1957) and Pin Wheel (1957), a kinetic painting activated by the potter’s wheel on which it is mounted.

In her early works on canvas, Schneemann was influenced by American Abstract Expressionism and Paul Cézanne, but was desperate to find her own style.

From the early 1960s, she experimented with ‘painting-constructions’ and ‘box-constructions’. For the assemblage Colorado House (1962), she slashed, ripped and reconfigured what she considered to be failed paintings, while for the diorama-like Pharaoh’s Daughter (1966), she filled a wooden box with glowing lights, slides of biblical scenes and mirrors.

The exhibition charts Schneemann’s radical work using her own body as a medium, key works from this period include a series of photographs from Schneemann’s first solo performance Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions for Camera (1963), in which she staged a series of gestures amid a sprawling environment of materials.

For Up to and Including Her Limits (1976), she hung naked from a harness suspended in the corner of a paper-lined stage set, creating gestural abstract marks with crayons as she swung back and forth in a trance-like state.

In the early 1960s Schneemann was living in New York City and was part of the downtown scene. She became a founding member of the Judson Dance Theater, a group of avant-garde interdisciplinary artists including Yvonne Rainer, Lucinda Childs, Trisha Brown, David Gordon and Steve Paxton, who took everyday gestures and materials as their medium.

Schneemann described her group performances as ‘kinetic theatre’, incorporating complex movement scores, sets, lighting, sound and technical innovations. Numerous performances are represented through photographs, films, scores, sketches, notes and costumes, including one of Schneemann’s most iconic performances Meat Joy (1964).

A focused section of the show shines a spotlight on Schneemann’s time spent in London. The city provided the context for several of her experimental performances, including Round House (staged at the Roundhouse in 1967, as part of a line-up that included poet Allen Ginsburg, anti-psychiatrist R.D. Laing and Black Power activist Stokely Carmichael, among others), Naked Action Lecture (performed at the ICA in 1968), and ICES STRIP/ISIS TRIP (performed on roller skates on a train travelling from London to Edinburgh in 1972).

The final section of the exhibition includes a series of works that address the precarious nature of life and the politics of human suffering in the context of the Vietnam War, the Civil War in Lebanon, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the artist’s own fight with cancer.

This fascinating exhibition illustrates that Schneemann was a radical pioneer who often often had to deal with considerable hostility to her work. Using deeply personal experiences in art can lead accusations of being narcissistic and a number of feminists raised this criticism of Schneemann’s work. Her later work concentrated on local and global politics especially related to how images from the media are diluted to obscure the suffering of war victims. Schneemann may not be widely known outside of the art world, but this exhibition is an opportunity to access her legacy in feminist art history.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Our Time on Earth at the Barbican Centre from 5 May to 29 Aug 2022

.Lotek_living root bridge, Mawlynnong village India,© Amos Chapple

The Barbican presents Our Time on Earth, a major exhibition celebrating the power of global creativity to transform the conversation around the climate emergency. Through art, design, science, music and philosophy, the exhibition presents a range of radical visions and includes immersive, interactive installations and digital works.

The exhibition explores different ways of existing on Earth and finding ways to reconnect with them, while also looking at the role technology has to play in deepening our understanding and connection to the natural world. Our Time on Earth encourages visitors to take an active role and leave feeling empowered to make positive change.

Life Forces, Tin and Ed, Rockefeller Centre

Our Time on Earth presents 18 works, including 12 new commissions, from 12 countries around the world to create a series of innovative new collaborations. Bringing together academics, architects, artists, activists, designers, ecologists, engineers, environmental campaigners, researchers, scientists, technologists and writers, the exhibition highlights the need to work in collaboration across disciplines to tackle climate change together.

The exhibition in the Curve includes:

Sanctuary of the Unseen Forest by digital art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast with Bio Leadership Project co-founder Andres Roberts, a unique immersive video installation offering a window into tree time.

Superflux_Venice, Credit Giorgio Lazzaro

Superflux ‘s Refuge for Resurgence imagines a new kind of home where humans, animals, birds, plants, moss and fungi prosper together with resilience, adaption, and hope. First presented at La Biennale Architettura, La Biennale Di Venezia 2021, this multispecies banquet showcases crockery and cutlery designed for 14 different species.

Brazilian intersectional Indigenous-led collective Selvagem present a new film Wild Arrow #7 alongside the experiential commission Smīkra Wahikwa, created in collaboration with Choose Earth, featuring Indigenous leaders in Brazil.

New commission Symbiocene looks at how Indigenous technologies are invaluable to our collective understanding of and response to the climate crisis. Representatives from the Khasis community in the North-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya, the Subak community of farmers in Bali and the Ma’dan community of southern Iraq collaborated with designer and author of Lo—TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism by Julia Watson,architect and sustainability engineer Smith Mordak and Buro Happold to look at how urban environments in 2040 could benefit from incorporating Indigenous and local knowledge and technologies.

Liam Young’s Planet City, a speculative and provocative film about returning stolen lands and freeing the world for rewilding by housing the world’s population in one giant sustainable city that celebrates multiple cultures.

Queer Ecology: In this new commission, Colombian biologist Brigitte Baptiste and Institute of Digital Fashion have created a shared collective experience, which reflects on Baptiste’s assertion ‘there is nothing more queer than nature’.

In A Biological Future for Fashion, sustainability innovators Biofabricate supported by environmentalists Parley for the Oceans imagine what a biofabricated (materials made by living cells) fashion industry can look like, at scale, in the near future.

Art direction studio DVTK in collaboration with UCL’s Institute of Global Prosperity explore what the relational economy could look and feel like in 2040. Their new commission Sharing Prosperity is an emotional and interactive gaming experience that encourages visitors to reflect on how the planet can flourish through radical solidarity, brought about by humans collaborating innovatively with other beings and sharing wealth equally across species.

Where Does Your Building Come From? Nairobi-based design-build firm, Build X Studio has been working with construction innovators Mycotile to explore the possibilities of global technology and local materials, which will revolutionise the way buildings are made and how knowledge and skills can be shared through a global community.

Author, journalist and environmental activist George Monbiot and creative innovation studio Holition believe that the soil beneath our feet should be as revered as the Great Barrier Reef. In the immersive piece The World Beneath Our Feet, which draws on research from Monbiot’sforthcoming book Regenesis: Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet.

2040 – Sensible Zone by Territorial Agency analyses the zone where the biosphere interacts with ocean, atmosphere and land to maintain Earth in homeostasis (the state of steady internal, physical, and chemical conditions maintained by living systems) and allow inhabitation.

Keralan architecture firm Wallmakers have designed an immersive space in which to present Stories of Change for visitors to explore action, looking at grassroots organisations and changemakers around the world to find out what is happening on the ground right now.

Stories of Change by The Earth Issue is a series of video interviews featuring global voices spearheading grassroot environmentalist initiatives.

Sonic Waterfall is a sound and light installation by Silent Studios (Nathan Prince and Liam Paton) inspired by their work with Damon Albarn on his solo album The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows.

Alongside the main exhibition, Our Time on Earth will extend all over the Centre, including an installation in The Pit and free interactive and digital exhibits presented in the Barbican’s public spaces across the summer and will be accompanied by a live events programme.

In the Pit

Noise Aquarium, Victoria Vesna-Adam Bogdan

Noise Aquarium, by US artist Victoria Vesna and Austrian scientific visualisation collaborators presents a 3D Audio Visual Experience of Plankton in Noise Pollution.

On Barbican’s Level G, a series of pieces will be on display for free to the public, with the theme of raising awareness, including:

Eyes as Big as Plates: a photography series about belonging to nature by Finnish-Norwegian artist duo Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth.

Sculptural work Wither illustrates a slice of rainforest disappearing at the Amazon deforestation rate, developed in collaboration with UNESCO on Barbican’s Level G by Dutch artist Thijs Biersteker.

Life Forces: a digital art installation in the Barbican’s Silk Street Entrance, providing a portal to an interactive living landscape by Australian art duo Tin & Ed.

The Ideal City — Photo by Iwan Baan — gestalten 2021.

A new commission, The Ideal City 2040 from research and design lab SPACE10 in partnership with Modem, invites visitors to experience how our cities could tackle the climate crisis while creating a better everyday life for people.

For more information and tickets, visit the Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Noguchi at the Barbican Art Gallery from 30 September 2021 to 9 January 2022

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988) is considered one of the most experimental artists of the 20th century. Barbican Art Gallery presents the first European touring retrospective of his work in 20 years.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

The exhibition traces the evolution of Noguchi’s career over six decades across sculpture, architecture, dance and design.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

Drawing from The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in New York, as well as private and public collections, the exhibition brings together over 150 works, including an extraordinary range of sculptures – created in stone, bronze, ceramics, wood, aluminium and galvanised steel – as well as theatre set designs, architectural and playground models, lighting and furniture design.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

Mostly known as an icon of mid-century design for his celebrated coffee table and Akari lights, Noguchi pushed the boundaries of sculpture and this major survey celebrates Noguchi travelling across the world to China, Mexico and India, amongst other countries. Rarely exhibited archive materials and photographs also offer illuminating insights into the life of Noguchi.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

The exhibition explores all aspects of Noguchi’s prolific artistic career, from his early apprenticeship with modern master Constantin Brâncuși in Paris and celebrated Chinese brush painter Qi Baishi in Beijing, to his public and political art projects of the 1930s, and radical dance collaborations with pioneering modern choreographers Ruth Page and Martha Graham.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

The exhibition examines his celebrated interlocking sculptures produced during the 1940s. They comprise multiple parts to be assembled and dissembled, displaying Noguchi’s outstanding creativity in the face of adversity during the Second World War.

© Tim Whitby / Getty Images

The exhibition highlights Noguchi’s close and enduring friendship with inventor and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller. Their creative dialogue on the cosmic scale of the universe inspired Noguchi’s world consciousness and continued use of new technology from his artistic beginnings until his late career.

The selfilluminating Lunar sculptures were created after his devastating experience of voluntary internment at a camp for Japanese Americans in Poston, Arizona in 1942. These experiments went on to influence some of his best-known works, the Akari light sculptures. Using washi paper and electric bulbs, Akari combine traditional and modern technology, while bringing sculpture to everyday households.

The exhibition also includes an outstanding selection of his ceramics made in post-war Japan demonstrating Noguchi’s innovative approach to traditional craft techniques – he was one of the first sculptors to incorporate these within contemporary practice. His environmental designsproduced in response to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima address themes of violence and peace.

Photographs from his travels through Europe and Asia between 1949-50 reveal Noguchi’s exploration of artistic sculptural media into large-scale architectural environments, including his fascination with the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatories in India, reiterating his combined interest in modernism and past civilisations.

The exhibition culminates with iconic large-scale works from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, when he practiced between studios in the USA, Italy and Japan, and finally realised his public designs for monuments, gardens and playgrounds.

For more information and tickets , visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Exhibition Review – AI: More than Human at the Barbican from 16 May to 26 August 2019

The Barbican presents a major new exhibition: AI: More than Human which provides a survey of creative and scientific developments in artificial intelligence and explores the evolution of the relationship between humans and technology. The exhibition tells the story of AI, from its ancient roots in mythology, Lovelace and Babbage’s early experiments in computing, to AI’s major developmental leaps from the 1940s to the present day.

AI: More than Human features cutting-edge research projects, from DeepMind, Jigsaw, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL), IBM, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Google Arts and Culture, Google PAIR, Affectiva, Lichtman Lab at Harvard, Eyewire, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wyss Institute and Emulate Inc.

The exhibition begins with a section entitled The Dream of AI which considers the human desire to bring the inanimate objects to life which goes back to ancient times. Artist and electronic musician Kode9 presents a newly commissioned sound installation on the golem. A mythical creature from Jewish folklore, the golem has influenced art, literature and film for centuries from Frankenstein to Blade Runner . Stefan Hurtig & Detlef Weitz look at the way artificial life forms have been imagined in film and television.

The next section called Mind Machines explains how AI has developed through history with a focus on innovators who tried to convert rational thought into code. This section includes some of the pioneers of early AI such as Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage; Claude Shannon’s experimental games; Alan Turing’s efforts to decipher code in World War II; Deep Blue vs chess champion Garry Kasparov; IBM’s Watson, who beat a human on US gameshow, Jeopardy ! in 2011; and DeepMind’s AlphaGo, which became the first computer to defeat a professional in the complex Chinese strategy game Go in 2016.

Also in this section is MIT CSAIL’s SoFi – a robotic fish that can independently swim alongside real fish in the sea and Sony’s 2018 robot puppy, aibo, who uses its database of memories and experiences to develop its own personality. Google PAIR’s project Waterfall of Meaning is a glimpse into the interior of an AI.

Artist Mario Klingemann’s piece Circuit Training invites visitors to take part in teaching a neural network to create a piece of art. Visitors will first help create the data set by allowing the AI to capture their image, then select from the visuals produced by the network, to teach it what they find interesting. The machine is constantly learning from this human interaction to create an evolving piece of live art.  In Myriad (Tulips) , artist Anna Ridler looks at the politics and process of using large datasets to produce a piece of art.

The next section, Data Worlds explores the practical applications of AI to improve commerce, change society and enhance our personal lives. Affectiva, the leader in Human Perception AI demonstrates how AI can improve road safety and the transportation experience. In Sony CSL’s Kreyon City , visitors plan and build their own city out of LEGO and learn how the combination of human creativity and AI could represent a promising tool in major architecture and infrastructure decisions.

Data Worlds also addresses important ethical issues such as bias, control, truth and privacy. Scientist, activist and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, Joy Buolamwini examines racial and gender bias in facial analysis software.

The final section entitled Endless Evolution looks at the future of our species and also the possibility of a creation of a new species. reflecting on the laws of ‘nature’ and how artificial forms of life fit into this. Massive Attack mark the 20th anniversary of their landmark album Mezzanine by encoding the album in strands of synthetic DNA in a spraypaint can. Alter 3, created by roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kohei Ogawa with artificial life researcher Takashi Ikegami and Itsuki Doi uses a deep learning system, Alter learns from its experiences and works with humans to define new perspectives of co-existence in the world.

Architect, designer and MIT Professor Neri Oxman presents ongoing projects from her research lab, The Mediated Matter Group at MIT. The Synthetic Apiary explores the possibility of a controlled space in which seasonal honeybees can produce honey all year round. Vespers , explores what it means to design (with) life. From the relic of the ancient death mask to the design and digital fabrication of an adaptive and responsive living mask.

MIT’s Open Agriculture Initiative looks at ensuring our food security for the future with their AI-driven ‘personal computer farms’ that optimise the development of crops in tabletop-sized growing chambers. It hopes to bring controlled agriculture into the household, by gathering crop-growing data from a network of farms and sharing it with the wider public. Lichtman Lab at Harvard and Eyewire both look at mapping the brain in their research projects and the implications this could have for our health.

The exhibition ends with a short film produced by Mark Gorton, Visionaries , which lets thinkers and experts Danielle George, Amy Robinson Sterling, Kanta Dihal, Yoichi Ochiai, Francesca Rossi and Andrew Hessel speak about their vision of singularity and the future.

This fascinating exhibition uses digital media and immersive art installations to enable visitors to interact directly with exhibits to experience some of AI’s capabilities first-hand. However behind the high tech is some important questions about AI like What does it mean to be human? and what are the ethics behind the development of AI? For all the remarkable recent developments and useful practical applications, the development of certain aspects of AI has been incredibly slow. The dream from the 20th century of a world full of robots that can fully replicate humans has not really happened. Part of the reason is that human beings are remarkably complex and whilst it is easy to replicate certain simple functions, ideas such as consciousness and imagination are more difficult concepts to replicate.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets , visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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London Symphony Orchestra 2018/19 season at the Barbican

The London Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director Sir Simon Rattle open their 2018/19 season at the Barbican with a programme affirming a continuing commitment to British music new and old on 16 Sep 2018 in the Barbican Hall. The concert features a world premiere by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, a defining figure in British music since the 1950s, Mark-Anthony Turnage’s 1995 work Dispelling the Fears, Holst’s masterpiece Egdon Heath, and Britten’s Spring Symphony. It is the first concert in an ambitious 51-concert season which runs to the end of Jun 2019 and explores in a broad defining concept the roots, origins and the future of music.

Simon Rattle conducts 16 concerts which explore the impact that different cultural traditions have had on music, from Eastern European folk music, through the British folk traditions in Grainger and Vaughan Williams, and on to the extraordinary impact of jazz. Gianandrea Noseda explores Russian identity in music, whilst continuing his cycle of Shostakovich’s symphonies, and conducts a Strauss programme featuring the soprano Diana Damrau in the final act of his last opera Capriccio.

François-Xavier Roth looks at the extraordinary spread of music traditions from Europe at the turn of the 20th Century, and in one concert, three composers from the central European tradition who were each in the vanguard of modern music in their time, Haydn, Bartók and Ligeti. Roth also heads up the third edition of LSO Futures, the Orchestra’s new music festival which is centred around the young composers taking part in the LSO’s new music development programmes, and also features David Lang’s Public Domain, written for 1000 community voices and performed in the Barbican foyers.

Michael Tilson Thomas, and Sir Mark Elder each explore American identity with music by the maverick Charles Ives, and Sir John Eliot Gardiner continues his Schumann retrospective with his completely fresh take on Romanticism. Verdi and Puccini are brought together with Ponchielli when Sir Antonio Pappano conducts non-operatic works by these three operatic giants and Barbara Hannigan is conductor and soprano in a programme featuring Berg’s Lulu Suite and music from Gershwin’s musical Girl Crazy alongside works by Haydn and Ligeti. Hannigan is also the soloist in Hans Abrahamsen’s Let me tell you, which is conducted by Simon Rattle in Jan 2019.

The 15th Donatella Flick Conducting Competition will take place in Nov 2018 when conductors aged 30 and under compete for a cash prize and the position of Assistant Conductor with the LSO. The Competition’s final round, featuring violinist Vadim Repim, will be live-streamed from the Barbican for the first time on Medici.tv and YouTube. Bernard Haitink celebrates his 90th birthday conducting the LSO in Mahler and Bruckner in Dec 2018 and the LSO’s concerts marking the Leonard Bernstein Centenary come to a close in Dec, when Marin Alsop conducts two performances of Bernstein’s Candide, on the same stage where Bernstein himself conducted the work in 1989 with the LSO. The LSO’s Half Six Fix series which presents short, early-evening concerts will continue with four concerts this season, and there is a wealth of activity at LSO St Luke’s, the Orchestra’s music education and community centre.

The season ends in Jun 2019, with the return of the artistic partnership of Simon Rattle and the director Peter Sellars with two staged performances of Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen.

For more information , visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

BBC Symphony Orchestra 2018/19 season at the Barbican

Opening the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s 2018/19 season, conductor Ben Gernon and Professor Brian Cox join the orchestra to present Holst’s The Planets, 100 years to the day since the piece was first performed.

The BBC SO’s Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo leads the orchestra in performances of landmark works, including Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and Dvorák’s Symphony No.7. A number of key centenaries are marked, including the end of the First World War, the 100th anniversary of Polish Independence and the 100th anniversary of the death of Debussy.

The BBC Symphony Chorus celebrates its 90th birthday with performances including Ethel Smyth’s rarely performed Mass in D, Bach’s Mass in  B minor, Osavlado Golijov’s Oceana, Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ and works by Lili and Nadia Boulanger.

The BBC SO’s acclaimed Total Immersion days return; the first exploring the centenary of WW1 including a performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera The Silver Tassie – based on a play about the First World War written by Seán O’Casey and David Lang’s Memorial Ground – performed in the Barbican foyers with members of the BBC Symphony Chorus and community choirs.

Two further Total Immersion days focus on the music of György Ligeti (2 Mar) and the Boulanger sisters (6 Apr).

The BBC SO’s commitment to new music and rarely-performed works continues with performances of works by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Thomas Larcher and Michael Tippett among others, while Stravinsky’s recently discovered Funeral Song, Op. 5 is performed following its world premiere earlier this year. The orchestra will also give the UK premiere of Alain Altinoglu’s arrangement of a suite from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, conducted by BBC SO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis.

BBC SO Günter Wand Conducting Chair Semyon Bychkov returns, and there are debuts from some of the most exciting young conductors and instrumentalists performing today, including conductors Karina Canellakis, Cristian Macelaru, Joana Carneiro, pianist Pavel Kolesnikov and violinist Lisa Batiashvili.

Former Principal Guest Conductor David Robertson conducts Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1, and three Principal members of the orchestra step forward as instrumental soloists, including the world premiere of Gavin Higgins’ Trombone Concerto performed by BBC SO Principal Trombonist Helen Vollam. Shostakovich Symphonies 1, 4, 5, 9 and 11 all feature during the season.

The BBC Singers return to Milton Court for a series of four concerts, two of which will be led by their new Chief Conductor Sofi Jeannin. They also host three early evening concerts complementing the BBC SO’s programme that follows, as well as appearing with the BBC SO in the Barbican Hall and at Total Immersion days.

For more information , visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

The Barbican Classical Music Highlights 2018

Barbican brings some of the greatest international classical artists, orchestras and ensembles to London, in a exciting mix of classical and contemporary music.

Some of the highlights include:

Los Angeles Philharmonic International Associate Residency 2018 with Gustavo Dudamel

Wed 2 – Fri 4 May 2018, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm 

Gustavo Dudamel leads the orchestra through a varied programme that includes two European premieres by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Ted Hearne, both Barbican co-commissions. Alongside Salonen’s premiere, the programme for the first concert also features Shostakovich’s epic Fifth Symphony and Varèse’s Ameriques. The second Residency concert sees the European premiere of American composer Ted Hearne’s Place. Set in a country at a crossroads where the intersections of manifest destiny and gentrification meet history and personal experience.

On 4 May 2018 the orchestra celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday year with a performance of his Chichester Psalms with the London Symphony Chorus, juxtaposed with Beethoven’s Symphony No 9.

Bach Weekend with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra

Fri 15 – Sun 17 June 2018, Various venues, 11am, 3pm, 7.30pm  

 To celebrate the 75th birthday of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Barbican has invited him to curate a Bach weekend. This will include a three-concert cycle of cantatas performed by the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, as well as featuring an outstanding line-up of artists in motets, violin sonatas, cello suites, and charismatic and energetic harpsichord player Jean Rondeau performing the Goldberg Variations at Milton Court. Also at Milton Court will be a concert of Bach’s first three Cello Suites, as performed by internationally celebrated French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.            

 Nils Frahm: All Melody

Wed 21 – Sat 24 Feb 2018, Barbican Hall

 Globally celebrated Berlin-based composer, producer and performer Nils Frahm returns to the live stage in 2018; including three dates at the Barbican.

John Cale: A Futurespective

Fri 9 & Sat 10 Mar 2018, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm

Legendary songwriter, producer and musician, John Cale returns to the Barbican next spring for his first-ever career retrospective. Marking his 76th birthday, the event spreads over two epic nights at the Barbican Hall and will see Cale revealing tracks from his forthcoming Domino studio album as well as addressing music going back to 1964 that he has rarely, if ever, performed live, including selections from the Velvet Underground and Cale’s landmark solo albums recorded in his years with Island Records.

London Symphony Orchestra highlights

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the UK Premiere of Genesis Suite on 13 January, a collaborative work from 1945 America featuring music by seven leading emigré composers, including Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Milhaud. Genesis Suite has been heard only once since its 1945 premiere.

François-Xavier Roth, the LSO’s Principal Guest Conductor, takes charge of a major celebration of the century of Claude Debussy’s death in 2018. The series will survey Debussy’s career, those who influenced him and his successors across three concerts with the LSO, each featuring a different French soloist: cellist Edward Moreau (21 January), pianist Cédric Tiberghien (25 January) and violinist Renaud Capuçon (25 March). As part of the celebration, BBC Radio 3 will broadcast four lunchtime concerts from LSO St Luke’s curated by Cédric Tiberghien.

Helen Grime’s Fanfare acted as a curtain-raiser to Simon Rattle’s inaugural concert in September 2017 and a full version of the work will be given its world premiere on 19 April, coupled with Mahler’s Symphony No 9, and followed on 22 April with Tippet’s The Rose Lake, performed alongside Mahler’s Symphony No 10.

BBC Symphony Orchestra highlights

The BBC Symphony Orchestra launch the new year with the culmination of their acclaimed 17-18 Sibelius cycle, led by Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo and marking the anniversary of the centenary of Finnish independence (6 January).

A Total Immersion day will focus on the music of Leonard Bernstein in his centenary year (27 January) – dedicated as much to his concert and choral works as his jazz and cabaret talents, Bernstein the Renaissance Man is celebrated in film, conversation and performances, including popular choral works, as well as a rare chance to hear his Songfest.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus close the season with Sakari Oramo joined by Alice Coote, Stuart Skelton and Alan Ewing for a performance of Elgar’s greatest oratorio: The Dream of Gerontius (16 May).

For more information , visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Exhibition Review – Yto Barrada: Agadir at the Barbican from 7th February to 20th May 2018

The Barbican Art Gallery presents artist Yto Barrada’s first solo exhibition in a public gallery in London. For this new commission, Barrada uses the large space of the Curve gallery to create a site-specific installation that includes a mural, a new film commission, several sculptures, and a series of live and recorded performances.

The underlying theme of the installation is the complex interaction of a city and its people. Barrada takes as her starting point the hybrid novel-play by Moroccan writer Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine , Agadir  (1967) which reflects on the devastating earthquake that destroyed much of the city of Agadir, Morocco, in 1960.

Agadir was written following a mission instigated by the government of King Mohammed V to assess the devastation and reformation of the city. Barrada uses the story to create narratives that actors recreate in the space to give voice to some of rising tensions of a society facing the ruins of the city and the often fragmented political and religious power and social relationships.

A large monochrome mural along the length of the gallery’s outer wall includes sketches of the architecture of Agadir beginning before the earthquake and continuing with the buildings constructed following the disaster.

Throughout the installation are sculptures often made using traditional Moroccan wicker weaving techniques. There are also a series of wicker chairs arranged in such a way that they represent people interacting in a variety of ways.

A film towards the end of the installation includes people talking about the earthquake and includes extracts from Et maintenant Agadir, 1960.  

This unusual and thought-provoking free exhibition illustrates some of the issues when a city and its population is faced with a disaster. Quite often people’s identity is tied up with the fabric of where they live and when disaster strikes, it can be a physical and psychological shock. Although places like Agadir can be rebuilt, it can take longer for its people to come to terms with their new surroundings which are often recreated without any consultation with the local population. Ironically, these themes also apply to the Barbican which has its own history of post-war destruction and was rebuilt with utopian ideals but has had many critics and detractors.

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information , visit the Barbican website here

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Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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Basquiat at the Barbican – 21st September 2017 to 28th January 2018

Basquiat: Boom for Real is the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960­-1988). Basquiat came to the attention of the Art world in the late 1970s in the post-punk underground art scene in downtown New York. By 1982, he had gained international recognition and was the youngest ever artist to participate in Documenta 7 in Kassel. His vibrant, raw imagery, abounding with fragments of bold capitalised text, offers insights into both his encyclopaedic interests and his experience as a young black artist with no formal training. Since his tragic death in 1988, Basquiat has had remarkably little exposure in the UK; not a single work of his is held in a public collection. Drawing from international museums and private collections, Basquiat: Boom for Real brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works, many never seen before in the UK, and opens at Barbican Art Gallery on 21 September 2017.

More than any other exhibition to date, Basquiat: Boom for Real focuses on the artist’s relationship to music, writing, performance, film and television, placing him within the wider cultural context of the time. Paintings, drawings, notebooks and objects are presented alongside rare film, photography, music and archival material, capturing the range and dynamism of Basquiat’s practice over the years.

Highlights of the Barbican’s exhibition include a partial reconstruction of Basquiat’s first body of exhibited work, made for Diego Cortez’s watershed group show New York / New Wave at P.S.1 in February 1981. Fifteen works are brought together for the first time in over 35 years, allowing visitors to understand how Basquiat so quickly won the admiration of fellow artists and critics. The exhibition continues with an exploration of his energetic, often collaborative work as the prodigy of the downtown scene; from the birth of SAMO© to his relationship with Warhol. In the downstairs spaces, new scholarship sheds light on some of his most acclaimed paintings and drawings. A famously self-taught artist, Basquiat sampled from an extraordinary breadth of source material – from anatomical drawings to bebop jazz to silent film .

For more information , visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Exhibition Review – Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction at the Barbican from 3rd June to 1st September 2017

The Barbican present an exhibition entitled Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction which is an exploration into the cultural significance of the Science Fiction genre. The exhibition is one of the most comprehensive held in the UK and will encompass literature, contemporary art, film, music, comic books and video games.

The show includes a large number of rare and iconic pieces with over 200 books from around the world, original manuscripts and typescripts, contemporary art commissions and existing art works, over 50 film and TV clips, featuring some of the most memorable cinematic moments in Science Fiction as well as rare, unseen footage, pulp magazines, adverts, concept art, film props, comics, video games and robots.

The main part of the exhibition is located in the Curve Gallery and is split into four sections.

Extraordinary Voyages

Extraordinary Voyages explores man’s fascination with the undiscovered and unknown parts of the earth. It was in this area that many of the first Science Fiction stories were published.

Some of the highlights of this section are original manuscripts and drawings from Jules Vernes, and dinosaur models by Ray Harryhausen. This section also includes original models and props from films such as Godzilla and Jurassic Park . Influential books featured include Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, H Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, Allan Quatermain and She, Thomas More’s Utopia, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan and the Lost Empire.

Space Odysseys

Space Odysseys is the largest section of the show and explores stories that began to look to space for adventure. Space travel, aliens and other worlds became the dominant force in Science Fiction.

Highlights of this section are a new interactive commission based on Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning film The Martian, recreating a sequence from the film’s NASA Mission Control set.

A gallery of aliens features heads, masks, skulls, models and props from films including Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Aliens. There are also be props and models from Stargate, Star Trek, Interstellar, Independence Day and concept art from District 9, Alien and First Men in the Moon.

In this section are the original spacesuits worn by John Hurt in Alien, Sam Rockwell in Moon, Cillian Murphy in Sunshine, Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek with original Darth Vader and Stormtrooper helmets from Star Wars.

Brave New Worlds

The third section of the show, Brave New Worlds explores the way that the future of humankind was portrayed in Science Fiction with future cities with gigantic skyscrapers, vast networks and dystopian worlds that ended in disasters, wars and the occasionally the end of various worlds.

Highlights include books by JG Ballard, Ray Bradbury, Anthony Burgess, William Burroughs and George Orwell. Architectural plans and designs from Ben Wheatley’s recent film High Rise, other film and television clips include Akira, 28 Days Later, Brazil, Dark City, Metropolis and The Prisoner.

Final Frontiers

The final section, Final Frontiers looks at the future of humanity and explores identity, the transformation of the body, cyborgs, mutants, clones and robots. Artificial Intelligence offers a future but will we be slaves to machines or vice versa.

Highlights include Film and television clips in this chapter include Back to the Future, Doctor Who, Donnie Darko, ExistenZ, The Fly, Ghost in the Shell, The Terminator and Total Recall. This section also includes TARS from Interstellar, Robot B-9 from 1960s television series Lost in Space and a 3D model of Sonny from I-Robot as well as selection of robots from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and China from the Mint Museum of Toys in Singapore.

This fascinating and entertaining exhibition provides plenty of evidence of the cultural significance of the Science Fiction genre. Walking around the exhibition, visitors will find the familiar and not so familiar heroes and villains of the genre and can explore many of the narratives that were often projections of humans hopes and fears about the future. It is easy to merely laugh at some of the ridiculous early stories, however these stories often opened people’s minds to alternative realities. It is these alternative realities that underpin much of the genre and provide much of its success.

Elements of the exhibition continue all over the building, in the foyers and in the Pit Theatre. There will be film screenings in the cinema, a pop up outdoor cinema on the Barbican’s sculpture court, music performances in the Barbican Hall, as well as a public programme of talks and events.

See Video Review here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets , visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here