Arts Radar: 12 July
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This week we're getting hyped for the man in the mirror himself at The National Portrait Gallery. Or, if you'd rather not spend a tenner+ on a ticket, there's everything from gritty social documentary photography to the magical disappearing Lin Bolin. And for the ideal combination of sun and culture, take a sculpture stroll through the square mile and burn, baby, burn.
Tish Murtha's spirit haunts the halls of the Photographer’s Gallery for this survey show, exposing the six major projects that punctuated her life. At times of serious social unrest, youth unemployment and austerity, Tish turned her camera in on the circle around her. Her family, friends, pals from the pub and local kids make up the subject matter of her gritty and unsettlingly comedic documentary images.
This exhibition shines a harsh light on the impact of government austerity on working class and minority peoples, reminding us all to look out for our communities - especially in light of Brexit, Trump, and what feels like a pending apocalypse… send help.
The undeniable thriller of the week, this exhibition is as absurd, illusive and engrossing as the man himself. Rather than sharing the infamous Jackson story, the viewer is invited to experience M.J. through the eyes of 48 artists. From frankly terrible fan art, to works by giants such as Andy Warhol, Jackson exists as every possible interpretation here. Our personal highlight was M.J. transmorphed into Rubens’ Philip II on Horseback, truly regal.
Head to the BAFA for a live version of fine-art ‘Where’s Wally’. Chinese Artist Lin Boulin is infamous for his large-scale performance art/photography work, where he meticulously camouflages himself into various backgrounds to insanely successful degrees. His work appears playful, but also has a socially conscious goal in drawing attention to global issues of consumerism and invisibility. For his first UK solo exhibition he takes on some quintessentially British imagery - the Queen on a bank note and shelves full of beer. Good luck finding him.
Swerve the crowds of bankers and insurance brokers to come see the eighth annual open-air sculpture exhibition going down in London’s Square Mile. Providing a delightful antidote to the Pret on every corner, discover imaginative works from big dogs such as Sarah Lucas, Tracey Emin and Marina Abramović scattered between oppressive office buildings and disgruntled scooter commuters.
Ever wanted to be a vegetable, even just for a day? Then get yourself to Tate Britain where you can see what it might be like, as Anthea Hamilton spends every day for six months as a variation of a pumpkin or a squash. The performance piece is illusive, exploring open interpretation and modes of viewership. You are invited to see it completely through your own eyes, with no need for art history preamble bullshit. Perceive is as anything from a walking emoji to a comment on imperialism.