Culture Journal: six things to do in October
Survived Frieze and the Great Banksy Shredding? Here’s the best of what’s happening in the world of art, design and making for the rest of the month…
Africa State of Mind
New Art Exchange, Nottingham until 16 December
Curated by Ekow Eshun, Chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group (and previously Director of the ICA), Africa State of Mind is intended as a celebration of the current ‘wave of thrilling, artistically ambitious talent emerging across the continent’, focusing on contemporary African photography. It is, says Eshun, ‘about opening up new ways of looking at and understanding what it means to live in Africa, and be African, today’. By turns thrilling, exciting and thoughtful, the show features 16 artists from 11 countries, and is best voiding clichés – except of course, where it embraces them or challenges them face on, as in Kiluanji Kia Henda’s The Last Journey of the Dictator Mussunda N’zombo Before the Great Extinction: Act I (2017 – main picture, top).
Make, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, until 24 November
Occupying two rooms of a Georgian Townhouse in Bruton, Somerset, Make is a new gallery space from Hauser & Wirth Somerset, dedicated to contemporary making and the crafted object. Curated by Jacqueline Moore, formerly of the Moore Gallery, the space has a remit to explore and celebrate the re-evaluation of craftsmanship within the artistic community. the inaugural show, Opening Narratives, features the work of seven makers, most of whom will be familiar to those who have followed Hole & Corner over the years, including Alexander Devol, Olivia Walker, Florian Gadsby and Maria Sigma. A much needed addition and another example of the elevation of the designer-maker…
International Design Month (IDM)
Okay, technically this is two events – and we just invented IDM – but if you’re clever and you’ve got the Air Miles / company expense account, you could technically cover off the best in international design, from Central America, right across Europe, in the space of a few weeks.
Mexico City – the 2018 World Design Capital – hosts a fascinating overview of emerging talent, with an emphasis on Central and South American designers and a theme of social responsibility. (See our recent interview with fashion designer / art historian Carla Fernández for more Mexican inspiration).
Meanwhile, the European design torch is passed to Eindhoven, where 2,500 designers present their ideas to over 295,000 visitors across more than 100 venues.
Tate Modern, London, 11 October 2018 – 27 January 2019
The first major retrospective of the work of Albers (1899-1994) – and opening ahead of the centenary of the Bauhaus – this show is a timely and long overdue celebration of her contribution to (and influence over) modern art and design. With over 350 objects, including wall-hangings, textiles for mass production, jewellery made from the everyday and small-scale studies, the exhibition reveals how Albers combined ancient hand-weaving crafts with the vernacular of 20th century art – not least the Bauhaus, where she joined as a student in 1922.
William Morris Gallery, London, 20 October 2018 – 27 January 2019
Friend of Hole & Corner and all-round Good Egg, Rob Ryan has found his spiritual home at the William Morris Gallery. Fittingly for a space dedicated to the man who spearheaded the Arts and Crafts movement – and who blurred the boundaries between the ‘decorative’ and ‘high’ arts – Rob Ryan’s work features papercuts and silkscreens produced in response to the gallery’s collection.
‘Patterns and words and pictures, pictures and words and patterns, I don’t want them to live apart and segregated. It’s always been my aim to somehow weave them all together to keep each other company,’ says Ryan…
Homepage image credit: Still from ‘Excuse Me, While I Disappear’ by Michael MacGarry, from Africa State of Mind