Conflict, Time, Photography
This is one of a number of memorials and cultural events marking the centenary of the First World War, depicting conflicts including the American Civil War, the Vietnam War and the First World War itself. Photographs are ordered according to how long after the event they were created, from immediate trauma in Don McCullin’s Shell-shocked US Marine (1968), to Shomei Tomatsu’s documentation of objects found at Nagasaki in the 1960s. In this way, the exhibition promises a powerful meditation, not only on the photography of conflict, but on the nature of photography as a time-based medium, as well as asking questions about how we memorialise and remember.
In her first solo show in China, Sophie Calle exhibits four distinct projects, all of which bear her trademark merging of text, image and narrative. One of these is Unfinished, which utilises footage of people using automatic teller machines (cash machines), filmed by Calle in collaboration with an American bank in 1988. These strangely intimate portraits of people engaging with money cover an entire wall in the gallery. For another project, Voir la mer (To See the Ocean), above, Calle explains her process: ‘I went to Istanbul, a city surrounded by water, I met people who had never seen the sea. I filmed their first time.’ The resulting films of 15 residents capture these momentous first encounters in touching detail.
Bringing their year of 40th anniversary celebrations to a close, Galeria Luisa Strina present a group show that looks back over the gallery’s history at the forefront of the São Paulo art world, focusing on its unconventional approach of working with diverse communities, and combining emerging, mid-career and established artists. On display are works by generations of artists who have had a relationship with the gallery over the years, including a portrait of Luisa Strina by Wesley Duke Lee, a wallpaper installation by Antonio Dias, and one of the first works ever shown at the gallery by Cildo Meireles, a sculpture made in 1982 called Obscura Luz (Obscure Light).
Wesley Duke Lee, Retrato de Luisa ou a respeito do future, 1970 Courtesy Galeria Luisa Strina
LAST CHANCE TO SEE
Chivalry in the Middle Ages
While a general notion of chivalry has filtered into the popular imagination, it is a dull version compared to the rich illustrations on the pages of medieval illuminated manuscripts, which reveal a colourful courtly world of aristocratic customs and rituals. Focusing on ‘Courtly Love and Marriage’, ‘Hunting and Feasting’, and ‘Games and Tournaments’, this exhibition reveals that these manuscripts not only depict such noble activities, but also served as early instructive manuals in the rules of chivalric conduct.
Unknown, A Tournament Contest, circa 1560–1570. Courtesy The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Queen Victoria reigned over a golden age for sculpture, which flourished as Britain boomed into a modern industrialised nation, with new forms of patronage and new sites for display. The Queen and Prince Albert were foremost among these patrons and nurtured public monuments and sculptural works for institutions all over the country and the empire, some of which were celebrated at the Great Exhibition in 1851. Encompassing figures, reliefs, gems and cameos, in wood, bronze, ceramic, marble and silver, this is a magnificent display of the techniques and materials that were developed at this time of innovation.
George Frampton, Dame Alice Owen (detail), 1897
marble, alabaster and bronze. Dame Alice Owen’s School, Potter’s Bar, Hertfordshire