Elmgreen & Dragset: This Is How We Bite Our Tongue
27 September 2018 – 13 January 2019
Galleries 1, 8 and 9, Ticketed
The first major UK survey of artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, this exhibition spans twenty years of extraordinary artistic collaboration. A new large-scale installation commissioned for the Whitechapel Gallery, as well as new and existing sculptures, will bring together the themes and ideas that have endured throughout the artists’ career.
Michael Elmgreen (b. 1961) and Ingar Dragset (b. 1969) have been working together since 1995. They produce beguiling spatial scenarios that explore social and sexual politics and unveil the power structures embedded in the everyday designs that surround us. In their uncanny installations, institutional spaces are transformed into metaphors for individual desires and collective identities with subversive wit and tongue-in-cheek melancholy. The exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery will juxtapose a survey of their emotional figurative sculptures with a major new installation that meditates on the fate of civic space. Other work on display will include Modern Moses (2006), an installation consisting of a figure of a new-born baby in a carry cot, abandoned in front of a cash machine; One Day (2015), in which a sculpture of a young boy gazes at a rifle in a display case; and The Bottle and the Book (2015), a work which consists of a desk,
a bottle of liquor and a book that reflects the artists’ inspirations.
Ulla von Brandenburg: Sweet Feast
In partnership with Le Prix Marcel Duchamp
21 September 2018 – 31 March 2019
Gallery 2, Free Entry
This major new film and sculptural commission by multidisciplinary Franco-German artist Ulla von Brandenburg
(b. 1974, Karlsruhe, Germany), takes previous Whitechapel Gallery exhibition Sweets (1973) as its inspiration. The exhibition marked Britain’s entry into the European Common Market and featured confectionary from nine countries of the enlarged EU community. At the close of the show, children were invited to sample a selection of sweets. In their enthusiasm, they devoured the exhibition. Von Brandenburg will film a re-enactment of this unexpected feast with the participation of 100 children from local primary school, Arnhem Wharf. The collaboration with the school enabled von Brandenburg to initiate timely conversations with the children about our current changing relationship with the European Union and shared food culture issues and histories. Von Brandenburg is also making a new immersive and colourful seating structure, which playfully aligns the audience with the film’s protagonists. Ulla von Brandenburg, who lives and works in Paris, was nominated for the Marcel Duchamp prize in 2016, reflecting her work as one of the most innovative contemporary artists in France.
Surreal Science: Loudon Collection with Salvatore Arancio
24 August 2018 – 6 January 2019
Gallery 7, Free Entry
Fascinated by scientific breakthroughs from the Enlightenment to the 19th and early 20th centuries, George Loudon is a Dutch collector based in the UK who collects objects relating to the study and teaching of the life sciences. Made by skilled artisans, these objects range from beautifully illustrated books to papier-mâché anatomical models, exquisite magic lantern slides, taxidermied animals and bisected human skulls.
Surreal Science continues the Whitechapel Gallery’s commitment to showing rarely seen public and private collections, and presents objects from the George Loudon Collection selected by the artist Salvatore Arancio (b. 1974, Italy). Arancio, who works in diverse media including ceramics, etching, collage, animation and video, shares many of the same research interests and creates new works for the display.
Staging Jackson Pollock 1958
4 September 2018 – 28 March 2019
Gallery 4, Free Entry
In 1958 the Whitechapel Gallery held a seminal exhibition of American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956), the painter’s first major UK show. Sixty years on, Staging Jackson Pollock 1958 will combine original archival material with Pollock’s work to explore what made the exhibition so distinctive. At the centre of the display is Pollock’s Summertime: Number 9A (1948). The 1958 exhibition was notable for its innovative design by British modernist architect Trevor Dannatt (b. 1920, UK). In collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery director Bryan Robertson, Dannatt created a powerful layout that enabled a dynamic encounter with the paintings, staging the works in a theatrical way. His design encompassed suspending and draping fabric, dividing the gallery with walls made of breeze blocks, exposing wall panels and adding hidden lighting. It not only created a dramatic effect but created several viewpoints where each painting could be seen in isolation. The display will include a new audio interview with Dannatt by curator Nayia Yiakoumaki.
Children’s Commission 2018: Mikhail Karikis
18 August 2018 – 6 January 2019
Galleries 5 & 6, Free Entry
Continuing the Whitechapel Gallery’s longstanding commitment to seasonal exhibitions organised in collaboration with local young people, this immersive display of moving image and sound works from the artist Mikhail Karikis (b.1975, Greece) is the result of a collaboration with a group of 7 to 8 year-old students from Mayflower Primary School in East London.
Mikhail Karikis works across film, performance and sound. His new commission resonates with the science fiction novel The Iron Woman (1993) by the British writer Ted Hughes. In this story, children are gifted with a supernatural noise, which is transmitted by touch and echoes the collective howl of creatures affected by the pollution of the planet. In protest against the impending ecological catastrophe, children infiltrate factories and ‘infect’ adults with their cry
for immediate action and change.
Karikis adopts this children’s story as a feminist parable of the power of sound to effect physical, psychological and socio-political transformation. The installation pulls together elements from each of the processes Karikis has introduced the children to through the workshops he has led. This includes cymatics (images from resonant sound), masks (as props for dramatising extracts from the novel) and documentation of ‘Philosophy for Children’ sessions, where students were encouraged to unpick the themes they have encountered from the workshops and make personal connections to them. It gives a voice to the students’ imaginative responses to the environmental impact created by older generations, and provides a glimpse into children’s reflections on authority, friendship and a potential ‘super-power’ to bring about change.
The London Art Book Fair
6-9 September 2018
Throughout the Gallery, Free
Returning for the first time since 2015, the London Art Book Fair presents the best in international arts publishing, showcasing artists’ books, catalogues, zines, rare publications and new releases. This celebration of art publishing is free and open to all. It will feature 85 exhibitors over three days within the Gallery spaces. Arranged democratically, it will present large and small scale publishers together. A vibrant programme of related talks, workshops, happenings, performances and signings will take place throughout the fair.
The Rural: Contemporary Art and Spaces of Connection
Various venues, Free and Ticketed events
Throughout this and next year, and in collaboration with five partners, the Whitechapel Gallery leads a programme of public events and research exploring the relationship between contemporary art and the rural. The programme raises
questions around community, climate and architecture from a rural perspective. It explores the notion that art is assumed to thrive best in metropolitan centres and looks for the new questions and priorities discovered when focus is shifted away from these so-called hubs.
The programme will foreground the contemporary artists, architects and creative practitioners challenging assumptions about rural life and providing a new vision of the countryside grounded in everyday experience. It will include public talks on themes such as landscape, infrastructure, the post-industrial and the commons. In addition, a series of working group meetings amongst partners leads toward a major conference in 2019. The programme offers a space for knowledge sharing and collective thinking that focuses on cultural activity taking place outside of urban centres globally.
Gallery admission: Free
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm; Thursdays, 11am – 9pm
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