Guess what? First Thursdays is back, and we are almost halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox! Today’s recommendations of free events and late openings around the East End will be a 1-hour 15 min long walk. The route will start at Whitechapel Gallery, with two possibilities for the rest of the night: either heading to Rose Easton for a talk as part of their current exhibition or joining the late openings at Emalin, and LUMA (a pop-up exhibition organised by AORA).
The first stop is Action, Gesture, Performance: Feminism, the Body and Abstraction at Whitechapel Gallery. This free display accompanies our future main show, Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1940-70 – opening on the 9th of February – and focuses on pioneering dance and performance practices by women artists who were using their bodies to explore freedom of expression, subjectivity and politics. The show includes works by Renate Bertlmann, Rosemarie Castoro, Lygia Clarke, Niki De Saint Phalle, Martha Graham, Jung Kangja, Shigeko Kubota, Ana Mendieta, Pearl Primus, Carolee Schneemann, Annegret Soltau, and Atsuko Tanaka.
After visiting Whitechapel Gallery, you will have the chance to head to a talk as part of Rose Easton‘s current exhibition, ‘On the edge of fashion’, a group show of new works from Arlette, Alfa Bransfield, Aaron Ford, Jonah Pontzer and Mary Stephenson. An immersive exhibition wrestling with social, political and cultural anxieties prominent today: class, capital, empire and the crisis of masculinity. On the occasion of the re-issue of the book Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity, and Deathliness, the gallery is hosting its first event inside the exhibition with a talk by the author Caroline Evans who will be in conversation with Alfa Bransfield, Aaron Ford, Jonah Pontzer and Mary Stephenson.
From here, the route heads towards Shoreditch for World as diagram, work as dance, a group exhibition at Emalin, featuring Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Emily Barker, Simon Denny, Ana Viktoria Dzinic, Win McCarthy, Gretchen Lawrence, Carolyn Lazard, Coumba Samba and Diamond Stingily, curated by Tosia Leniarska. Taking choreography as a method for mapping the body in space, the artists in the exhibition address structures of measurement, normativity and affect. They trace how social directions are arranged in objects across generations and places, how aesthetics are used in the restriction or shaping of bodies and how these are implicated in constructed space. Their works consider how spatial and material conditions produce affects, and the ways the organising of the body in turn translates to the organisation of the mind.
Our last stop of today is at LUMA, a monumental collaborative group show in the heart of London, LUMA brings together art, design, architecture and music around AORA’s core tenets of calm and wellbeing. Presented by AORA in partnership with Kinrise and curated by Jenn Ellis, LUMA brings together the works of 20 international artists and designers in collaboration with eight leading global galleries and organisations. Artists: Benni Allan, Ana Benavides, Anna Blom, Alexandre Canonico, Jodie Carey, Laura Gannon, Beatrice Hasell-McCosh, Gregory Hodge, Mit Jai Inn, Yeni Mao, Zoë Marden, Adeline de Monseignat, David Murphy, Dawn Ng, Oren Pinhassi, Lucia Pizzani, Tim Ralston, Alexandra Searle, Ross Taylor, Andrea V Wright.