A four-by-four of things to do during the summer art world downtime in London, Berlin, New York + Los Angeles

4 August 2017

As the art world winds down for the summer break, many galleries across cities are closed, at least in the Northern hemisphere where it’s hot. With more free time to look at art, there appears less art to look at. But for those still in the mood to engage with work IRL, we’ve put together a short list of spaces and exhibitions still running through August, before things get busy again in September.

Here we’ve condensed them down to four shows per AQNB’s four major cities of interest. In doing so, we’ve noted key focal points of each, including mental health, climate change, and resistance in London, the breakdown of diplomatic relations and bureaucracy in Berlin, social justice and entrenched attitudes and histories in New York, and mostly apocalypse in Los Angeles. 

Read on for things to do:

Zadie Xa, ‘The Conch, Sea Urchin and Brass Bell’ (2017) Video still. Courtesy the artist + Pump House Gallery, London.


1. Zadie Xa’s The Conch, Sea Urchin and Brass Bell at PumpHouse Gallery, Aug 3 – Sep 24

The London-based artist’s solo exhibition “tells the story of a displaced body’s journey and return to a homeland,” and is part PS/Y’s Hysteria progamme, a multidisciplinary arts festival exploring mental health. You can read a small focus piece with the artist about the show here.

2. Tenant of Culture’s Climate | Change at clearview.ltd, Aug 3 – 27

The London-based artist explores “how we determine what should be saved, stored, preserved and protected.” Presenting non-functioning fashion in utilitarian garments, the show carries on the artist’s research into “the relationship between preservation, morality and trend.”

3.  Jennifer Tee’s Structures of recollection and perseverance at Kunstraum, Jul 1 – Sep 9

The exhibition runs in in parallel with Tee’s Let It Come Down show running at Camden Arts Centre to September 17, and brings together her own works, as well as ethnographic objects and artefacts. This one explores two concepts: ‘Let it come down’ and ‘Resist.’ 

Ed’s note: show has been extended to September 9

4. Monira Al Qadiri’s  The Craft at Gasworks, Jul 13 – Sep 10.

The Amsterdam-based Kuwaiti artist’s solo exhibition builds on her interest in imagining the artefacts of a post-oil boom planet as alien technology, and the ritual of diplomacy with Gulf art collective GCC. Comprising sculptures, videos and sound works, Al Qadiri here envisages “international diplomacy as an alien conspiracy.” 

Hiwa K, ‘Moon Calendar’ (2007) Videostill. Courtesy the artist + KOW, Berlin


1. Richard Sides’ PURE HATE at Liszt, Jul 29 – Sep 2

In lieu of text, the exhibition press comes accompanied by a six-plus minute trailer of European scenes soundtracked by garage rock revival band The Strokes’ 2001 single ‘Hard To Explain’ (followed by a lengthy and blurred porn clip). It draws on similar themes to the London-based artist’s critical Brexit-themed video diary ‘Imperial Weather.’

2. Hiwa K’s Don’t Shrink Me to the Size of a Bullet at KW, Jun 2 – Aug 13 

The Iraqi-born, Berlin-based artist examines how to hold on to the traditions of his upbringing, while accessing the knowledge necessary for integrating into a new environment. A political exile, Hiwa K’s disconnection from his former ‘home’ is central to the exhibition. 

3. The POOL exhibition + event series at Tropez, Jul 30 – Sep 12

The art space inside the Sommerbad Humboldthain provides room for artists, performers, musicians, authors, and curators to mingle with swimmers at the public pool. Contributors include Broken Dimanche Press, Creamcake, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Søren Aagard and more.

4. Joshua Schwebel, From the Aesthetic of Administration, Aug 11 – Sep 27

The Canadian conceptual artist invites employees of Berlin’s ‘Senatsverwaltung Kultur und Europa’ art fund to propose and realize their own artworks. Respondents Pauline Püschel and Anne Wesolek have each composed works reflecting on their tasks in administration and their relationship to art.

New York

1. Bunny Rogers’s Brig Und Ladder at Whitney Museum, Jul 7 – Oct 9

The New York-based artist has been developing a practice examining violence and depression in White America around motifs like the 1999 Columbine massacre and Elliot Smith in the past. The new body of work builds on a personal cosmology exploring “universal experiences of loss, alienation, and a search for belonging.” 

2. A first line of defense for significant tree group exhibition at 875 Park Avenue, Brooklyn, Jul 30 – Aug 30

Curated by Elizaveta Shneyderman and Eben Woodward, the show comes accompanied by a text, written by Erin Prinz Schwartz, musing on the idea of personhood and proving it to the authorities. Artists featured in the show include Omari Douglin, Victoria Haynes, Jaclyn Jaconetta,Lulu Sanchez, and more.

3. Kaari Upson’s Good Thing You Are Not Alone at the New Museum, May 3 – Sep 10

The LA-based artist presents drawing, sculpture, video, and installation examining the “circuitous narratives that weave together elements of fantasy, physical and psychological trauma, and the often-fraught pursuit of an American ideal.”

4. Memory is a Tough Place group exhibition at Parsons New School, Jun 29 – Sep 3

Looking at race and social justice, the photography show explores the discipline’s evidentiary role it plays in “capturing the complexities attendant to social change.” Contributors include American Artist, Rashid Johnson, Glenn Ligon, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems and others.

Lucie Stahl, ‘End of Tales’ (2017). Courtesy the artist + Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles.

Los Angeles

1. Lucie Stahl’s End Tales at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Jul 30 – Sep 2

The LA-based artist has spent her decade-long career exploring the realities and fictions of national identity, often conflating them with the menace of consumerism and the perils of patriotism. 

2. Apocalypse Summer group exhibition at ltd los angeles, Jul 29 – Sep 9

The theme of the show follows contemporary anxieties over climate change and capitalist destruction. It comes introduced by a short introductory text that follows the mutant realities of imminent human catastrophe.

3. All the Small Things group exhibition at Steve Turner, Jul 29 – Aug 26

The show features 62 Los Angeles-based artists, where all works do not exceed six inches in dimension. The size of the works, and their placement around the room sit somewhere between a museum and your grandmother’s home.

4. Cabin Pressure group exhibition at BBQLA, Jul 22 – Aug 12

Curated by Quinn Harrelson, the show asks, “To what extent does a group of works construct an environment?” An accompanying text depicts a post-apocalyptic narrative with a different spin, where something else “crawls out from the earth’s core,” offering an alternative to doom.**

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Holding space for inner speech with Beth Collar + Hannah Still at Kunstraum, Jun 5 – 11

31 May 2017

Beth Collar and Hannah Still present two person exhibition at London’s Kunstraum opening June 5 and running to the 11.

The exhibition will present a screening and performance, where the gallery will become a “holding space for silence, apathy, antagonism and affection” and where the artists will work alongside each other rather than in strict collaboration.

The week long event will take the form of a conversation,  where “ways of feeling, thinking through and thinking about the stomach brain, brain stem, inner speech and free speech” can be explored. The work will sit side by side, inviting the viewer to become part of the discussion.

Visit the Kunstraum website for details.**

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The nature of reification in Even dust can burst into flames at Arcade, May 9 – Jun 3

9 May 2017

The Even dust can burst into flames group exhibition at London’s Arcade Fine Arts opens May 9 and is running to June 3.

The show features work by Anna Barham, Kit Craig, Jeremiah Day and John Latham, and takes its title from a Hannah Arendt quote where she speculates on transformation and “a veritable metamorphosis in which it is as though the course of nature which wills that all fire burn to ashes is reverted and even dust can burst into flames…”

In addition to the sculptures, drawings and installation, there will be a performance by Jeremiah Day and Bart De Kroon on May 31 at London’s on 31st Kunstraum.

Visit the Arcade website for details.**


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Olivier Castel @ Kunstraum, Nov 25 – Feb 12

24 November 2016

Olivier Castel is presenting solo exhibition Communicating vessels at London’s Kunstraum, opening November 25 and running to February 12, 2017.

The French London-based artist aims to “evoke and reconfigure” the thresholds between notions of the interior and exterior, as well as dreaming and wakefulness through the the use of temporal forms of art production, including projection, light, surface, text and audio. Castel carries on his interest in making concepts like the idea, space, image or thought visible through a fascination with the ways that other species perceive time, relative to their life spans and sleep cycles.  

The immersive installation, combining sculptural elements with atmospheric interventions, diverges from the artist’s ongoing research into the lack of street-facing facades in the urban architecture of Los Angeles, making the public into “a network of negative spaces filling the voids between private or intimate  spaces.”

See the FB event page for details.**

Olivier Castel + Ian Iaw, 'Mimesis', 'Infirm Arbroath' (2015) Install view. Photo by Original&theCopy. Courtesy Tenderpixel + RODEO, London.
Olivier Castel + Ian Iaw, ‘Mimesis’, ‘Infirm Arbroath’ (2015) Install view. Photo by Original&theCopy. Courtesy Tenderpixel + RODEO, London.
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Fiona James + Andrew Kerton @ Kunstraum, Aug 11

8 August 2016

Fiona James and Andrew Kerton are presenting performative talk and workshop, ‘Gutless Speech (and other impossible thoughts)’ at London’s Kunstraum on August 11.

This will be the first edition of For that Rare Diagram Freak series, a collective research project set to develop over four live events throughout the next year. ‘Gutless Speech’ will feature an 80-minute physical workshop guided by London-based Kerton and a performative talk by Kent-based James.

Kerton’s workshop draws on a various somatic practices like Body Mind Centering, Middendorf Technique and Embryology with the intention of “exposing inherent patterns that manifest in the flesh”.

James’ performative talk is informed by Austrain psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich’s theories on the orgasm, Radical Feminist Schulamith Firestone’s notion of the technical, and Catherine Malabou’s use of epigenetics. It will provide points for a discussion that will influence the research’s direction, while the workshop as a whole will serve as conceptual material for consideration, while also “influencing the physical conditions that participants bodies can receive and respond to”.

See the FB event page for more details.**

Fiona James & Andrew Kerton @ Kunstraum, Aug 11

Fiona James, ‘Split Three: The Dredger God’ (2007-2008). Installation and performance. Courtesy the artist.

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Fay Nicolson @ Kunstraum, Aug 5

2 August 2016

Fay Nicolson is presenting a new performance, Over and Over Pure Form at London’s Kunstraum on August 5.

Based on a text written by the London-based artist of the same title, it is accompanied by a chorus of five performers and percussion and a meditation on “the reality of art education today and how bodies, behaviours, and attitudes are moulded through formal terminologies or ideologies”. Adopting the structure of a typical semester in art school, it reflects on the changing nature of art education.

Nicolson borrows from a variety of teaching methods from the visual exercises of Josef Albers to the formal methods developed by Richard Hamilton and presents a manifesto “calling for an art education which revalues physical experience” with an emphasis on the body and touch.

See the Kunstraum gallery website for more details.**

Fay Nicolson @ Kunstraum, Aug 5

Fay Nicolson, ‘Un Make Me’ (2016). Installation view. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin.

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Lotte Meret Effinger @ Kunstraum, Jul 8

6 July 2016

Lotte Meret Effinger is screening ‘Supernature’ (2014), followed by a conversation with curator Cédric Fauq, at London’s Kunstraum London on July 8.

Meret Effinger’s practice engages with the western visual regime to disrupt its inner hierarchical and patriarchal order, using video, writing, performance, photography and graphic-design. The press release highlights the way her work consistently blurs the lines between two fronts: the mainstream and the subaltern, the desirable and the repulsive, the perceptible and the hidden.

The Berlin-based artist has recently shown work in a group show at Kunstehalle Basel called Guys, Here Comes the Master Plan, which was a response to the over-circulation of digital imagery within visual culture, and in 2013 made a ‘Manifesto Against Representation’, printed on various textiles and installed in space.

See the Kunstraum website for more details.**

Lotte Meret Effinger, Cosmetic (2014). Courtesy the artist.
Lotte Meret Effinger, ‘Cosmetic’ (2014). Courtesy the artist.


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Gerda Paliušytė @ Kunstraum, Jun 17

15 June 2016

Curatorial project, AIROOM residency will screen film ‘The Road Movie’ (2015) by Lithuanian artist and curator Gerda Paliušytė at London’s Kunstraum on June 17.

‘The Road Movie’ is a partially scripted documentary that follows the members of rap duo ONYX on a day trip through Vilnius. Their 1993 hit ‘Slam‘ was among the first American rap songs to reach the country after its independence, and it became deeply rooted in local culture.

The work is described by a Frieze review written last year and used as the press release for this screening where it says it is both a melancholy portrait of the Lithuanian City, discerning what, in the 25 years since its independence from the Soviet Union, has fulfilled its promise and what has not, as well as a slapstick commentary of cultural history.

Airoom’s curator Juste Kostikovaite works closely with artists creating intricate solo shows in spare rooms of homes and other spaces emptied out and specified for each occasion, often taking the place of Airbnb income. The next solo show for the project which seems to exist on the websites and documents of others, will be by Riga-based artist, Evita Vasiljeva.

See the FB event for details.**

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Dorine van Meel, Disobedient Children (2015) exhibition photos

11 May 2016

Disobedient Children, a solo exhibition by Dorine van Meel at London’s Kunstraum gallery, ran from October 23 to December 19, 2015. Multiple screens and spoken fragments of sound play off each other to create an abstract narrative, all voiced by the artist with music and sound produced and performed by Jesse Osborne-Lanthier and Olle Holmberg.

The exhibition was accompanied by an evening of performative readings on November 29 by Maria Gorodeckaya, Megan Nolan, Naomi Pearce, Rianna Jade Parker (The Lonely Londoners) and Nina Power. Each artist responded to the theme of disobedience, further complicating the site of the sole protagonist.

Dorine van Meel, Disobedient Children (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy of Kunstraum, London.

Van Meel’s writing works its way between sculpture, installation and moving image. Focusing on architectural elements, screens hang in different angles and projections seep away from their original  frame. Digitally manipulated visuals create abstract landscapes and scenes connected by ‘chapters’.

The press release outlines some of the voices that resonate in the space, “An intimate dialogue at a wedding; the confessions of a young banker; hitchhikers at the gas station; a scene from an Antonioni film; a description of a Hillary Clinton clip on Youtube; Twitter feeds from UK’s prime minister”. Weaved throughout are recollections from the artist’s own memories and experiences. Disobedience finds its power in the moment of rupture, where overlap disintegrates common ideologies and patterned ways of thinking.**

Exhibition photos, top right.

Dorine van Meel’s Disobedient Children was on at London’s Kunstraum, running October 23 to December 19, 2015.

Header image: Dorine van Meel, Disobedient Children (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Kunstraum, London.

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Dorine van Meel @ DRAF, Apr 25

23 April 2015

Hoxton project space Kunstraum has invited artist Dorine van Meel to discuss her work and practice with curator Thomas Cuckle at David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) on April 25.

The conversation with van Meel comes as the second event in +1, a new series between DRAF and some of London’s exciting emerging spaces, collectives and publications. The first event, with Anne de Boer and Eloïse Bonneviot as guests of Jupiter Woods, took place at the beginning of March.

van Meel, working somewhere between moving image, sculpture and installation, will introduce her past work and present to the public, as well as her latest work-in-progress collaboration, building towards her solo exhibition at Kunstraum some time in late 2015.

See the event page for details. **


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Liquid Swords @ Kunstraum, Apr 9

8 April 2015

Kunstraum is bringing Liquid Swords, described as “an annotation of hip hop in contemporary art”, to its London space on April 9.

The event, conceptualised and organised by curator Mette Woller, will include presentations and participation from designer and coder Matt Daniels (who is working on a project on hip hop vocabulary), the art collective Ingen Frygt with Hannah Heilmann, as well as sound and performance artist Mathias Kryger, artist Renyi Ng, and Agatha Valkyrie Ice with Dorota Gaweda and Egle Kulbokaite.

Comprised of in-person discussion, live streaming from New York, discussions of Whitney Houston and modernistic architecture, and a “Deleuzian rap jamming session”, Liquid Swords takes annotation as a tool for investigating a modern movement and examining the structures and cultural shifts that arise from it.

The event will be broadcast live here; see the event page on Genius.com for details. **

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