October 7, 2016
Unity Culture Club – On Your Radar 07.10.16
This weekend London plays host to the Holy Trinity of world-class art fairs, as the behemoth art fair Moniker returns for its seventh year at Old Truman Brewery, joined by the Other Art Fair housed at the same spot. Last but by no means least, the renowned Frieze Art Fair opens at Regent’s Park if you like your art paired with fresh air.
However, if you’re reading this then you’ve probably heard of all of the above, and were one of the first in line for tickets. So in this week’s On Your Radar we bring you a selection of a few more that should be on your radar from across the UK and beyond.
ALL OF THE LIGHTS, ALL OF THE LIGHTS
The British seaside is an art form in its own right (please see Margate, Skegness and Hastings for inspiration) but Blackpool especially is famed – in part for its illuminations. As such, it is an apt setting for a new exhibition exploring how artists have experimented with light designed to be viewed in its own right; illuminating in more ways than one.
Neon: The Charged Line is at the Grundy Photo Gallery until January next year, exploring neon from the 1960’s to the present day.
ONCE MORE, WITH MEME-ING
We have to face up to it, the meme has become a dominant mode of cultural exchange online, be it to voice discontentment, joke, or highlight the strangeness in contemporary culture. English artist Hannah Hill, a.k.a., Hanecdote, has merged a traditional art medium – embroidery – with modern day meme culture to address contemporary social issues such as body image, feminist ideals and depression.
The contrast of this traditional (even seen as twee) form paired with ultra-modern themes provides a fresh take on these issues.
GET THE FRIDAY FELINE
Now this next pick has had its fair amount of press, but whilst we’re on the subject of memes as an art form, The Coronet is hosting London’s first cat video festival, where one of the most-loved internet subjects – the cat video – makes a break-through IRL.
The promoters promise a huge party celebrating the greatest cat videos that “our furry overlords have to offer”, as well as performers, pizza, and feline cabaret…
Today the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 was awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for efforts to bring peace to his nation, but this year will surely be the first that a nominee has been the subject of a Netflix documentary before their nomination.
The White Helmets – aka the Syrian Civil Defence – are unarmed volunteers who are often first on the scene of bombed cities, searching for survivors and digging through rubble. They claim to have saved over 60,000 lives in three years – and as the the UN’s Syria envoy said yesterday that Eastern Aleppo faces ‘total ruin’ in two months, their work is truly important and heroic.
Despite their life-saving efforts, the White Helmets documentary on Netflix has been labelled as propaganda by some, and critics say the White Helmets have ties with Jihadist groups. More importantly, is this important issue only being discussed because it has been brought to our screens by a high-profile streaming service?
We have always loved collaborating with different people, designers, filmmakers, artists, writers, you name it. Over the years, we’ve shared our space with some brilliantly talented people who have gone on to do incredible things and many of whom we still work with on a regular basis. We thought it would be a good idea to formalise what has been up to now a happy accident…So we’re launching a job with a sell-by date called Brief Encounters.
How does it work? Simple. It’s open to designers, either up and coming or established, who want to come and check us out, get a series of paid “briefs” (see what we did there?) and hang out with the world’s most creative PR agency. The only criteria is that you need to want to work with us, have some serious design chops and fancy a three month gig.
We’ll be posting more detail next week but if you really can’t wait, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can’t drag yourself away from the arts hub that is the Old Truman Brewery this weekend (or just didn’t fancy paying out for tickets), then it’s worth checking out Cultural Traffic at Unity favourite Juju’s Bar.
Free for all to attend, the UK’s first annual fair for dealers and producers in counter culture trade books, zines, prints, catalogues, vinyls and tapes showcases the best from the past and today’s most promising producers.
The event is set to be an insight into both past and future by connecting cultural artefacts with the collectables of tomorrow.