Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

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Exploring Bau: A Giant Sketchbook for Ideas

by Bea De Sousa
“We both agree, sometimes archives can be fun!” Just before everyone disappears to their holiday hideouts, I meet with ICA London curator Juliette Desorgues to explore her new exhibition about the Austrian architecture magazine . We browse through the show together and compare personal favorites. Bau: Magazine for Architecture and Urban Planning, Issue 2, 1965   Bau: Magazine for Architecture and Urban Planning (1947-71), similar to the RIBA Journal, existed as a trade magazine for the... [more]
Posted by Bea De Sousa on 8/10/15

Post-human: Gender Identities And Cyberspace

by Bea De Sousa
Transgender identities are coming of age with a global platform and widening acceptance. Gender fluidity is not yet accepted in all countries and cultures and therein lies the latest challenge of the multi-faceted identity of being transgender, implying a journey from birth to re-assigned identity and a dual cultural heritage inherited as a consequence. Trans identities are becoming more culturally accepted in the West and new neuro-biological research is also contributing to the debate and... [more]
Posted by Bea De Sousa on 6/1/15

The Bloomberg New Contemporaries Experience

by Philippa Snow
As a person who "looks at art" for a living, there is always the occupational hazard that one or more of your loved ones will become caught in the crossfire; out of desperation to have a partner-in-crime to schlep to a West London gallery and look at the New and the Brave, there is always the chance that a friend, a significant other or an acquaintance will be coerced into looking at, say, a video-artwork of a troll-doll with a talking anus, or a "performance installation" which utilises a... [more]
Posted by Philippa Snow on 12/4/13

Ace in the Hole

by Philippa Snow
Staring directly at Vivienne Westwood's vagina made me think of a number of things; mostly, however, it made me think about the difference between Nude and Naked, the nude – one assumes – being somehow formalised, and lacking in sex appeal. The vagina in question forms the centerpiece of Juergen Teller’s retrospective at the ICA, the exuberantly entitled ‘Woo!’ (Hard to imagine any other photographer using such a title; harder, still, to imagine one living up to it with the same dumb-clever... [more]
Posted by Philippa Snow on 2/5/13

Seductive Immersion

by Daniel Barnes
Hannah Sawtell’s Osculator sublimely communicates, with more than a little uneasiness, one of the amazing and frustrating things about the internet: its inconceivable infinity, and its mixture of the useful and trivial. The title – Osculator – has a deliciously futuristic ring to it. It sounds like a mythical device, derived from some 1960s science fiction vision of how the 21st Century would be, characterised by a high-tech apparatus that allows every human being to see everything all the... [more]
Posted by Daniel Barnes on 11/2/12

Pablo Bronstein at ICA

by Mike Tuck
For some time now Bronstein’s work has been of interest to a broad cross-section of the visual arts – part draftsman, part architect, part surrealist, part choreographer, part classicist – his work occupies a unique position. On paper the show should be a bitty series of works distributed throughout the ICA and the mall, moving between installation and paper works, performances and paintings, but with an elegant irreverence for convention Bronstein manages to make a coherent narrative from his... [more]
Posted by Mike Tuck on 7/10/11

The New Contemporaries

by Char Jansen
        Opening last week, the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibited a 'snapshot of today's emerging art landscape' in a new host venu of the ICA. Gabriel Kuri, Mark Leckey and Dawn Mellor was on the judging panel this year, making their selection from an expanding populous of art school graduates. 49 artists made the final cut for the show, split across the ICA’s two diminutive exhibition spaces (the bar is nice, but why does it seem to take up the same amount of floor space as is... [more]
Posted by Char Jansen on 12/5/10

Chto Delat? The Urgent Need to Struggle

by Char Jansen
        The Russian collective Chto Delat? (What is to be Done?) have been working prolifically since 2003, publishing a regular newspaper, embarking on protests and producing videos, installations, as well as public protests, debates, talks and screenings. Their undeviating mission is to merge politics, art, philosophy, social research and activism, advancing an unflinching leftist agenda on cultural, social and economic issues. They call themselves a‘platform’ rather than a collective,... [more]
Posted by Char Jansen on 10/24/10

For the Blind Man in the Dark Room Looking for the Black Cat that isn’t there

by Jane Mae Howard
        We can be demanding about the understandings, complications and paradoxes that art work can offer, perusing them as an invitation for confusion, a probe for meaning and explanation, to try and ascertain problems beginning with ‘why?’ This can be an exhaustive and extensive bottomless pit of questions and answers that can then be queried all over again. The ICA’s group show -the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there takes its’ title from a quote by... [more]
Posted by Jane Mae Howard on 12/20/09

Rosalind Nashashibi at the ICA

by Alex Field
          Rosalind Nashashibi won the coveted Beck’s Futures prize at the ICA in 2003, and has now returned for her largest exhibition to date. Spread over two floors of the gallery, the exhibit showcases both photographic works and video pieces, demonstrating Nashashibi’s modern take on the artist as an observer of society, whereby she is both seeing and unseen. The lower gallery houses four works; a photographic series entitled In Rehearsal (2009) and three very different films. In... [more]
Posted by Alex Field on 10/12/09

Bored. Old. Tired. Horse

by Benjamin Ferguson
A jostle for priorities appears to be going on at the ICA’s summer show, between public relevancy and the investigative capabilities of display. Whilst navigating its way around the curatorial dangers of showing avant-garde artwork in a free museum on The Mall, seems to spread itself too thinly across the chronological range that’s been set out for itself. Nonetheless, like all essays whose hoard is slightly too broad, this exhibition touches upon and encourages... [more]
Posted by Benjamin Ferguson on 7/17/09

From the Sawdust Review:

In these and in his re-presentations of propaganda films, Snyder is focused on the materiality of information - both how it can be molded to fit one's ends and how it exists not just as ideas and images, but bits of celluloid and silicon. This interrelation of the diverse pieces of the exhibition is what ultimately saves it from being a little too varied and sparse, and eventually allows it to live up to the photojournalism guidelines quoted in "Casio, Seiko, Sheraton, Toyota, Mars": "You... [more]
Posted by SawdustReview on 3/14/09

from The Sawdust Review: Sean Snyder at ICA

Sean Snyder, IndexInstitute of Contemporary Arts12 Feb - 19 April 09 MO Berger, The Sawdust There is nothing too exciting here, but that does not mean it is not worth checking out. The way the ICA gallery spaces are set up - cinema, café, and bookshop interspersed - they are on two different levels, which maybe makes it difficult to maintain that exclusive focus on the art while walking from the downstairs gallery to the next but which, it turns out, echoes... [more]
Posted by SawdustReview on 3/15/09
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