July Diary: Where to go and what to see

1 July 2016

Midsummer came and went and we are facing a long winter of discontent following last week’s news about the referendum. While the sun still shines and the days are long, what better way to distract yourself from current events than getting out to a show or exhibition? We’ve compiled a list of what’s going on around the world, where we hope you can find some inspiration and entertainment. Enjoy!


Studio Ghibli: Spirited Away

Studio Ghibli Exhibition
Tokyo City View Observation Deck Sky Gallery, 7 July – 11 September

Studio Ghibli has announced a new exhibition in Tokyo, whilst their renowned museum is closed for maintenance and a refit. The exhibition will include a wide variety of printed paraphernalia, proposals and plans, from the entire 30-year catalogue of films, alongside pre-Ghibli work Nausicäa of the Valley of the Winds, some of their lesser known shorts, and their recent co-production with French animation studio Wild Bunch, The Red Turtle which won the Special Prize in the Un Certain Regard Selection at Cannes.

Paths to Utopia
1 July – 1 October, Somerset House, London

Utopia celebrations roll on apace over at London’s Somerset House, with 1 July heralding the opening of Paths to Utopia, a collaboration with King’s College London that presents new works from artists, performers, architects, technologists and King’s College London academics inspired by the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s book Utopia.

Marcus Harvey: Inselaffe
Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, 16 July — 16 October 

British artist Marcus Harvey, best known for his portrait of Moors murderer Myra Hindley, has his largest UK show to date. Inselaffe (a lightheartedly derogatory German term for Brits meaning “Island Monkeys”) will feature the artists sculptures, which forge emblems of Britishness, such as military memorabilia and joke shop knick knacks, into collages of historial figures like Margaret Thatcher.

Bruce Conner: It’s All True
MoMA, New York, 3 July — 2 October

Bruce Conner was one of the foremost American artists of the postwar era, known as an early practitioner of found-object assemblage and a pioneer of avant-garde filmmaking. This is the first complete retrospective exhibition of the artist’s 50 year career, bringing together 250 works mixing film, photograms, prints, drawings and performance. 

Laurie Anderson: Heart of A Dog
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, 11 July

Well here’s an opportunity that doesn’t come round too often: getting to watch a film made especially for dogs, with dogs, by performance art legend Laurie Anderson. It’s something of a poignant event – Anderson dedicated the film to her late husband Lou Reed (who floats almost unseen throughout), Heart of a Dog takes, as a jumping off point, the recent passing of Anderson’s beloved terrier Lolabelle. Touching on what her love for her dog means to her by processing her childhood, music, and her life as an artist, Anderson draws upon her childhood experiences and political beliefs as she lovingly tries to help Lolabelle’s spirit face the immediate tribulations it will experience immediately after death.

The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men
Cheim & Read, 547 West 25th Street, New York, until 2 September

This show is all about girls looking at boys, and immortalising them in art. It’s a super-strong line-up of 32 female artists, including Diane Arbus, Lynda Bengalis, Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, Jenny Holzer, Chantal Joffe, Sarah Lucas, Cindy Sherman and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Work spans painting, photography, and sculpture. The gallery says the show explores “the problem of a relatively simple question: would we react differently to these works if they were made by a man?”


William Eggleston, Untitled (Sumner, Mississippi, Cassidy Bayou in background), 1971

William Eggleston
National Portrait Gallery, London, 21 July – 23 October

American photographer William Eggleston is considered the godfather of colour photography and is known for his poetic, vivid images. This show at the National Portrait Gallery is said to be the most comprehensive display of his photography and over 100 works are on display, surveying Eggleston’s career from the 1960s to the present day. 

Cité de la Mode et du Design, Paris, 13 July – 21 August

This summer the city of Paris is toying with us by putting on PLAY! at the Cité de la Mode et du Design on the River Seine. 20 designers, artists, photographers, visual practitioners, filmmakers and architects have explored the theme of games. From confetti to musical cabins, food workshops to mock-construction sites, the broad range of activities and art on show is bound to tickle the fancy of everyone.

Brown’s London Art Weekend
Mayfair and St. James’s, London 1 – 3 July

More than 70 galleries and auction houses in Mayfair and St. James’s districts of London will be opening their doors for free between 1 – 3 July for Brown’s London Art Weekend. Coordinated by the Mayfair Hotel, a series of tours, talks, walks and events accompany the busy schedule at the likes of Aktis Gallery, Bankrobber, Fine Art Society, Gasogian and Victoria Miro Mayfair. 


Yinka Shonibare: RA Family Album, 2015. (Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and James Cohan Gallery, New York © David Parry)

Royal Academy: Burlington Gardens Festival
Burlington Gardens, London 2 July

The Royal Academy will be pedestrianising Burlington Gardens for the day to hold a day-long street arts festival directly in front of Yika Shonbiare’s much publicised RA Family Album design currently adorning the Royal Academy building. The event will include a series of installations, workshops and performances hosted by Yinka Shonbiare and Brazen Bunch Collective, alongside live music and street food. The event will take place 12 – 6pm and is free to attend. 

Art Night
Various Locations around London, 2 July from 6pm

Institute of Contemporary Arts has organised a new free annual art event in London, transforming many of the capital’s most famous and historic sites with installations and performance pieces for the night.

The inaugural offering, on 2 July, will include Joan Jonas and Jason Moran’s new Reanimation in the monumental gothic architecture of Southwark Cathedral, projection of Cecilia Bengolea’s new video series in the East Piazza of Covent Garden’s Apple Market, Laure Prouvost After After installations at Admiralty Arch and Koo Joeng A’s audiovisual installation at a disused jubilee platform at Charring Cross station. While all the events on the night are free to attend, advance booking for many of the installations and performances is advised.

In Their Time
Jaguar Shoes, Shoreditch, London, 7 July – 3 August

Filmmakers Richie Georgie (George Daniell and Richard Round-Turner) are exhibiting their five short documentary films at Jaguar Shoes in Shoreditch. Each peers into the life of a little-know sporting hero looking back at their heyday, life and achievement. “The excitement for us was the discovery of little told stories, some which have been forgotten and some which were never told. The sports stars we have met so far were champions before mass media, they have stories of greatness which were never broadcast widely,” say the filmmakers.

Holloway born and raised boxer Johnny Howard, champion cyclist Maurice Burton whose professional career began at the Herne Hill velodrome, Olympic gold medal winning bobsledder Tony Nash and highly-regarded lawn bowls player Margaret Johnston make up the first four films, while George Kerr the judoka rounds out the series.

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