The Monocle Minute

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 29 April 2017

Art

Art construction

London’s new gallery is as much about the building as the exhibitions it houses.

Ely House at 37 Dover Street was formerly the Albermarle, the first private club to allow women members, and the London seat of the bishopric of Ely, once the wealthiest in the land, but now it’s the home of Thaddaeus Ropac’s new London space. Ropac has galleries in Paris and Salzburg and knows a bit about old buildings in smart cities, as does architect Annabelle Selldorf, whose subtle modifications make it more than just a set of rooms. Work by Gilbert & George and Joseph Beuys and minimalist US sculpture (Serra, Judd, Flavin) are wonderful – but we knew that. Best of all is Oliver Beer, a young Brit based in Paris, whose “Composition for London” is a choral work of sound art that aims to find the “voice of the building”. The avant garde meets evensong beautifully. Bienvenue à Londres, monsieur Ropac.

Infrastructure

Image: Katie Kaars

Bang for your buck

Sydney’s massive waterfront-redevelopment project enters its latest phase.

This week Sydney unveiled plans for the latest phase of its Barangaroo project: a AUS$6bn (€4bn) development of a 22-hectare stretch of waterfront that once served as a major docking facility until the 1980s. Parts of the plot are already developed: the Barangaroo Reserve to the north, unveiled in 2015, is a popular park planted with more than 75,000 native trees and shrubs. The forthcoming phase will bring to completion Barangaroo South, the commercial and residential heart of the area. Once opened in 2021, it will feature a one-hectare park, a harbour cove, hotels, restaurants, the city’s first timber office block and a residential tower by Italian architect Renzo Piano. Finally, Barangaroo Central will extend the development’s residential, commercial and cultural remit. Once the entire urban-renewal project is completed in 2024 Sydney expects it to generate about AUS$2bn (€1.4bn) a year for the New South Wales economy and be home to some 24,000 permanent jobs.

Culture

Image bank

Phaidon’s new publication charts more than 800 years of good design.

From tube ads to social-media posts, we’re bombarded with imagery everyday. It’s refreshing, then, to thumb through a book with as unapologetically subjective a remit as Graphic: 500 Designs that Matter. The publication charts design milestones, from John Pasche’s outstretched tongue for the Rolling Stones to the Japanese flag and an unprepossessing packet of Lucky Strike cigarettes (plus a booty of obscure Swiss publications and the odd theatre poster). It’s a handsome but diminutive compendium of eye-catching, rabble-rousing and thought-provoking logos and layouts from the 14th century to present day (well, 2012 at least). Decent graphic design communicates more efficiently than words alone so you’re better off flicking through this clever number from Phaidon than reading about it.

Art

Image: Jacob Schmit

Open spaces

A new group exhibition is shining a light on the German capital’s urban landscape.

The Centre for Art and Public Space (ZKR) at the carefully restored Schloss Biesdorf in off-the-beaten-track Marzahn has given the former East Berlin neighbourhood an art destination that’s worth the trek. This week – just in time for Berlin Gallery Weekend – the ZKR opened “Between Spaces”, a group exhibition addressing the ways that politics and economics shape the urban environment, with a special focus on the groundbreaking work of Gordon Matta-Clark. The late New York artist made a name for himself in the 1970s by subverting urban architecture through installations such as “Splitting”, which involved slicing a suburban villa in half. At ZKR his work is set against that of contemporary international artists that include Isa Melsheimer and Tomás Saraceno. The second part of the exhibition shines a spotlight on Berlin’s urban landscape by placing artists from the former GDR in dialogue with young Berlin-based talent.

From Monocle 24

Politics at Tribeca

The Cinema Show

The selection at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival suggests that 2017’s festival season is likely to be dominated by politics. We assess the titles that are capturing attention with ‘New Republic’ magazine’s Alex Shephard.

From Monocle Films

Arizona’s date farms

The arid Yuma desert is home to a surprisingly plentiful crop. We meet the medjool-date technicians reaching for the skies in Arizona.

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