Monocolumn

A daily bulletin of news & opinion

16 January 2015

ART: LONDON

A Crazed Flowering

Sprouting up at London’s Frameless Gallery this month is A Crazed Flowering, an exhibition inspired by JG Ballard’s novel The Crystal World, in which an adventurer attempts to navigate a jungle in Gabon that crystallises anything it comes into contact with. Works from three British artists have been collected for the exhibition: Freya Douglas-Morris’s oil-on-canvas paintings, Nicholas Johnson’s frenzied pieces depicting surreal flora and fauna, and raw sculptures and paintings from Lucy Whitford. All play with a sense of apocalyptic chaos and nature running wild in their work; properties that the serial provocateur Ballard might have been happy to see in full bloom.

Frameless Gallery, 20 Clerkenwell Green. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11.00-18.00. Until 24 January.
framelessgallery.com

FESTIVAL: SINGAPORE

Singapore Art Week

This weekend kick-starts the 2015 edition of Singapore Art Week, which boasts nearly 100 fairs, auctions and public screenings scattered across the island. While the week’s marquee event Art Stage Singapore 2015 does not begin until 21 January, Saturday’s Super 0 Openair boutique festival at Turnhouse Road – a day-long showcase of music, art, design and culture – is not to be missed. International DJs such as Köln’s Scharre and Ben Pearce from Manchester are supplying tunes alongside local acts such as Zig Zach and Mr Has. Meanwhile, festival-goers can tour art exhibitions on site and even buy a custom bicycle from Japanese bike company Tokyobike, who are exhibiting five models designed by creatives from the worlds of illustration, design, fashion and graffiti.

Super 0 Openair, 24 Turnhouse Road. Open Saturday, 14.00 until late. Singapore Art Week events take place across the city, see website for details. Until 25 January.
artweek.sg

SCULPTURE: DUBAI

Systems for a Score

Hearing is another form of seeing; this concept has inspired British sound-artists Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver for their residency at Dubai’s Tashkeel Studio and Gallery. The duo’s expansive exhibition Systems for a Score explores the relationship between visual language and sound through elaborate installations such as the “Drum Circle Sound” sculpture (pictured). The event’s central installation “A Model Studio” reimagines traditional Al Sadu weaving techniques – historically crafted by Bedouin women – by constructing sounds that reflect the repetition and structure of those woven patterns (while also utilising a modified 1980s Atari video-game console, puzzlingly). Sounds unusual, to say the least.

Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba 1. Open Saturday to Thursday, 08.00-22.00. Until 14 February.
tashkeel.org

THEATRE: NEW YORK

Under the Radar

New Yorkers can catch the closing performances of Under the Radar theatre festival this weekend. Now in its 11th year under the stewardship of the Public Theater arts organisation, it is a platform for new and offbeat international talent with a line-up that includes casts who have trod the boards from Argentina to Iran. Highlights this weekend include Mehr Theatre Group’s Timeloss telling the tale of a reunion of past lovers and Ike at Night, in which actor-comedian Ikechukwu Ufomadu hosts a live 80-minute late-night talk show with comedic interviews and music.

The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street. See website for performance times. Until 18 January.
undertheradarfestival.com

MUSIC: GLOBAL

Dan Mangan + Blacksmith: Club Meds

Vancouver’s Dan Mangan and his collaborative band Blacksmith return from a four-year brainstorming session with Club Meds and it’s been time well spent by the sounds of things. That title refers to society’s increasing tendency to try and treat psychological issues through dishing out medication rather than getting to the root of things but the heavy-hearted melodic pop across these 11 songs touches on many other moods: think of a less introspective Bon Iver and you’re nearly there. But you sense Mangan’s creepingly subtle missives on what’s wrong with the world might be just as much for keeping his own mind in a good place as it is for convincing anyone else’s. Perhaps it’s either that or the meds.

‘Club Meds’ is available now. Hear Dan Mangan in session on ‘Culture with Robert Bound’ on Monocle 24 this Monday at 19.00 London time.
danmanganmusic.com

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