A 16-piece orchestral rendition of Biggie’s Ready To Die? Yes please
Words Cecilia Mezzi
Hito Steyerl: Actual Reality OS
German filmmaker, visual talent and writer Hito Steyerl has become the first female artist to top the annual ArtReview Power 100 list and will now have her work showcased in one of the most innovative art exhibitions of the year. Examining the social and political implications of innovation, this project is founded on the premise that ‘power is the necessary condition for any digital technology’. Steyerl will extensively analyse the local area surrounding the Serpentine Galleries, recorded as one of the most socially uneven areas in Europe, with viewers prompted to view the results through an augmented reality app dubbed Actual Reality OS. Life imitates art?
From 6 of March, Free entry
Ballet Black: Triple Bill at Barbican
Pointe ballet shoes in colours matching Asian and black skin tones were crafted in the UK for the first time at the end of 2018. Diversity in dance collective Ballet Black is the brains behind the initiative, with shoe manufacturer Freed overseeing the production side. This month, the company will bring a fusion of ballet, African dance and singing to the Barbican, where an all-black and Asian dance ensemble will perform a mix of classical choreography and new, boundary-pushing set pieces. Forming the second half of the bill, Ingoma is a specially commissioned piece by dancer and choreographer Mthuthuzeli November, which imagines the struggles of black South African miners and their families in 1946, the year 60,000 of them took courageous strike action.
14—17 March, tickets from £16
Multi-venue and multi-sensory festival Re-Textured brings together experimental electronic music, brutalist architecture and innovative lighting installations for an arresting new party experience. London’s Brutalist and Industrial buildings form a backdrop to a schedule of stimulating audio-visual events, from E1 London to Walthamstow Assembly Hall via Southbank Centre, 180 the Strand and Village Underground. A celebration of the relationship between experimental electronic music and its urban surroundings, headlined by the likes of Nina Kravitz, Aïsha Devi, Alva Noto and many more.
28th – 31st March, tickets £10+
The Festival of New Masculinity
Men’s media brand The Book of Man is the organisation behind The Festival of New Masculinity, an event exploring the inner lives of men. Seeking to open up a dialogue about male identity and vulnerability, the festival comprises 10 events hosted across a selection of East London venues, from live podcast recordings to special guest panels, a photography exhibition, grooming lounges and more. With suicide remaining the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 in the UK, the initiative will address a plethora of timely questions. Hear Professor Green discuss the importance of creativity in relation to mental health, Book of Man columnist Megan Hine on reconnecting with the natural world, or panel discussions on approaches to fatherhood.
Several events during all month, tickets from £7
WOW – Women of the World Festival at Southbank Centre
The WOW Foundation – which works to build a gender-equal world through creative events and festivals – has revealed its stellar programme for 2019, including talks with legendary activist and writer Angela Davis and the launch of a major new international anthology New Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby. The festival has to date reached over 2 million people in 17 countries on 5 continents, making WOW the biggest festival dedicated to connecting the stories of women and girls to engender global change. Catch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie interviewing Reni Eddo-Lodge, author of the acclaimed Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, or hear renowned journalist, activist and author Naomi Klein discuss the present political landscape with WOW founder Jude Kelly.
8-9 March, tickets from £18
The Notorious B.I.G: An Orchestral Rendition of Ready To Die
20 years after his death, Notorious B.I.G’s iconic debut studio album (and the only one released during his lifetime) ‘Ready to Die’ is one of the seminal masterpieces of hip hop history. Subject to mass critical acclaim, the album achieved quadruple platinum sales and has since been drawn on by a multitude of contemporary artists. Now Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes venue will host a unique reworking of the album, with a 16-piece orchestra performing the 1994 work. A classical twist on an East Coast classic.
Friday 8 March, free entry
Nan Goldin Documentary Screening at MOTH Club
Master of visual storytelling Goldin draws no distinction between her life and work – instead, her ‘societal portraiture’ holds a mirror up to her life and those in it. The cult photographer prefers to capture fleeting encounters rather than stage major thematic projects, using her raw style and technical mastery to uncover communities living on the margins of society. DEEPER INTO MOVIES presents a selection of rarely seen documentaries exploring Goldin’s prolific body of work, examining its uncompromising honesty and documentation of love, fluid sexuality, glamour, beauty, death, intoxication and pain.
Childish Gambino at The O2
GRAMMY, Golden Globe and Emmy-Award winning artist, actor and producer Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino comes to London’s o2 this month. Glover became the first ever hip hop artist to win double-whammy Grammies for ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Record of the Year’ with his track ‘This Is America’, which references the everyday prejudices faced by black people, from the Jim Crow pose to Minstrel face. Critically acclaimed R&B singer H.E.R. will join the rap sensation on stage for a performance not to be missed.
24-25 March, tickets from £43
ECCE MULIER at Dorothy Circus Gallery
On International Women’s Day, Dorothy Circus Gallery presents ECCE MULIER, the first UK solo exhibition by Tehran-based Iranian artist Afarin Sajedi. Italian Renaissance is a key influence for Sajedi, most notably in her realistic portraits of ‘gentlewomen’. Simultaneously, the intense and ironic large-scale paintings evoke a host of modern female characters, from the films of Lars von Trier to Quentin Tarantino characters. A poignant exploration of female representation, motherhood and the relationship between humanity and the creative process.
8 March – 6 April, free entry