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Three to see: London

From Tate Modern’s first ever live exhibition to the Barbican’s deconstruction of postwar Japanese architecture

by José da Silva, Emily Sharpe, Louisa Buck  |  24 March 2017
Three to see: London
A still from Wu Tsang's Fred Moten in Girl Talk (2015), who is one of the participating artists in Tate Modern's first ever live exhibition (Image courtesy of the artist, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin; © the artist)
Tate Modern’s “first ever live exhibition” will unite “old friends with new friends”, says the museum’s director Frances Morris. BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days, Six Nights (24 March-2 April) opens today and, as the title suggests, will be on for only ten days. One of the “old friends” Morris is referring to is the veteran Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya, who has worked with Ryuichi  Sakamoto and Shiro Takatani to produce a new commission made of mist installed outside the museum, which was already attracting excited school children during yesterday’s press view. The “new friends” are a number of multidisciplinary artists who have created works including installations, performances, film, music and choreography that are installed or will take place in the museum’s subterranean Tanks galleries. From the Dominican artist Isabel Lewis’s immersive installation featuring hanging plants, dancers, scents, food and drink to live sets celebrating rave culture by the Italian artist and musician Lorenzo Senni, the show looks to be a lively affair. 

The Barbican’s latest exhibition (until 25 June) is a carefully selected survey of domestic architecture in Japan from the end of the Second World War, when the country’s architect’s sought to rebuild its razed cities, to the present day. The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 presents drawings, photographs and models of residences designed by the great and good of Japanese architecture, including Tadao Ando and Toyo It. Visitors can tour two full-scale replicas, including Moriyama House, the Tokyo home of a “21st century-urban hermit” designed by SANNA co-founder Ryue Nishizawa that consists of ten separate buildings with heights ranging from one to three stories.   

Simon Ling is known for making richly executed paintings that depict his ordinary direct surroundings: corners of shabby buildings, details of inconsequential shop fronts, milk crates, children’s plastic toys or patches of waste land. These are often painted en plein air, with Ling considering the very act of perception itself, and all that this entails, as much the subject as the object or scene in front of him. In the five recent paintings at Greengrassi (until 19 April) it is a pile of logs in the yard outside Ling’s studio that is subjected to his very particular form of intense, emotionally engaged scrutiny. The longer you look at these stacks, the more you notice how often subtle re-arrangements and shifts in viewpoint mean that recognisable forms recur, but in different guises. In this compelling new body of work, the subject may be banal, but the result is anything but.

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