News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th September 2000

Commencing

Star Trek: Federation Science is an exhibition originally created by The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in conjunction with Paramount Pictures, whose appearance at the venerable Victorian institution that used to be the Science Museum takes its "Science Lite" visitor attraction role to a new level. Using costumes, props and videos made by cast members of various incarnations of the Star Trek franchise, it relates science fiction to science fact. The exhibition is divided into various themed areas, including: The Bridge - where visitors can sit at one of four interactive computer stations solving problems relating to orbits, velocity, navigation and remote sensing, just like Captains Kirk and Picard. Engineering - which examines questions of propulsion, gravity, magnetism and radiation in relation to antimatter, warp drives, cosmic rays, rockets and gyroscopes. The Sick Bay - which looks at the human immune system and the way antibodies react to fight off "invaders", and how the equivalents of a tricorder measure pulse rate, heartbeat and blood oxygen levels. The Transporter Room - where visitors can beam themselves to another world, gain a sense of walking on the Moon, or transform themselves into a Klingon. Members of the Enterprise "crew" will be on hand to guide visitors. This is the method by which the Science Museum hopes to Live Long And Prosper. Science Museum until 22nd April.

The National Botanic Garden Of Wales is a Millennium project which opened in July and saw 100,000 visitors within the first two weeks. The Great Glasshouse, its centrepiece building, has been nominated for Britain's most prestigious architectural award the Stirling Prize, given by the Royal Institute of British Architects to the building which is judged to have made the greatest impact in the last year. The garden is the location for The Biodiversity Fair, which aims to champion the richness of life on earth by involving children and adults in activities, games and challenges. Among the many attractions on offer, visitors will be able to draw with charcoal, print using natural materials, play nature awareness games, listen to story telling, join a clay workshop, learn to make rope, understand woodland skills and build dormice boxes. There will be accompanying exhibitions mounted by organisations with an interest in wildlife, coasts, seas, woodlands, wetlands, pastures, mountains and moorlands. The National Botanic Garden Of Wales 30th September.

Apocalypse - Beauty And Horror In Contemporary Art raises the stakes in the battle for the modern art audience, in an attempt to outflank the hugely successful Tate Modern. It is the direct descendent of the 1997 Sensation exhibition, which virtually invented Brit Art, launching the careers of Damien Hirst (pickled shark), Chris Ofili (elephant dung) and Tracey Emin (love tent). There are thirteen installations, paintings, sculptures and multi media works, the majority of which have never been seen in public before. Described as "a story of extremes" it concentrates on themes inspired by the arrival of the 21st century. It is a contemporary, secular interpretation of the biblical story of St John the Divine, which contains elements ranging from the horrors of genocide to the beauties of Utopia. Deliberately controversial, the most disgust/discussion provoking works are: Hell - a monumental installation by Jake and Dinos Chapman depicting the horrors of 20th century genocide. Flex - a video by Chris Cunningham, the cult pop video maker whose work has never previously been exhibited in a gallery, which includes explicit sex scenes featuring two porn stars. La Nona Ora - Maurizio Cattelan's sculpture depicting Pope Paul II being struck by a meteorite. Other contributing artists are: Darren Almond, Angus Fairhurst, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Mariko Mori, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Richard Prince, Gregor Schneider, Wolfgang Tillmans and Luc Tuymans. Royal Academy of Arts until 15th December.

Continuing

FaceOn brings together recent work from international photographic artists who explore the relationship between themselves and their subjects in video and installation works, colour photographic tableaux, performance documentation film and family portraiture style. Philip Lorca DiCorcia has photographed the male prostitutes on Santa Monica Boulevard and produced a catalogue of wares. Jennifer Bornstein befriends strangers and takes group snapshots with them. Adam Chodzko offers a video of interviews with now ageing orgy extras from Ken Russell's film The Devils, reflecting on their 15 minutes of fame (and shaving their heads). A symposium with the curators and some of the artists on 25th October will explore issues raised in the exhibition. Site Gallery, Sheffield until 28th October.

Gerrit Dou: Rembrandt's First Pupil although little known now, was probably the most famous Dutch painter of his day, and this exhibition places him back on the list of household names with Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals. Remaining in Leiden when his master moved to Amsterdam, Dou established a school specialising in small-scale, highly-detailed and jewel-like images. He was fascinated by trompe l'oeil effects, often setting his scenes behind illusionistic curtains or stone niches, as if his paintings were windows opening onto a miniature world. Dou is one of the great painters of light in the history of art. He painted a variety of subjects, including portraiture, still-life and religious images, but is most renowned for scenes of daily life - mothers with children, painters in their studios, scholars, musicians, astronomers, schoolmasters and shopkeepers - packed with details, many of which carry symbolic messages. This exhibition, which has been organised by the National Gallery of Art Washington, bring together thirty-five of the finest of Dou's paintings from all periods in his career. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 19th November.

Spitfire Summer marks the sixtieth anniversary of the events of 1940 when Britain stood alone, supported only by the Commonwealth and a handful of governments in exile, facing the threat of imminent invasion by German forces. Paintings, posters, photographs, newsreels, radio broadcasts, letters, diaries, newspapers and personal mementoes chronicle the turning point of the Second World War. The exhibition starts with Winston Churchill's appointment as Prime Minister, illustrated by the typescript of his first speech to the nation as leader; and moves through the Dunkirk evacuation, with exhibits such as a blood-stained flag used as an emergency bandage by the crew of the Massey Shaw; the Battle of Britain, including a love letter written by a pilot to his fiancée shortly before he was killed; and the Blitz with shelter life and bomb damage reflected in the works of artists and photographers such as Henry Moore and Cecil Beaton. Full details from the Imperial War Museum web site via the link opposite. Imperial War Museum until 26th November.

Our Finest Hour is a new audio-visual presentation of the events leading up to the British victory over the German Luftwaffe commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Battle Of Britain. It mixes a narrated story with video, sound and light to give a realistic impression of the air war over South East England, and the bombing of London in the Blitz. Britain's National Museum of Aviation is located at the former RAF Hendon, a fighter station during the Battle of Britain and a transport station for the remainder of World War II. The collection of over seventy aeroplanes provides visitors with a close-up look at every type of aircraft, from the bi-planes at the beginning of the last century, through the Spitfire and Lancaster Bomber of World War II, to the Harrier and Tornado of the modern RAF. The Royal Air Force Museum continuing.

City Soldiers is a permanent exhibition in one of the three new galleries which opened in July as part of a Millennium project by the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside. It tells the story of The King's Regiment and its links with Liverpool since 1881, giving an insight into regimental life and duties in times of peace and war, as well as what it is like to be married to a soldier. Using video, audio and the museum's collection of objects, visitors get a glimpse of life on patrol in the colonies, experiences of the two world wars and the life of the Regiment today. In the battle gallery a drum beat fills the air and the floor vibrates with the roar of cannon, giving a feel of life in the front line. Exhibits include the wrecked remains of regimental silver hit by a shell in the Siege of Ladysmith during the Boer War. The exhibition also reveals how today's Regimental ceremonies and traditions are rooted in the past, and explores the impact of war on the lives of soldiers and their families through personal mementoes and commemorative medals. The Museum Of Liverpool Life continuing.

Heaven And Hell And Other Worlds Of The Dead is a Millennium inspired exhibition which confronts the question "What happens after we die?" It explores the diversity of views and beliefs about the afterlife, using material from around the world over the last 6,000 years. Exhibits include Egyptian mummies, Tibetan temple hangings, Mexican sugar skulls, a mask of Princess Diana, a soul boat, a passport to hell, and even a Ghanaian coffin in the shape of a Mercedes-Benz. Companions for the dead have been a popular theme throughout history, with Incas having their servants buried alive with them, Mexicans taking spirit guide dogs, and Singaporeans still supplied with paper versions of anything they might need - including mobile phones. From the local culture, and on a more practical level, there are corpse collars (like modern day bicycle locks) which were used to prevent body snatching by the likes of Burke and Hare. Royal Museum Edinburgh until 11th February.

Concluding

JMW Turner: The Sun Is God is a new vision of Turner's work, examining the idea that he was a pioneer of abstract art, curated by Mark Francis, formerly of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Turner's last words were reported to have been "The sun is god", and the qualities of light gained an increasing importance through his career, as his work became more abstract. Francis has selected thirty oil paintings and watercolours from the Turner Bequest, the majority of which date from the 1830s and 1840s, and presents them unframed, with no protective glass, on white walls, and in natural light - much as they would have looked in Turner's studio. The centrepiece is the apocalyptic The Angel Standing In The Sun. Tate Liverpool is surrounded by water, and the effect of showing these paintings under these conditions, in the ever-changing, reflected daylight of the Gallery's top floor, is an experiment in seeing Turner's work "as new". The absence of artificial light has a radical effect on the pictures, and as the light changes during the day, so do the paintings - seas rise, clouds thicken and sunsets gleam. Tate Liverpool until 1st October.

creating SPARKS is a month long festival co-ordinated by the British Association, whose aim is to promote the cross fertilisation of arts and sciences. It is a collaboration of the main cultural institutions in South Kensington: Imperial College, The Natural History Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal College of Art, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Geographical Society, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Leading figures in the sciences and arts are taking part in individual and continuing performances, experiments, workshops, talks, conferences and exhibitions, with many interactive elements in which visitors can become involved. Highlights include Devious Devices - specially commissioned automata inspired by Terry Gilliam, Walking With Woodlice - helping visitors to discover biodiversity in their own back gardens, Big Bazaar - carnival and street theatre in Exhibition Road, and interactive games exploring genetic modification. Further information from the creating SPARKS web site via the link opposite. South Kensington, London until 30th September.

London Open House, the annual scheme to allow the public free access to architecturally interesting but usually private buildings across the capital, boasts a record number of locations this year. Over 550 buildings both historic and new will include Dulwich Picture, Courtauld Institute and Royal Academy galleries, Geffrye, London and Wellington museums, British and Peckham librararies, Banqueting House, Chiswick House, Royal Courts of Justice, Aldwych Underground Station, Freemasons Hall, Great Eastern Hotel, Lloyd's, No 1 Poultry, Channel 4, Royal Opera House, and BBC Bush House, Broadcasting House and Television Centre. There are also 15 different conducted walks taking place at various locations over the course of the weekend. In 1999 over 370,000 visits were made during the two days. Entrance is free, and some venues include accompanying special events. To obtain a directory call 09001 600 061 or see the London Open House web site via the link from the Other Festivals section of ExhibitionsNet. Across London on 23rd and 24th September.