ICA London Announces Highlights For Their Ambitious 2015 Programme

ICA London

The ICA has announced highlights for their 2015 programme. As one of the UK’s key cultural organisation responding to contemporary concerns, they will present a series of solo exhibitions by emerging international and British artists, curated exhibitions and ambitious events that focus on our relationship to mass digital culture, alongside an experimental and independent Cinema programme. Together the programme offers a lens upon contemporary art and culture across the full range of creative platforms from photography, film, and art to debates and performance.  After a successful 2014 programme which focused in part on the ICA’s extraordinarily rich history, the 2015 programme will continue to reflect the organisation’s legacy in shaping British culture through Reading Room displays.
Solo presentations by acclaimed emerging artists Dor Guez, Eloise Hawser, Prem Sahib and Zhang Ding will be the first institutional UK exhibitions of their work. These four solo presentations continue to frame contemporary practice across a wide variety of media but with a greater emphasis on enabling new work throughout 2015. Dor Guez (3 February – 12 April) will reflect on the military history and current political climate of the Middle East through the creative practices of individual soldiers from the region. As an artist of Christian Palestinian and Jewish Tunisian descent, living in Jaffa, he is considered a leading and critical voice from the Middle East whose practice questions contemporary art’s role in narrating unwritten histories.  
Young contemporary sculptor, Eloise Hawser (30 June – 6 September), is primarily concerned with the materials and production of commonplace industrial components and objects. The ICA will show new works alongside recent pieces. Also the focus of a major new presentation is London-based artist Prem Sahib (15 September – 15 November). A palpable sense of the body and human touch permeates in Sahib’s work but will be represented through sculpture and paintings that are non-figurative and sparse in colour for his ICA show.
Chinese artist Zhang Ding (5 October – 31 October) will transform the ICA Theatre, creating an installation which is both an exhibition and a stage set to recreate rock concerts that have historical significance. The artist will make a selection of key music events throughout history to be presented as a live performance, as well as creating a new environmental installation.
Group show, Looks, brings together international artists Juliette Bonneviot, Andrea Crespo, Morag Keil, Wu Tsang andStewart Uoo and explores how identity is increasingly constructed, performed and challenged via mass digital culture, with particular reference to gender and sexuality.
Fear of Missing Out is a 21st century talks summit looking at defining the influences of the digital age in 2015. Berlin-based artist and writer Hito Steyerl will chair the summit which will spotlight a wide ranging series of topics from space travel to avatars.Examining the progression and trajectory of technological, economic, ecological and cultural advances, speakers from diverse disciplines contribute to the understanding of our digital age, its positive and negative implications and the dichotomous relationship both positions share.
ICA will present a major solo exhibition of fashion photographer Viviane Sassen, who has parallel successful careers within the worlds of fashion photography and contemporary art. “From her wooden sleep…” is a major new work by German-born Canadian artist-curator Ydessa Hendeles. In”From her wooden sleep…”, Hendeles draws together disparate elements to compose a tightly choreographed tableau vivant.
ICA Off-Site programming continues internationally with ICA Off-Site: Hong Kongese following special projects at the Grand Hyatt and Asia Society which coincided with Art Basel in Hong Kong in 2014. There will also be a tour of several Fox Reading Room exhibitions to regional museums and galleries in the UK. The partnering venues within the touring network include: Huddersfield Art Gallery; The Phoenix, Leicester; The Potteries Museum and Galleries, Stoke-on-Trent; and Wednesbury Museum and Gallery, Sandwell. Working in collaboration with these institutions, as well as with local libraries, cinemas, universities, colleges and schools through its learning and participation events, the programme sets out to improve public access to, and awareness of, high-quality culture, contemporary arts and emerging practice acro ss the U K. ICA’s Artists’ Moving Image Network will extend further across the UK with the addition of Spike Island in Bristol. A new initiative for 2015 will see further collaborations with several key European institutions including The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and 21er haus in Vienna on a wider programme of artists’ moving image screenings and events.
The spotlight on the ICA’s early history continues with focused archival displays First Happenings: Adrian Henri in the ‘60s and ‘70s and FB55 following the success of this year’s presentations of Richard Hamilton’s installations and an Off-Site project at the ICA’s former home on Dover Street, as well as the publication of a book devoted to the ICA’s first twenty years.
The ICA will continue its ongoing commitment to provide a venue for experimental and contemporary currents in music and performance arts. Working in partnership over the course of 2015 with a variety of independent organisations including Boiler Room, Blackest Ever Black, NTS, Mute and Warp amongst others, the ICA aims to present unique projects that reflect recent current (and future) artistic, social, and technical developments.
In Spring the ICA presents a retrospective of the films of Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to his extraordinary documentary The Act of Killing follows a family who, after viewing the previous film, discovered and confronted the former right-wing militiamen who murdered their son during Indonesia’s anti-communist purges of the mid-1960s. The ICA presents a retrospective of the work of Luis Buñuel (13 – 22 November 2015), which spans the very beginning of his career with arguably the most poignant and famous short film ever made, Un Chien Andalou (1929), through his Mexican period, to his latest works and legendary films such as Belle de Jour (1967), Tristana (1970) and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972).
The ICA’s cinema programme continues to screen rare artists’ film, support independent releases and partner with leading film festivals. A number of successful festivals return and continue including the London Short Film Festival (9 – 18 January 2015), The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme (30 January – 5 February 2015) and the Chantal Akerman complete retrospective presented by A Nos Amours.

Image credit: Stewart Uoo, “You Can Come And Get It”, 2014, Courtesy Galerie Buchholz