Friday 6 September 2013

ICA: Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper)

Mall chillin'.
The Institute for Contemporary Arts (or ICA, as it likes to be called) is by no means a secret amid London's ever-blooming cultural backdrop. Nevertheless, it's amazing how many folk march pass this artsy hub, housed in a beautiful building on central London's The Mall. Just off Trafalgar Square, en route to Buckingham Palace.

It's a great little haunt, with its well-stocked bookstore, cute cinema, bustling bar (particularly of an evening) and thought-provoking melange of art pieces. As a student, too, membership is well worth it, costin' £10 a year. Perks include £3 cinema screenings every Tuesday, big fat discounts, free admission to a wealth of exhibitions and eeeeven a cheeky price deduction on entrance to BFI Southbank and IMAX. Win-win.

Come in, why don't ya.

Anyway. Currently running in the lower and upper galleries is a (in my opinion) cracking exhibition entitled Keep Your Timber Limber, which also has plenty of super interesting events surrounding its overriding themes and concerns. Zooming in on eight artists renowned for their often provocative and socially/politically/culturally transgressive works (namely Judith Bernstein, Tom of Finland, George Grosz, Margaret Harrison, Mike Kuchar, Cary Kwok, Antonio Lopez and Marlene McCarty), the collection consists solely of illustrations, all of which teeter on the brink of social palatability. 

Disclaimer: the display definitely isn't for the prudish. Addressing issues "ranging from the politics of gender and sexuality to feminist issues, war, censorship and race" (source link), the works are brazen, bold, laden with sexual imagery. They're an unabashed breach of and grappling with social "norms". Personally, I like that. 

Throughout its run (19 June - 8 September 2013), I've popped along to a debate on counter culture, a workshop named Honk! If Your Body's Not Yours and a bunch of other talks and film screenings. Really good stuff. Get down to The Mall.

Last night's venture.

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