Tabish Khan the @LondonArtCritic picks his top 5 Photography and Video exhibitions to see in London in September. Each one comes with a concise review to help you decide whether it’s for you. Those looking for more art should see last week’s top 5 of museum exhibitions – where all remain open to visit.
A World in Common: Contemporary African photography @ Tate Modern
This exhibition begins with a powerful statement on colonialism and slavery, and it keeps the quality high throughout as it offers up the different perspectives that African photographers off across the diverse practices of 36 artists. Whether it be looking at the impacts of mining on the landscape or celebrating an all Muslim biker gang, there’s impressive works in every gallery. Until 14 January.
Civilization: the way we live now @ Saatchi Gallery
What is the impact of billion of humans on this planet? Whether this be monstrous oil platforms or a giant market filled with haggling customers, this show explores the multiple ways in which we have shaped the world. It’s full of moving images such as thousands at a mosque in collective prayer to the sad separation of individuals by walls. Until 17 September.
Landscape Trauma & Mandy Barker: Plastic Soup @ Centre for British Photography
Our landscapes bear the scars of our presence, whether it be sites where nuclear waste has been dumped, paths leading to concentration camps, or an inverted landscape to show how our lives were flipped by the pandemic. The world’s oceans aren’t immune either as Mandy Barker has photographed the colourful items of plastic pollution found there – it’s both beautiful and horrific. Until 24 September.
Black Venus: Reclaiming Black Women in Visual Culture @ Somerset House
Challenging the harmful stereotypes about black women in Western history, this photography heavy exhibition highlights the objectification of figures in history, contrasted with contemporary artists that are reclaiming agency over how black bodies are perceived. It’s a vital step in acknowledging and empowering black beauty in the face of historical oppression. Until 24 September.
Memories of a dead poet @ Illusionaries, Canary Wharf
Immersive art experiences are everywhere but rarely do they deliver original art and that’s not the case with Illusionaries with a novel narrative that unfolds over three rooms. It is on the expensive side, but it’s the type of immersive art experiences that should be explored further. Until 24 September.
A world in common photo: Lucy Green. Civilization photo: Mike Kelley. Landscape trauma photo: Mitra Tabrizian with Alan Harris. Black Venus photo: Tim Bowditch. Photography and Video Exhibitions to see in London