“Macbeth” with Rafe Fiennes, Yoko Ono exhibition and Chinese New Year: where to go and what to do in London in February

01.02.2024Ksenia Batyshkina

London has certainly earned the right to be called one of the most important cultural centers not only of the United Kingdom, but also of the world as a whole. Exhibitions of renowned artists, festivals and concerts are constantly opening here, and the local theater scene hosts star actors all year round. "ZIMA" has put together a February poster of events in London, which will help you not to get lost among the variety of events and not to miss the best ones.

Barbara Krueger “Thinking of you. Meaning me. I mean you” at Serpentine South Gallery.
(Barbara Kruger: Thinking of you. I mean me. I mean you.)

February 1 – March 17, 2024

Barbara Kruger is a major star of conceptual and political art, graphic designer and illustrator. Her black, red and white art came out of Rodchenko posters and constructivism. She distills the magazine image into a clean style, utilizing the aesthetics of typography, agitation and propaganda.

Barbara Krueger ironizes stereotypes and explores the direct impact of the Internet, advertising, television, and other media on human consciousness. Since the 1970s, her constant subject has been power and how public opinion is shaped and formatted. Sharp and relevant phrases from her posters want to use and speak even in everyday life.

Entangled Pasts at the Royal Academy of Arts

February 3 April 28, 2024

The Royal Academy’s first major exhibition this year will examine the history of the British Empire and the theme of an interconnected understanding of the past. The exhibition will contrast the work of contemporary English artists such as John Akomfrah or Sonia Boyce with old-school heroes Joshua Reynolds, Joseph Mallord William Turner and others, spanning the last 250 years of the United Kingdom and raising complex questions about enslavement, resistance, abolition and colonialism.

Aria Dean’s “Slaughterhouse” at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.
(Aria Dean: Abattoir)

February 8 May 5, 2024

The centerpiece of this young American artist’s debut exhibition in the UK is an immersive video journey through a 3D animated slaughterhouse. It is an exploration of the relationship between architecture, power and race, putting forward the idea that the abattoir represents “structured death as a cornerstone of modern life”.

“When Forms Come to Life: 60 Years of Restless Sculpture” at Hayward Gallery
(When Forms Come Alive: 60 Years of Restless Sculpture)

February 7 May 6, 2024

The exhibition will focus on organic forms (fluid, curved, convex, wobbly, lumpy) in sculpture and will bring together works by artists such as Franz West, Phyllida Barlow, Holly Hendry and Eva Fabregas. The viewers will be able to see numerous objects “haphazardly sprawling” from different parts of the gallery, made in different techniques and from different materials, some of which you will probably want to touch and half of which you will want to bypass.

Frank Auerbach “Coal Heads” at Courtauld Gallery
(Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads)

February 9 May 27, 2024

Frank Auerbach, along with masters such as Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, is considered one of Britain’s most important twentieth-century artists. The exhibition will present a series of works – portraits executed in charcoal technique and painted by Auerbach between 1950 and 1960. Art historians rate these early masterpieces by the artist as “magnificent and extremely vital.”

Soulscapes at Dulwich Picture Gallery

February 13-June 2, 2024

The exhibition will bring together over 30 outstanding works of art including painting, photography, film and collage from a host of recognized contemporary artists from the “African Diaspora”: Hurwin Anderson, Phoebe Boswell, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Kimathi Donkor, Isaac Julien, Marcia Michael, Monica de Miranda and others. The exhibition explores the human connection to the world around us, emphasizing the power of landscape art and reflecting on a sense of belonging, memory, joy, and transformation.

Yoko Ono: “Music of the Mind” at the Tate Modern
(Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind)

February 15 September 1, 2024

Yoko Ono has been called the most important conceptual artist and sometimes “the most famous of unknown artists” – so unflattering was Lennon’s opinion of her. Her absolutely samurai way in the art world translates the set of rules and norms of behavior of a true warrior in society – precision and hitting the heart.

Many believe that Ono is where the world’s conceptual art began. Her instructions, music, films, performances, and interactive works offer the viewer a new and incomparable experience – to be an artist yourself.

The Music of the Mind project will reveal to the audience the scale of the Japanese avant-garde artist’s personality, will give an opportunity to learn her genius and will reveal many new and unknown things about her personality. The exhibition will focus on key moments in Yoko’s career and will span more than seven decades, including the time she lived and worked in London from 1966 to 1971 – the same period when she met John.

“Time is Always Now” at the National Portrait Gallery
(The Time is Always Now)

February 22 May 19, 2024

The exhibition explores the theme of representation of black people in contemporary art, as well as the complexity and diversity of their lives. The work of renowned artists such as Michael Armitage, Lubainu Himid, Kerry James Marshall, and other brilliant members of the “African Diaspora” is filled with reflections on the place black people occupy in Western history. The works will give viewers not only the pleasure of contemplating form, but also deep social, psychological and cultural contexts.

“Sargent and Fashion” at Tate Britain.
(John Singer Sargent: Sargent and fashion)

February 22-July 7, 2024

John Singer Sargent was used to moving from country to country from childhood thanks to his American parents, who remained nomadic expatriates or “citizens of the world” until the end of their days. His first teacher of painting and drawing was his mother, who, like himself, was also a talented artist. Already in his youth, thanks to traveling Sargent knew several languages, and also studied the national costumes and fashion of different peoples, gaining many impressions and inspiration for his art.

The education of the artist turned out to be extremely versatile. Through his knowledge, he worked as a design stylist, using fashion as a powerful tool to vividly express a model’s individual traits. This skill defined his distinctive style of painting so appealing to aristocratic clients.

Edward Burtinsky “Extraction/Abstraction” at Saatchi Gallery
(Edward Burtynsky: Extraction/Abstraction)

February 14 May 6, 2024

This will be one of the largest exhibitions dedicated to the influential photographer Edward Burtinsky. The Canadian artist creates large-format industrial photographs that are included in the collections of over fifty major museums around the world, and explores the theme of the uneasy relationship between humans and the planet. His works often appear abstract before the eye and brain begin to discern the silhouettes depicted. At its best, Burtinsky’s work can be described as as beautiful as it is horrifying.

Opening of the Grant Zoological Museum after renovation

February 6, 2024

The museum is part of the University of London College and was established in 1828 by the British biologist Robert Edmund Grant, whose ideas are believed in scientific circles to have been a powerful influence on the young Charles Darwin. The institution’s collection includes more than 67,000 exhibits, many of which can truly be called amazing. In March 2023, the museum was closed for a massive £300k refurbishment and now, finally, in February of this year, this “temple of zoology” will reopen its doors to natural science fans and lovers of skeletons, beetles, gummy worms and other fascinating exhibits.

Orchid Festival at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

February 3 March 3, 2024

In 1987 Princess Diana opened a conservatory in the grounds of Kew Gardens, bringing together plants from ten climatic zones under its roof. The pavilion was named Princess of Wales Conservatory in honor of Princess Augusta of Wales of Saxe-Gotha, who was at the origin of the Royal Gardens, which currently cover an area of 121 hectares and have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003.

The theme of the 2024 Orchid Festival will be “Madagascar”, and the event itself will traditionally take place at the aforementioned conservatory. As always, the exhibition will celebrate the natural beauty and diversity of exotic plants, and all visitors are also advised to look out for the giraffe and lemur sculptures carved from green shrubs. In addition to the main exhibition, the festival will feature a variety of activities with food, cocktails, lectures, light installations and Madagascar music.

Chinese New Year in London

February 11, 2024

Thousands of people gather in central London each year to take part in this colorful celebration filled with the vibrant trappings of rich Chinese culture and plenty of authentic entertainment.

The 2024 celebrations will begin at 10am (London time) with a parade of lions and dragons marching down Charing Cross Road, Shaftesbury Avenue and through Chinatown. Activities – martial arts demonstrations, traditional dances and Chinese pop performances – will delight audiences throughout the day in Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and, of course, Chinatown. The festivities will conclude with a fireworks display.

London Fashion Week
(London Fashion Week)

February 16 February 20, 2024

London Fashion Week will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, and the event’s program will combine elements of the physical and digital show. LFW40 will traditionally focus on London’s unique creative communities and its position as the world’s leading cultural capital.

The schedule features iconic menswear and womenswear designers such as Burberry, 16Arlington, Ahluwalia, David Koma, Dilara Findikoglu, dunhill, Emilia Wickstead, ERDEM, Eudon Choi, Fashion East, JW Anderson, KNWLS, Marques’Almeida, Molly Goddard and more.

More details about the program of shows and other activities planned during LFW 2024 can be found on the official website of the event.

An Enemy of the People with Matt Smith at Duke of York’s Theatre.
(An Enemy of the People)

February 6 April 6, 2024

British actor Matt Smith continues to fascinate audiences for years now. He is known for his roles in TV series such as Dr. Who, The Crown, House of the Dragon and others. Now the actor can be seen on the stage of London’s Duke of York’s Theatre, where he will perform the main role in the play “An Enemy of the People”. This is an updated version of Henrik Ibsen’s classic drama by German theater director Thomas Ostermeier. An entire section has been added to the production, called “The Town Hall Debate.” The audience is invited to discuss the ethics of the play with its main character, Dr. Stockman (Matt Smith).

The play “Macbeth” with Rafe Fiennes and Indira Varma at Dock X.

February 10 March 23, 2024

This revival of the Shakespearean play from American theater director Simon Godwin will take place in several cities in the United Kingdom, the list of which of course includes London. There are not many details about what exactly the audience will see on stage, but one of the main announced “highlights” of the new version is “intimacy”. Perhaps the director had in mind that all performances would take place in small warehouse-type rooms, with the actors in close proximity to the audience. However, it will only be possible to find out for sure by attending the play.

Screening of the play “Vanya” in London cinemas
(National Theatre Live: Vanya)

In theaters from February 22, 2024

A radical new version of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” created by British-Irish playwright Simon Stephens, was recorded during a live production of the play and will be released in February.

Famous actor of Irish descent Andrew Scott performed in the play at once four roles. He will appear as Vanya, Serebryakov – the husband of his dead sister, his new wife Elena and daughter from his first marriage – Sonya. The audience will be able to see a true study on hopes, dreams, regrets and other human emotions played and created by a single actor.

A screening of Alexander Sokurov’s latest film The Tale at Marylebone Theatre

February 12, 2024, 7:00 p.m.

On February 12, for the first time on the big screen in London, ZIMA will show director Alexander Sokurov’s latest film, The Tale, in the original voiceover by the film’s author.

The experimental historical fiction film was banned for screening in Russia. Its protagonists – Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and Churchill – meet in hell and have conversations about which of them will be the first to be able to pass through the great gate that leads to the afterlife. Sokurov used footage from documentary newsreels and texts of their actual speeches to portray these characters.

Language of the movie: Russian (without subtitles). The voice-over text is read by the film’s director Alexander Sokurov.

You can buy tickets at the link.

Vladimir Pastukhov and Owen Matthews public talk at Kings College

February 19, 2024, 7:00 p.m.

By popular demand, ZIMA is organizing an open meeting with renowned publicist and political scientist Vladimir Pastukhov, a senior research fellow at University College London and author of the program “Pastukhov Thursdays” on Live Nail. During his conversation with British journalist Owen Matthews, he will discuss the main causes and possible consequences of current political conflicts, as well as what world states can theoretically and practically do to influence their resolution.

You can buy tickets at the link.

Two Boris Grebenshchikov concerts at the Troubadour Club and Oxford’s Holywell Music Room

February 6 and February 7, 2024

The first – the London one – will take place on 6/02 at the Troubadour Club. It’s a legendary venue where some of the biggest names in music have performed. It’s very chamber-like and cozy. It was there that we held the first BG+ concert after the start of the war. Now everyone will have a chance to come back to the club and hear their favorite songs.

The second, the Oxford one, will be held on 7/02 at the Holywell Music Room. It is the oldest music hall in Europe and is said to be the first concert hall in the UK with a great atmosphere.

Tickets for the concerts can be purchased by clicking here .

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