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This week: 16 – 22 July

16 July 2018 Suzanne Frost

The World Cup is over, it didn’t come home, which is sad – but look on the bright side! So many evenings are freed up again for cultural activities! If you are truly heartbroken over it all, we can help distract you with some of London’s best cultural events this week.

East Wall

This week, the Tower of London will be stormed by 150 performers for a spectacular collision of music and dance in an outdoor performance inspired by the stories of the communities that have grown up around the Tower. Part of LIFT 2018, East Wall will be the first major public art event in the Tower of London moat since the Poppies installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red in 2014. Directed by the internationally-celebrated Hofesh Shechter working in collaboration with young London-based choreographers Becky Namgauds, Duwane Taylor, James Finnemore and Joseph Toonga, this epic event will weave together a tapestry of music and dance that embraces east London’s diversity and puts its rich cultural heritage centre stage. From grime to gospel, krump to contemporary – this mash up of old and new will come together in a large-scale spectacle like no other.
East Wall will be performed at the Tower of London on 18 - 22 July at 7.30pm.
Tickets £12 - £25

Frenemies: Friendship, Enmity and Rivalry in British Art 1769–2018 at the Royal Academy
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Colonel Acland and Lord Sydney, The Archers (detail), 1769, © Tate London 2017

Artists can be b***ches! Bitter, crushing rivalries, complex enmities, gossip and scandal are as much part of art history as the study of brushstrokes and epochs. The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition with its open submission policy and panel of judges has always been a fertile ground for art fights. In 1833, two of the giants of British painting - J.M.W. Turner and John Constable – who loathed each other passionately, found that their paintings had been hung side-by-side in the Summer Exhibition. How very dare they! As part of their 250th anniversary exhibition The Great Spectacle the Royal Academy will hold a conference on the subject of art enemies to explore the friendships and rivalries of artists, the impact these relationships have on subject matter and artistic method, what effect it has on their careers and how it can influence the public and critical reception of a work of art.
Frenemies: Friendship, Enmity and Rivalry in British Art 1769–2018 will be at the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Royal Academy of Arts on 19 & 20 July. Tickets are £40 (£30 concessions)
Afternoon Par-Tea at London Cocktail Trading Company

Do you ever wish you could booze up the very British tradition of afternoon tea? Well now you can with the Cocktail Trading Company’s Afternoon Par-Tea events, cocktail and cake fuelled sing along bonanzas, which began at the end of last month. They’re serving up tons of tasty treats at their headquarters in Brick Lane, a cool, dark wooded and sophisticated bar, that transports you back to the fashionable cocktail bars of the 1930s and is a perfect respite from the bustling East End on a hot summers day. Start with a bowl of punch for the table and then move on to a delicious afternoon tea themed cocktail from the menu. Concoctions range from Afternoon Mar-Tea-nis to Cucumber Manwiches, but our personal favourite was the satisfyingly sweet Strawberries and Cream, which will keep you in the Wimbledon mood even though the tennis is over. Request the live acoustic guitarist to play your favourite songs on post it notes, as you munch on smoked salmon sandwiches, red velvet whoopee pies and chocolate brownies that are brought to you on a tiered stand, to soak up all the alcohol you’ve consumed.
The Cocktail Trading Company is located at 68 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6GQ. Their Afternoon Par-Tea events run the first and last Saturday of each month from 1:00pm – 3:00pm and can be booked by emailing or calling 02074276097
Another Europe: Outdoor exhibition at King's Cross
Brighton West Pier by Simon Roberts
Every week seems to bring new headlines and chaos to the ongoing Brexit ruckus and, with a symbolism that won’t escape anyone really, this exhibition, in celebration of the European Year of Cultural heritage, takes over the King’s Cross area, which is often referred to as the UK’s ‘European Gateway’. Another Europe features 28 photographs, one from each EU Member-State, mounted on specially designed concrete benches. The photographers represent a wide range of photographic practices and are a mixture of established and emerging talents. Together they voice themes and influences we all recognise as part of our cultural heritage from concrete manifestations such as monuments, buildings and sites to the more ephemeral social aspects such as childhood, fairytales; theatre, landscape, conflict, work, celebration, family, memories, literature and traditions. The work illustrates common themes but also highlights the particularities and diversity of our EU community. Britain is represented by a photograph of Brighton West Pier by artist Simon Roberts.
Another Europe will be at King’s Boulevard and in Pancras Square from 12 July – 9 August.

Nocturnal Creatures at the Whitechapel Gallery
Plantón Móvil, by Lucia Monge
After taking part in last years momentous Art Night, the Whitechapel Gallery decided to launch their very own free late-night arts festival for the East End. For its inaugural year the Nocturnal Creatures festival coincides with Whitechapel Gallery’s triennial summer exhibition The London Open 2018 and will collaborate with Sculpture in the City, the City of London’s annual public art programme which situates 18 works from internationally renowned artists amongst City of London architectural landmarks close to the Whitechapel Gallery. In the main gallery space, hourly performances of Alexis Teplin’s mesmerising Arch (The Politics of Fragmentation) will be staged and Andrea Luka Zimmerman will give a series of readings from 1968. Multimedia artist Tom Lock will transform a new building in nearby Broadgate into an immersive audio-visual environment with a soundtrack of live experimental music from Rudi Schmidt. Among an installation by Rachel Pimm and a multi-media experience by Larry Achiampong, Plantón Móvil, by Peruvian artist Lucia Monge, has sparked our interest: a ‘walking forest’ of plants and people will move together, giving shrubs, flowers and trees the opportunity to ‘walk’ down the streets and to claim their place in our public space.
Nocturnal Creatures will take place on 21 July from 6 -11 pm at the Whitechapel Gallery and surrounding area. The event is free.

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