Culture24/7: Great art exhibition picks for December 2012

By Mark Sheerin | 04 December 2012
A photo of a musician playing a guitar in a photo or room shrouded in a yellow tint
Jonas Mekas, Happy Birthday to John (1996). John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Museum of Syracuse, 1971. 16mm film frame. Mekas' exhibition opens at the Serpentine Gallery on December 5© 2012 Jonas Mekas

There's not really a Christmas feel to the choicest shows in art this month. There never is. Check out some shows from Dundee to Exeter...

Tattoo City: The First Three Chapters, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

Taking as its starting point an unfinished novel and including a writing bureau, plenty of film and a raft of works by guest artists, this show sounds messy.

But curator, artist, writer Samson Kambalu is not short of a compelling framework, including a nod to his own satirical religion Holyballism.

Liliane Lijn: Cosmic Dramas, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough

While not overly figurative, three of Lijn’s most iconic female forms are now on show at mima.

These three works from the 1980s take their cue from literature, performance and technical innovations, supported by studies and drawings from the artist’s extensive personal archives.

Jonas Mekas, Serpentine Gallery, London, from December 5

On the cusp of his 90th birthday, Mekas comes to Serpentine with impeccable creds.

The Lithuanian film-maker has hung out with Allen Ginsberg and Andy Warhol and inspired Jim Jarmusch and Martin Scorcese. Renowned for capturing brief poetic moments on film, this show should be a joy.

Trisha Baga: Holiday, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, from December 8

With a title that references a song by Madonna and an acclaimed installation which features a Justin Bieber song, Baga’s exhibition is nothing if not poppy.

But it is also immersive, mixing found objects from charity shops and Tayside Recyclers, with found film footage and projections. A visual feast.

Dromology – The Logic of Speed, South Square, Bradford, from December 8

Europe-wide artists bring painting, photography, film, live streaming and text to a show about the writings of Paul Virilio, a social theorist writing about the impact of technology.

Real world travel may be slower and less frequent in the digital age. But the trip to Bradford is recommended.

Laura White: We can Have it All, Spacex, Exeter, from December 8

Another charity shop regular is Laura White, whose show at Spacex brings together mass-produced found objects in an art historical context.

The London-based artist proves as happy in a church or museum as she is in a flea market. She demonstrates even the cheapest of objects has a value.

André Cadere, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, from December 13

He may be a candidate for the most annoying artist of all time, but that’s no reason to miss Cadere’s archival new show at Oxford.

The Polish artist made his name leaving his signature Barres des Bois Rond at the private views and show openings of his contemporaries. So at this private view, anything could happen.

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