Welcome to 2012! With a new year comes a new month and so we take our usual look at the cultural highlights in January, particularly for the Capital’s dwellers. Plus a look at what’s coming on the New Wolf this month and a bit of insight into the year ahead.
Silence is the best tonic to a hangover and so a timely antidote comes in the form of London’s International Mime Festival. The festival grows year on year and this year looks particularly impressive. Two highlights are Camille Boitel’s L’Immédiat – an inquiry into the chaotic uncertainty of the world. And secondly, Toron Blues’ Tendre Suie – rope and aerial artists’ interpretation of an idea from Jean Paul Satre’s Huis Clos. Plenty of exhibitions are still running on from last year. Special mention goes to Chihuly at the Halcyon Gallery. Staying in the West End, but one wonders how, is Paul McCarthy’s exhibition at Hauser & Wirth – McCarthy is visually shocking and politically controversial, so not the usual West End conservatism, definitely worth a look. The ICA host the Bloomberg New Contemporaries –the annual look at the best of the year’s degree shows. A new collection of work by the 3is3identity collective opens at Arbeit on January 5th, photos of the exhibition will appear on The New Wolf later this month, view some of Christian Kraatz’s work in the Observatory. Finally, Gerard Richter at the Tate Modern is closing next Sunday, as does Nathalie Djurberg at the Camden Art Centre, so be quick.
As for cinema and in keeping with the theme of a silent January, Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist opens this week – it reflects on the cut-throat world of early cinema when silent cinema gave way to films with audio included. Versatile actor Jean Dujardin, who was quite brilliant in the slapstick comedy OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies heads the cast list. Popular American actress plays a divisive political leader, anyone fishing for Oscars? Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady - with recent rumours that she will be honoured with a state funeral, one would be forgiven to think that all of this recognition was posthumous. The presidential reply comes in the form of Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, later this month. Next up is the cinematic translation of the award-winning play, War Horse, Stephen Spielberg won the bidding war for the rights and directs. George Clooney stars in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, director of a collection of funny films including Sideways, About Schmidt, and Election. However, my film of the month goes to Shame – Michael Fassbender adds to his extraordinary CV by playing a man struggling with sex addiction (the Tiger Woods PR team will be taking notes). Steve McQueen directs, reuniting the same team behind his excellent 2008 film, Hunger.
As for The New Wolf. A number of features are being honed. In the coming days will be David Katz’s favourite films of 2011. We keep up our focus on Africa and the Middle East. Jonny Keyworth looks at the possibility that a booming Africa will assist their old and struggling colonial masters. And Roberta Radu provides insight into the breakdown of relations with Iran and the West. We have continuations of the Chronograph and of the Introduction to… Michael Haneke. We also keep up our look at the different angles of photography, new author Handan Wieshmann analyses photography as cultural memory (please do read our recent article on the digital innovations and its manipulations of photography). Plus, Matthew Bremner explores immorality in the media. And what’s to expect from The New Wolf in 2012, well we want to propel ourselves from this microcosm. This year, you will find us out in the real world, through a number of events that we are currently planning and through a physical manifestation of the magazine, that’s right, we will be in print! Also, the graphic designers and the website designers have been working hard to bring a revamped design – it’s just getting a little dusty in here.
Best wishes for 2012.
Christo and Theo.