i-D's weekly cultural round-up

Your guide to what you need to see, hear, watch, listen, go to and do.

by Felix Petty
11 January 2017, 3:15pm

Music video of the week: David Bowie, No Plan
One year on from his death, and the first of Bowie's posthumous records has dropped. The last recordings he made have been collected as the No Plan EP, and the title track has got the music video treatment courtesy of Tom Hingston, who worked with Bowie on creating videos for Sue and I'd Rather Be High. The new video is an elegiac tribute to the Bowie's legacy, featuring the words relayed via TV screens in shop windows on Foxgrove Road, in Beckenham, where Bowie lived in 1969 as he started his career. Musically it picks up where Blackstar's mournful jazz left off.

Exhibition of the week: Condo London
Back for its second year, this pan-London art event if your chance to catch up with everything amazing, exciting, groundbreaking and fun going on in the art world across the actual world. Featuring 36 galleries across 15 spaces, Condo is a kind of like an alternative art fair, except you need a Zone 1-2 Travelcard to visit all the booths, and you also get to cut out all those boring galleries full of stuff you won't like, and you don't have to spend an afternoon in a soul sapping tent in Regent's Park. Highlights include everything. Start planning now.

Photo book of the week: Ren Hang
Controversial, sexy, surreal - it can only be Ren Hang, our favourite Chinese photographer, who is getting the overdue monograph treatment with this new book from Taschen. The 28-year-old Beijing based lensman is fighting the good fight in China's censorship heavy cultural landscape. Freeing the nipple and just about everything else too, his photographs use the naked body as their beginnings, and position them in increasingly ludicrous, joyful, and silly situations. Covered in snakes? Sure. Wrapped in octopi? Why not? Improbably stacked one upon each other? Of course. Although he's published many small books of his work before, this is the first one dedicated to his whole career. A coffee table book to hide from your young nieces and nephews when you're babysitting.

Gig of the week: Wiley and friends take over Boiler Room
Ahead of his new album dropping Friday, The Godfather of Grime and mates are taking over Boiler Room for something extra special. Few have done more for UK music than Wiley, who built grime with his bare hands, kept it fertile during the fallow years, dropped some of its deepest instrumentals and smashed out most of its biggest hits. So now he's back with a new album, aptly titled The Godfather, as it premiering it on Boiler Room alongside some of his classic cuts. You don't even have to leave the house for it.

Film of the week: London Short Film Festival
The London Short Film Festival is back for its 14th year, screening thousands and thousands of short films from across the world. And as they are short, you can fit loads in. This year their special events are focussing on Riot Grrrl's impact, women in the music scene, and subculture in general. Elsewhere there's a little bit of everything for everybody, from docs to weird cinematic experiments, and everything in between. The best things come in small packages.

Thing to do this week: George Michael Tribute Show
Let's go outside, then go inside The Glory, for this tribute night to the one and only George Michael. The Glory have promised everything under the sun for the devoted George fan to pay tribute to the icon who passed away on Christmas Day; Wham! Karaoke, Drag Queen reinterpretations of his classics (expect lots of versions of Freedom! 90) and a best George Michael beard-a-like competition. If anything, it will be too funky. That's enough puns for now.

Good news of the week: Maria Balshaw as Tate Director
Following the departure of Nicholas Serota, who's left to run the British Council, Maria Balshaw is in the process of becoming the first ever woman to run the Tate. Maria got a lot of praise for her time in Manchester, running the Whitworth, and eventually becoming something of a cultural figurehead for the city's creative scene, working tirelessly to promote it. Theresa May still needs to rubber stamp the appointment though.


Text Felix Petty

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