Founded in 1947 by a collective of poets, artists and critics, the Institute of Contemporary Arts was intended to drive the London arts scene forward into brave new territory. The ICA has floundered somewhat in recent years, its status as art's rebel institution holding less sway in a scene awash with controversy-seeking work. Located on The Mall since 1968, the venue programmes arthouse cinema, performance art, philosophical debates, art-themed club nights, cutting-edge bands and anything else that might challenge accepted notions. There's also an excellent bookshop and sunlit café-cum-bar.
|Opening hours:||Tue (Free), Wed, Fri-Sun 11am-6pm; Thu 11am-9pm. Bar: Tue-Sun 11am–11pm.|
|Transport:||Tube: Charing Cross|
|Price:||£1 Day membership, free Tue, under 18s and concs|
- Current affairs junkies may remember the early ’90s conflict when the region of Abkhazia split from Georgia after the bloody ethnic cleansing of resident Georgians from the area. Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela recognise Abkhazia as a country but ...Read more
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- This small, well-coiffed and attentively designed film shows us a few weeks in the life of James Dean (Dane DeHaan) on the brink of reluctant stardom in 1955. Robert Pattinson co-stars as Dennis Stock, a Life magazine photographer from New York de...Read more
- At the start of this brilliant, brutal film of Shakespeare’s Scottish Play, Michael Fassbender’s Macbeth lays oyster shells over the eyes of his dead son: an eerie funeral rite before the tiny body is burned on a pyre. Traditionally, the Macbeths ...Read more
- Filmmaker Andrew Kötting (‘Gallivant’, ‘Ivul’) and writer Iain Sinclair continue their eccentric collaboration (‘Swandown’) with this atypically muted and sombre – yet still experimental and vivid – reflection on the life and mind of the ‘mad’ nin...Read more
- One of the most recognisable faces of Portuguese cinema lives in a Lisbon slum. His name is Ventura, he’s a Cape Verdean immigrant and this is the second Pedro Costa film (after 2006’s ‘Colossal Youth’) in which he’s pulled double duty as both sta...Read more
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Fig-2’s year-long presentation of spontaneous exhibitions continues with Darren Bader’s week-39 project. Having launched a call-out for ‘Lisas, Carolines, Stephanies and Candys’ as well as musicians who ‘sing, spin, play the alpine bell, aulochrome, baglama,...Contemporary art Until Sunday December 20 2015Read more
Prem Sahib: Side On
You’re going to want to dismiss a lot of Prem Sahib’s work – and maybe you should. On first impression, the young London artist’s ambitious show across two floors of the ICA is full of the kind of pompous conceptual bullshit that gives contemporary art...Installation Until Sunday November 15 2015Read more
In 1991, the UK’s hard rock and heavy metal festival, Monsters of Rock, showcased Pantera, Metallica, AC/DC and The Black Crowes in Moscow. Shanghai-based new media artist Zhang Ding got Chinese bands to recreate this important concert in 2014. For his...Installation Tuesday October 13 2015 - Sunday October 25 2015Read more
Average User Rating
4.6 / 5
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The ICA still makes me feel a bit giddy, like the early days of living in London. It's location alone - across from St. James's Park, down from Buckingham Palace and a hop away from Trafalgar Sq - makes it a special place to visit. However, it is instantly less assuming than it's regal neighbours and brings a brilliant slice of culture to central London. Cinema, exhibtion, cafe, shop - you can spend a good few hours in the ICA. Day membership is £1 but you get free access to exhibitions with any cinema ticket so it's well worth having a gander whilst in for a flick.
It's actually quite rare to find a place like the ICA in London. Fair play that London does have places that are quirky yet traditional but the ICA stands out by being exceptionally cool. Having a cinema is definitely an icing on the cake for someone like me who is always craving for a place I could 'escape' to that is cool, understated yet elegant.