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|
|Do you own this business?|
- With 'Carol', the American director Todd Haynes returns us to a place similar to the repressed 1950s East Coast universe that he explored in his 2002 film 'Far from Heaven'. It's historically not long past but this is an emotionally oh-so-distant ...Read more
- Hou Hsiao-hsien's 'The Assassin' sees the veteran Taiwanese filmmaker, known for his quiet realist dramas, tackle the wuxia historical martial arts genre with a story set in ninth-century China. But the genre comes loyally to Hou rather than the o...Read more
- The ring of truth sounds quietly, and sometimes not at all, in Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth', the Italian auteur's occasionally dazzling but low-key and rambling follow-up to 2013's 'The Great Beauty'. It's his second English-language film after 2009...Read more
- Stoic men in patterned knitwear communicate with each other through grunts and brusque gestures. But they pour affectionate sweet nothings into the woolly ears of their prized sheep. It’s hard to imagine a film more archetypally Icelandic than ‘Ra...Read more
Pick a dateto
Art Into Society - Society Into Art
An archival multimedia display exploring the relationship between art and politics in 1970s West Germany. The original event included contributions from Albrecht D, Joseph Beuys, KP Brehmer, Hans Haacke, Dieter Hacker and Gustav Metzger.Digital and interactive Until Sunday March 6 2016Read more
Ceramics was art's hottest trend of 2015 – and we don't just mean 'The Great Pottery Thrown Down'. You couldn't move for pottery given a witty, conceptual twist by contemporary artists including Jesse Wine and Aaron Angell. In 2016, that trend looks set...Ceramics and pottery Until Sunday April 10 2016Read more
Average User Rating
4.6 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
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.