1. Hayward gallery entrance (Morley von Sternberg)
    Morley von Sternberg
  2. Hayward gallery architecture (Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
  3. Hayward gallery architecture (Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
    Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
  4. Hayward gallery at night (Sheila Burnett)
    Sheila Burnett
  • Art | Performance art
  • South Bank
  • Recommended

Hayward Gallery

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Time Out says

After closing for a two-year refurbishment, the South Bank’s greatest heap of concrete brutalism thankfully reopened its doors last year. The refurb has brought light spilling into its spaces, and the programming – Diane Arbus, Lee Bul and Andreas Gursky, among others – is as brilliant as ever. Plus, Prince Charles really, really hates the building. If that doesn’t make you love it, nothing will.

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Southbank Centre
London
SE1 8XX
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Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun 11am-7pm; Thu 11am-9pm
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What’s on

Tavares Strachan: ‘There Is Light Somewhere’

4 out of 5 stars

In 1951, an African American woman had her cells harvested while being treated for cancer. She was not asked, and she gave no consent, but the doctors took them anyway. Those cells became essential in future medical research, but she was forgotten. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, and an effigy of her floats in mineral oil in Tavares Strachan’s Hayward show. This is what Bahamian artist Strachan does. He uncovers hidden Black histories – histories ignored, forgotten, erased by dominant white western narratives – and gives them new life. He doesn’t place Black stories into the history books, he writes his own history book; an infinitely more confrontational, powerful move. The show opens with chaotic collages that meld together images of colonialism, scientific diagrams and important figures in Black history. There’s Haile Selassie looming over Elizabeth II, King Oba as an astronaut, W.E.B. Du Bois as some kind of astral traveller. Selassie appears again in a totem made up of shields and footballs in a field of rice plants arranged in the shape of an African pictogram in the next gallery. Strachan’s hectic collision of symbolism and history is a head-spinning journey through Blackness. It all culminates in ‘The Encyclopaedia of Invisibility’, a staggeringly ambitious research project dedicated to preserving missing histories. It’s installed as a floor-to-ceiling archive of framed pages, all filled with lost stories. It’s a monumental attack on how we commemorate our past, and who

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