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. But if you’re going to call yourself the Institute of Contemporary Arts, you’d better be delivering some seriously edgy, forward-thinking exhibitions, and the ICA has started once again to deliver. This is the place where pop art was invented, and if you catch the right show here, you just might spot the next big art movement.
|Opening hours:||Tues-Sun 12-9pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Charing Cross|
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- In one of the most gorgeous images in ‘Volver’, white blossoms into crimson as a sheet of kitchen towel saturates with blood. Housework here is murder and a woman’s work is never done – not after killing, not even after dying. Almodóvar has long b...Read more
- Chances are you’ll know next to nothing about the early 1980s Leningrad rock scene before going into ‘Summer’, a good-looking, playful portrait of earnest musicians on the rise in Soviet Russia. The film follows the baby steps in the career of Vik...Read more
- The song that plays out this atmospheric refugee drama – Talking Heads’ ‘Road to Nowhere’ – vocalises the existential undercurrents that make it an intriguing, if frustrating, watch. Eschewing easy thrills, writer-director Christian Petzold transp...Read more
- Not to be excessively literal about that title, but when a movie – even one about Hitler Youth – is as saturated with visual gorgeousness as ‘Never Look Away’ (the Oscar-nominated cinematography is by ‘The Natural’s Caleb Deschanel), you can’t loo...Read more
- By one way of looking at it, the title of Penny Lane’s documentary poses a casual invitation: Sandwich for lunch? Stroll in the park? Worship Lucifer? Why the hell not? Call it devilishly funny, then, that you may resonate with the organization at...Read more
- A gorgeously crafted memoir of a jaded filmmaker past his prime, ‘Pain and Glory’ could be Pedro Almodóvar’s most autobiographical work since ‘Law of Desire’. The grand irony, of course, is that there’s nothing jaded about the filmmaking on displa...Read more
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Freedom and Friendship
Zines, postcards, banners, sound installations and more created by students connected to the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants who have participated in workshops at the ICA. This group show explores ideas of home, finding a voice and political...Until Thursday August 29 2019
Average User Rating
4.4 / 5
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I simply love The ICA. I don't pretend for one moment to understand all I see there, but the Cinemas, Galleries and Cafe never fail to intrigue and delight. Last night I joined a Time Out Card curated tour of the "Looks" exhibition. The curator (Juliette, I think) was so eloquent and passionate about her work and the artists on display. The exhibition tackles gender representation in the digital age. Mixed media to include an awesome 20 minute dual-screen film. Fabulous stuff - and left me just in the right mood to walk down the Mall, under Admiralty Arch and into the London night.
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.
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