If you want a reminder of how relatively well the visual arts are served by TV in this country, then this documentary series made by the Public Broadcasting Service in the States could be it. It’s not that it’s bad; a solid primer on the creative upheaval in the French capital at the turn of the twentieth century, it has plenty of the business we culture vultures know and love: archive interviews, evocative period portraits, jerky contemporary newsreel of men with cigarettes nearly getting hit by cabs and lots of artworks and academics. It just fails to spark somehow, and you realise that the lack of a Graham-Dixon, Januszczak or Sooke – however intrusive and prancing they can be – can make for really quite dull telly. Part two airs at 8pm on Sunday.
House of Vans
Taking over what used to be the Old Vic Tunnels, the House of Vans has turned the space below Waterloo station into a hot new destination for skateboarders, and promises a variety of diversions that will also appeal to those with no particular ambition to execute a credible 360 flip. The underground venue is sister to House of Vans Brooklyn where tickets for the free, all-ages summer concerts go like hot baked goods. The London branch also boasts a live music stage, as well as two tunnels’ worth of purpose-built skate park and an art gallery that will open with ‘Scissors & Glue’, an exhibition documenting the brief history of zines (till September 20). There’s a café, bars and cinema space and a regular programme of talks and workshops is planned. Skate sessions are free and open to all ages (there are lessons with The Skateboad School on Saturday mornings) but to be sure of entry book in advance on the House of Vans website where you’ll also find updates on upcoming gigs.