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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > February 2016 > Prospect recommends

Prospect recommends

Things to do this month


Performing for the Camera

Tate Modern, 18th February to 12th June

Ever since its invention, the camera has provoked performance. Far from recording what is really there, photography eagerly conspires to confound reality with fiction. One of photography’s inventors, Hip-polyte Bayard, staged his own Self-Portrait as a Drowned Man in 1840, aggrieved by Louis Daguerre’s greater glory. Here, Tate Modern celebrates photography’s liaison with performance, with over 500 images spanning 150 years. There are records of performance art—Yves Klein’s Leap Into the Void (1960) and the provocative 1960s performances of Yayoi Kusama and Niki de St Phalle. Sometimes the performance is invented solely for the camera, as in the surreal and lusciously lit Marker Cones, 1982, by Jimmy De Sana, a key figure in New York’s bohemian downtown scene in the late 1970s and 1980s. Fictional identities are another strand—from Man Ray’s portrait of Marcel Duchamp as Rrose Sélavy (1921) to Samuel Fos-so’s African Spirits (2008), where the artist photographs himself as Martin Luther King and Miles Davis.

Betty Woodman

ICA London, 3rd February to10th April

Betty Woodman, now 85, started working with clay in 1950. Since then she has experimented continuously, working with clay’s most characteristic form, the vessel, and more recently painting, combining materials as unlikely as lacquer paint on earthenware and terra sig-illata on paper. Granted a solo retrospective at the Met in New York in 2006, this first UK public exhibition of her work focuses on the expansive pieces she has made since then.

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In Prospect’s February issue: Lawrence Summers questions Robert J Gordon’s thesis on the impact of the digital revolution, John Sawers, the former Chief of MI6, highlights how technology is making the work of spies harder and Frank Furedi examines the student movements demanding protection from the offensive and uncomfortable. Also in this issue: Gershom Gorenberg on Israel, Ben Judah on the complexity of London and Elizabeth Pisani on the impact of fake drugs. Plus Sam Tanenhaus on Obama’s gun control plans.