Mima Season: 2011 – 2012

Welcome to what is a fairly ample guide to some of the fine exhibitions that are and will be gracing the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (Mima) from today onwards right up to Spring 2012. It’ll keep you entertained, occupied and stimulated throughout all colourful seasons.

Spring season

The Modern Jewel: In Time and the Mind of Others is a Mima’s largest ever presentation of jewellery to date. Over the last year Middlesbrough Museums and Galleries worked in close consultation with Ted Noten and Lin Cheung & Laura Potten, as well as to commissioning unique pieces of jewellery for the collection and the people of Middlesbrough.

Spanning over four large gallery spaces, the jewellery is being shown along with other works from contemporary makers. The project is part of prestigious national programme known as museumaker, which involves 16 museums across four regions.

The eponymous show from Carey Young, a multimedia artist whose mediums include photography, video, text and installation, examines the ideas of rhetoric, protest and performance in light of economic globalisation, which has, to put it simply, left the world on the precipice of uncertainty.

Unquestionably, this is another age of soul-searching, of Marx’s return and the consequent end of capitalism, but, if history truly tells us anything, it’s that we go round and round and round.

Memento Park (2010) is a video shot in the suburban locale of Budapest’s Soviet statue part, is a restrained deliberation on propaganda and contemporary leftist identity.

Summer Season

A personal insight into the world of Ben Nicholson is presented in the show The Intimate Surface of Modernism. This exhibition seeks to show a different side to one of the most important British artists to have emerged in the twentieth century by examining a collection of his work that is more personal and different to what we’re accustomed to. A sense of family and place is left open to interpretation.

A fantastic addition to summer is the huge show based around the art of the collage in paper, painting, sculpture and film. Transmitter/Receiver The Persistence of Collage is a touring exhibition from the arts council’s collection that traces the history of collage in British Art.

Exploring the first influences of the Parisian avant-garde upon Ben Nicholson’s modernist work and surrealists like Eileen Agar and Roland Penrose – is the appearance of persistence in the title a subconscious reference to Dali? – as well as contemporary artists like Steve Claydon, Idris Khan and David Noonan, the luminous show looks at our perceptions of culture and how we use it.

Fast & Slow is a captivating production of Richard Forster’s specially commissioned drawings, 52 in total, one for every week of the year.

Dealing with and reacting to the passage of time, the photo-like pencil images capture, so to speak, the briefest moments of time. Are they important? It’s like every time you see that girl you have fallen in love with who always passes you by on the bus or on the street and before a moment can be seized, like a rare cool breeze on a roasting day, she’s gone.

The central point of the exhibition is a series of 24 drawings of film stills – again, subtle, unknowing references to time and day – frozen at regular intervals. For your information, they illustrate the development of the 1926 Torten housing estate in Dessau. Accompanying and complementing the exhibition is a new short story from the award-winning author Colm Toibin.

This is the museum solo show from the northeast based artist.

Winter season

In collaboration with the Drawing Room, London, The Peripatetic School: Itinerant drawing from Latin America showcases Latin American art that deals with both rural and urban landscapes. Specifically, the myriad of work investigates what it means to travel and/or move through the world, especially by walking alone.

Many of the artists included in the show work through the medium of drawing, using innovative and diverse approaches that smudges the established boundaries of what an artistic medium actually is. Work done on paper transforms into sculptural objects and what appears to be an elementary line transcends into a video animation. Seeing is believing, or in this case, not quite so much.

And last, but by no means least, the final show, by its position in the calendar, we have Between Dimensions: The Representation of the Object. This is an exhibition done in collaboration with Towner and Tate looking at the exquisite force of still life. What more can we at Narc tell you? Not at lot! The organisers are still hush hush about the final details, after all, there’s a bit of fun to be had in teasing you, so that by March of 2012, when the remnants of wintering recede as the bloom of spring gradually appears, your growing anticipation will be met with a show that was worth the wait.

For dates and more information please visit mima.

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