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Top Exhibitions of the Week in London

20 May 2019 | Billie Manning

The place to come for all the best current exhibitions in London...

Spotlight On: AI: More Than Human at the Barbican
What can I expect to see? The Barbican’s new exhibition, held in its Curve space, takes in artifical intelligence from its inception to its power today. The exhibition starts us off pretty early – with the Jewish Golem and ancient Japanese animist beliefs. There is a lot of ground to cover between then and now, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Ada Lovelace’s propositions for a “a calculus of the nervous system” all the way up to Siri and Alexa, but the exhibition doesn’t shy away from trying to cover it all.
What's the big deal? Some of the most captivating parts of the exhibition are the most low-tech. Letters between Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage make for fascinating reading, as is Alan Turing and a journalist discussing the possibilities of a chess-playing computer. There is also an enlarged letter co-signed by prominent scientists like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk condemning AI weapons. These items help us look back at how we thought about AI in its earliest incarnations, and investigate how we might be thinking – rightly or wrongly – about AI in the present. Check out our full review here.
How long have I got? Until 26 August 2019
 
sunflowers van gogh

The Best of the Rest:
Van Gogh and Britain at the Tate Britain
What can I expect to see? 
An exhibition focused on Britain's influence on Van Gogh and vice versa; you'll see some of van Gogh's sunflower still lifes and Starry Night on the Rhône, but also work from his contemporaries in Britain and beyond
How long have I got? Until 11 August

Queer Spaces, 1980 - Now at Whitechapel Gallery
What can I expect to see? An archive-based exhibition recognises and celebrates a selection of London’s most iconic LGBTQ+ venues. Check out our full review here.
How long have I got? Until 25 August

Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic at the Wellcome Collection
What can I expect to see? The exhibition covers the range of the history and psychology of magic, from Victorian spiritualism, mediums and séances, to modern magicians’ use of misdirection, and how magicians can influence decision making – or appear to. It also reveals the close link between magic and science; illuminating the ways in which science and psychology have been used to create magic despite apparent tensions between the two.
How long have I got? Until 15 September 2019

Mary Quant at the V&A
What can I expect to see? This is the first exhibition in 50-years to celebrate the iconic work of Dame Mary Quant, and displays over 120 of her original designs, as well as make-up, underwear and even her own brand of doll. Check out our full review here.
How long have I got? Until 20 February 2020

Last chance!
Dorothea Tanning at the Tate
What can I expect to see? 
A full retrospective of Tanning's work: moving from her smaller, more concrete surrealism to more abstract large paintings and cloth sculptures of her later work, as well as a whole-room installation and a short film
How long have I got? Until 9 June
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