Enter the fascinating universe of Joan Jonas

Yesterday I found myself immersed in the work of Joan Jonas, lost in thought in the vast, subterranean Tate Modern Tanks and then in Herzog & de Meuron’s twisting, spiralling Switch House. Walking through her life’s work, I felt compelled to enter her imaginary, real, brilliant, often bizarre and always colourful worlds. Then downstairs in the Tanks, we were treated to a special preview of Mirror Piece II, a long-admired performance... Read More

Radical design: Creatives at the frontline for change

Bertolt Brecht wrote: ‘Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.’ I grew up surrounded by politics. Raised in Iran at the height of its turbulent years, it was impossible not to be. Later, as an adolescent cocooned in the sanctuary of Europe, I rejected it all for I saw my life in the creative world where politics, seemingly, had little relevance. Now, as Europe peddles into the deep dark waters of... Read More

Political art: Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy

Ai Weiwei’s work is full of contrasts and contradictions. They are at once robust and fragile, awkward and meticulously crafted, brutal and beautiful. The making reflects the message. Ai sculpts handcuffs from the precious jade, scribbles the Coca Cola logo on an ancient vase, and smashes another in a photographic sequence as a note on history, value, life. Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy of Arts is the Chinese artist’s first retrospective... Read More