The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at

Visual Arts Season Launch 2017

Today we announce our major spring exhibition in the Art Gallery alongside the next two commissions for The Curve.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945

Opening in March 2017 in the Art Gallery, The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945  is the first major UK exhibition to focus on Japanese architecture from the end of World War II to now, a field which has consistently produced some of the most influential examples of modern and contemporary design.

Following the war, Japanese architects have used their designs to propose radical critiques of society and innovative solutions to changes in the Japanese economy, urban landscape and family structure. With works and designs by Takefumi Aida, Osamu Ishiyama, Sou Fujimoto and others, The Japanese House explores some of the most exciting architectural projects of the last 70 years, and will incorporate cinema, photography and art.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 is curated and co-produced in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art Tokyo and the MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome and the Japan Foundation.

Richard Mosse

In February 2017, The Curve will be showing new work from conceptual documentary photographer Richard Mosse. In collaboration with composer Ben Frost and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten, Mosse will create an immersive multi-channel video installation produced using a thermographic border camera classed as a weapons system under ITAR regulations.

Renowned for previous works such as The Enclave (2013) that capture the beauty and tragedy of war, Mosse’s pieces question the ways in which war photography is constructed.  Richard Mosse’s exhibition opens in The Curve on 15 February and runs until 23 April 2017.

John Akomfrah

Barbican Art Gallery has also commissioned experimental filmmaker John Akomfrah to create new work for the Curve in October 2017. Examining themes such as memory, identity and post-colonialism, Akomfrah’s oeuvre often delve deep into the experiences of the African diaspora in Europe and the United States.

A founding member of the influential Black Audio Film Collective (1982), his first film Handsworth Songs (1986) focussed on the riots in Birmingham and London through a charged combination of archive footage and documentary photographs. Last year, he presented a standout work at Venice 26th Biennale, Vertigo Sea, a three-channel video installation comprising of thousands of hours of archival footage with new material and a hypnotic sound score investigating a range of histories from whaling, deep sea excavation and migration.

John Akomfrah’s exhibition in The Curve will be open to the public from 6 October 2017 to 7 January 2018.

Magnum Photos

To celebrate Magnum Photos’ 70th anniversary in 2017, the Barbican and Magnum Photos are presenting a year-long programme of monthly talks. Launching in September 2016, the curated series of debates will consider critical discourses around photography and reflect on a range of subjects including the role of photojournalism, the art of storytelling, the journey as a framework and more.

Acclaimed Magnum photographers, writers and curators join us for conversations as a display of prints celebrating the works of Magnum photographers are exhibited in the centre.


Read the full visual arts press release in our newsroom.