Your lockdown culture guide: June

Here’s your hotlist for the month ahead, including VR exhibitions, an architecture festival and more free cultural finds

'chair times' by heinz bütler
'Chair Times' by Heinz Bütler

Virtually toured your fill of the world’s top museums and claim to have ‘completed’ Netflix? Our new culture round-up is a guide to the month’s digital delights, including inventively staged festivals, free online exhibitions and talks with leading creatives (aka some of the best company we've had for a while). Add these to your calendar...

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1 Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms
gagosian gallery at art basel
Gagosian | Tom Wesselmann

In much the same way as Frieze New York’s inaugural digital edition in May, Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms were originally supposed to be supplemental to the physical fair. The world, of course, had other plans, and that’s now moved to September, leaving this digital gallery showcase to mark its usual June outing. With 280 international galleries set to take part, a new digital events programme and a pledge of transparent pricing, it should hold its own. From 19 – 26 June.

2 London Festival of Architecture Digital
architecture bake off  tower bridge
Architecture Bake Off | Tom Horton

‘How can the world’s largest annual architecture festival celebrate one of humankind’s most tangible activities in a city in lockdown?’ asks the London Festival of Architecture. Their answer, it seems, is the launch of the festival’s first digital edition, which presents a broad programme of talks, films, ticketed events, (online) building tours and a tweaked version of the annual Architecture Bake Off. Don’t miss video series 30 Objects in 30 Days, which asks architects and experts to muse on a chosen object that captures the festival’s theme of ‘Power’. From 1-30 June.

3 V&A Tour of 'Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk'
19th century vintage kimono
Keiju Sato | Joshibi Art Museum

At the time, we didn't realise quite how lucky those who bagged early slots to see the V&A's much-awaited kimono exhibition really were. Generously, the team have now filmed a tour fronted by curator Anna Jackson – no hastily-taped Instagram Stories, but five in-depth films totalling 30 minutes. Look out for rare 17th- and 18th-century designs, which share the spotlight with bold reinventions by Alexander McQueen and Rei Kawakubo. From 21 May 2020.

4 Sustainable design talks at new platform Planted
sebastian cox in his studio
Sebastian Cox | Alun Callender

With plans to launch their inaugural event this September thwarted by coronavirus, new sustainable design initiative Planted has morphed – for now – into a digital journal. The platform will present a vision of contemporary urban living more attuned to the nature world, via news, opinion, interviews and podcasts on topics like rewilding, biophilic architecture and sustainable food. Don’t miss this month’s talks with Another Country founder Paul De Zwart (2 June), designer Sebastian Cox (9 June) and RIBA programme director Diane Small (16 June).

5 #DesignDispatches with Sophie Ashby and Charlie Casely-Hayford
sophie ashby and charlie casely hayford
Sophie Ashby and Charlie Casely-Hayford | Tom Dunkley

Design Museum’s lockdown franchise #DesignDispatches is going from strength to strength, thus far hosting Instagram TV talks with Stella McCartney, Morag Myerscough and David Adjaye. Next, it’s the turn of two seriously creative duos: power couple Sophie Ashby and Charlie Casely-Hayford (6 June) and Italian designers Formafantasma (13 June).

6 ‘We are One’ film festival
tribeca film festival queue
Tribeca Film Festival

More than 20 of the world’s biggest and best loved film festivals, including Sundance, Venice, Toronto, Tribeca and glitzy Cannes, have come together to curate a 10-day online event in the face of forced cancellations. Dubbed ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’, the format will see films streamed for free on YouTube, including 13 world premieres, plus a lineup of new and past talks from the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, Claire Denis, Bong Joon-Ho and David Cronenberg. From 29 May–7 June 2020.

7 ‘Freestyle’ at RIBA
's sustainable design talks

When the Royal Institute of British Architects incorporated elements of virtual reality into their February exhibition 'Freestyle: Architectural Adventures in Mass Media' little did they know how prescient that would prove to be. Now, RIBA has enlisted its creator, multidisciplinary studio Space Popular, to reimagine the exhibition as a wholly virtual experience, where visitors use avatars to enter an architectural wonderland that explores how mass media has shaped buildings for 500 years.

8 Stream 'Chair Times' by Heinz Bütler
'chair times' by heinz bütler
'Chair Times' by Heinz Bütler

Now streaming free thanks to Vitra, Heinz Bütler’s 2018 documentary ‘Chair Times’ is a 90-minute celebration of the object in all its functional and fantastical forms, with a trajectory traced from early 19th century designs to 3D printing. Look out for contributions from Hella Jongerius, Sir David Chipperfield and Vitra Design Museum director Mateo Kries, as well as the institution’s curators.

9 ‘Delineating Dreams’ at Kovet Art
tom faber  composition no5
Tom Faber | Composition No.5

We reported on the rocketing rise of accessible art initiatives in our May issue, and this month Kovet Art is set to join their ranks. The brainchild of Saras Rachupalli, Kovet is an artist incubator platform which supports top UK art school graduates under a mentorship scheme. The inaugural online exhibition, ‘Delineating Dreams’ will showcase the first eight, with physical pop ups to follow post-lockdown. From 10 June.

10 London Fashion Week goes digital
london fashion week models
Matty Bovan

Before coronavirus, it might have felt almost impossible to conceive of London Fashion Week sans catwalk shows. This month, during the slot that usually marks LFW Men’s, its usual roster of designers will present their collections digitally, alongside interviews, podcasts and webinars open to all. There’s another first, too: this season’s showcase is the first to be gender-neutral. From 12–14 June.

11 New London cultural hub Our City Together
st dunstans in the east
St Dunstans in the East | City of London

The rich history of the Square Mile has provided plenty of inspiration for new online cultural hub Our City Together, which presents an archive of podcasts, playlists, photography, film, talks and insights into museum collections in partnership with local institutions like the Barbican Centre and Museum of London. Each fortnight will see a new topic in focus, with interactive events to follow soon.

12 Uniqlo Tate Lates launches 'Night In'
uniqlo tate lates
Aleksandra Wojcik

Regular patrons of Tate Modern’s flagship late night event on the last Friday of every month will welcome its return in digital format. Two streams on the Tate website – one dedicated to artist talks and workshops, the other to music, film and spoken word – will allow viewers to ‘curate’ their own evening. Check back soon for details on what’s in store for the second edition in June. From 7pm, 26 June.

13 'Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi' at Somerset House
somerset house sebastian cox mycelium lampshades
Mark Blower

Anyone who missed Somerset House's mushroom homage can now catch a virtual tour of the exhibition, recorded to honour an International Museum Day marked by closed doors. The exhibition traces the cultural legacy of the humble vegetable via a flurry of funghi-related innovations, from Beatrix Potter's delicate watercolours to mycelium shoes by Kristel Peters and shades by Sebastian Cox and Ninela Ivanova. From 18 May 2020.

14 Offsite Online design exhibition
daniel nikolovski dragon bench and shelf
Daniel Nikolovski

Featuring new work by nearly 100 designers, brands, and students, virtual design fair Offsite Online is one of several hoping to go some way in plugging the gap left by this year's cancelled events. Usually a staple of NYCxDesign, this annual showcase by Sight Unseen is resolutely contemporary: be sure to look out for works from Estudio Persona and Kompaniet, as well as the sculptural 'Dragon Series' bench and shelf by Milan-based designer Daniel Nikolovski (above) carved from black walnut. From 18th May.

15 The Monologue Library
the mono box actors
The Mono Box

With the UK's stages shut, a roster of top thespians have found a fresh creative outlet in new initiative The Mono Library, which hosts audio recordings of actors performing their favourite theatrical speech. Created by not-for-profit actor resource The Mono Box, the repository includes over 100 readings from the likes of Riz Ahmed, Vanessa Kirby and Sir Derek Jacobi, performing monologues from Tom Stoppard and Marina Carr, poems by Rilke and Rudyard Kipling, plus plenty of Shakespeare. From 1 May.

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