5 to See: This Weekend

5 to See: This Weekend

This weekend’s must-see exhibitions demonstrate the breadth of photography. From documentary to hyper-realism, these shows highlight the medium’s enduring power to hold up a mirror to changing societies.

Saltdean Lido, East Sussex, by RWH Jones, 1938. Photographed by John Maltby
©John Maltby / RIBA Collections

Into the Blue, V&A, London

Into the Blue examines the architectural, cultural and social history of swimming baths in the United Kingdom. The show reveals the transformation of historic pools and the construction of innovative new leisure spaces through drawings, photographs, models and film. Free display as part of the V&A and RIBA Architecture Partnership. Until 19 April 2020.

Desiree, from the series The Big Valley, 2008. © Alex Prager. Courtesy Alex Prager
Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong and Seoul.

Alex Prager: Silver Lake Drive, Foam Amsterdam

In Alex Prager’s (b. 1979) hyper-real world, protagonists are stuck in a world of saturated colours. They satisfy complex narratives of life and death, power and control – often set against the backdrop of the self-taught artist’s hometown of Los Angeles, birthplace of Hollywood. Until 4 September.

Wright Morris, Farmhouse in Winter, near Lincoln, Nebraska, 1941.

Wright Morris: L’Essence du Visible, Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris

Chairs, mirrors, cars, architecture. Devoid of figures, images by the American novelist were rooted in the land, demonstrating the enigmatic character of places and objects laid bare. This show draws on links between visuals and text, drawing a portrait of photographic and literary US. Until 29 September.

Homeland, Pankop, Passage dividing primary and high school, former Kwandebele, 2009; Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery.

Thabiso Sekgala: Here Is Elsewhere, HENI Project Space, Hayward Gallery, London

“The idea of home is very complex, and changes depending on who you are and where you come from.” Sekgala’s (1981-2014) photographs explore notions of place and belonging, touching on both the artist’s personal experiences and the political history of South Africa. Until 6 October.

Shirin Neshat, Women of Allah, 1997. Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Apport Focuna.

Subjects of Life. Photography in the Mudam Collection, Mudam Luxembourg

Perceptions of reality and notions of territory come under scrutiny in Subjects of Life. The exhibition presents variety of contemporary photographic approaches, exploring artistic perspectives from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. Featured artists include Shirin Neshat, Nan Goldin, Bernd and Hilla Becher and Martin Parr. Until 22 September.

Lead image: Alex Prager, Cathy, 2009.