What We’re Doing This May

In between bank holidays and Dyonisian partying rituals, before getting ushered into the world of possibilities that is summer, May seems like an infinite transitioning period situated between those dreary rainy days and the utter hedonism of the festival season to come. To power these (hopefully) last few days of temperamental weather, we’ve compiled a selection of a few of our favourite May events around the city.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: #TheirMortalRemains

Opening on Saturday, 13 May, the V&A

Curated in close consultation with Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and the Estate of Richard Wright, the V&A promises something of an experience in the form of an audio-visual fueled immersion into the band’s world. Fans will also find an extensive collection of memorabilia approved by remaining members of the band, with contributions from Hipgnosis, the creative director behind the cover for The Dark Side of The Moon. The major exhibition will mark 50 years from the release of their first single Arnold Layne and is aiming to encapsulate the same revolutionary atmosphere Pink Floyd has pioneered in their extraordinary paralleling of sound and vision.

ISelf Collection: Self-Portrait as the Billy Goat

Free entry, from 27 April, The Whitechapel Gallery

Kicking off The Whitechapel Gallery’s series of explorations of the self, Self-Portrait as the Billy Goat is a collection of both physical and psychological self-portraits, bringing together rarely seen works by Louise Bourgeois, André Bréton, Yayoi Kusama and more. Inspired by a mass obsession with selfie culture, the works in the exhibition focus on the states of mind behind self-representation, resisting easy definition and igniting a larger debate on the question of self.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

Opening May 27, V&A

One of the major fashion exhibitions of the year, Shaping Fashion marks the centenary of the opening of Balenciaga’s first fashion house in San Sebastian and follows the Spanish couturier’s evolution from the 1950s and 1960s. Homage to some of his most iconic shapes, the baby doll, the tunic, the sack, that continue to circulate today, the exhibition aligns sketches, patterns and footage with modern investigations into the clothes, ranging from a collaboration with an X-ray artist and a digital pattern making project. Further, it explores the legacy of the house through the work of contemporary designers.

Photo London

May 18 – 21, Somerset House

Photo London returns to Somerset House for its third run. Exhibitors range from the world’s leading galleries, to a Discovery section honoring emerging galleries and artists, along with a spotlight on vintage works, making it the Frieze of photography. It is paired with TABLE, a culinary experience combating food waste through a set price of £20, using strictly leftover food from Skye Gyngell’s restaurant Spring and donated ingredients from local producers.

Designing Freedom: California at The Design Museum

Opening May 24, The Design Museum

‘Its central idea is that California has pioneered tools of personal liberation, from LSD to skateboards and iPhones.’ From the 1960s onwards, California has become somewhat of an aspiration, a state of mind and its impact reverberates all across the world. From a countercultural epicenter and the dream factory of Hollywood to Silicone Valley, California has constantly remained a relevant point in the world of design. Designing Freedom is the first collection examining the global reach of the Golden State.


Manhattan, La Strada, Sundance and more.

From classic re-releases, to kicking off the blockbuster season to a comedy festival, May is abuzz with cinematic events. The ‘fond memory’ of Manhattan returns to the big screen in Woody Allen’s ode to love and loss and missed chances in the big city, oscillating between comedy and romance. There’s also a rediscovery of Fellini’s La Strada, a vital watch to understand the transition from the postwar neorealism and the complexity of his autobiographical explorations that followed. And last, but definitely not least, Picturehouse Central is hosting the international and UK premieres of films from Sundance 2017 including, A Ghost Story and The Big Sick.