Brilliant Things To Do in February

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Gösta Peterson, Mademoiselle, 1965
Gösta Peterson, Mademoiselle, 1965© Gösta Peterson

The AnOther team compile their top things to see and do this February

Gösta (Gus) Peterson at Turn Gallery – Until March 8
For those in New York, a new exhibition at Turn Gallery celebrates the work of Swedish-born fashion photographer Gösta Peterson. Although less well known than his contemporaries Avedon and Penn, Peterson was an important pioneer of a more creative, informal approach to fashion photography, concerned with capturing personality and emotion as well as beauty.

The Best of Film
February is a great month for new film releases. First on our list is Selma (released on the 6th), a chronicle of Martin Luther King's 1965 campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, starring a gripping David Oyelowo in the lead role. Also out on the 6th is The Turning an epic, three hour adaptation of Tim Winton's short-story collection that sees each story interpreted on film by a different team of filmmakers, with collaborators from the worlds of theatre, photography, visual art and dance (including past AnOther cover stars Mia Wasikowska and Cate Blanchett). The 20th marks the release of Peter Strickland's acclaimed The Duke of Burgundy, a beautifully shot, masterfully acted, and surprisingly tender, exploration of the relationship between two women, who express their love through ritual sado-masochist role-play.

For horror fans, It Follows – the Cannes breakout film from first-time director David Robert Mitchell (out on the 27th) – promises to disturb and delight in equal measure. An unique exploration of teen sex, suburbia, and the stuff of nightmares, it has all the stuff of a cult classic in the making. Also set for release on the 27th is brilliant Hungarian drama White God, winner of Cannes' Prize Un Certain Regard Award. Breathtakingly original, it follows the story of a dog who, wrenched apart from his treasured owner and desperate in his quest to find her, joins a canine revolt against human dog abusers (the dogs in the film were also awarded with the Cannes' Palm Dog Award.) Finally, The BFI's Katharine Heburn season begins on the 1st and runs until March 19, offering audiences the chance to revisit 26 of the brilliantly versatile actress’s finest roles, from A Bill of Divorcement to The Philadelphia Story.

Musicians as Artists: Paul Simonon's Wot No Bike – Until February 6; PJ Harvey's Recording in Progress – Ongoing
Two very different artistic endeavors from two musical icons are on show this month. musician and artist Paul Simonon has an exhibition of new paintings on display at the ICA until February 6. Wot No Bike features works in oil that act as an arresting visual diary, depicting the bassist's personal effects, including biker paraphernalia such as jackets, boots, helmets, and gloves, alongside his packets of cigarettes and books. While PJ Harvey has taken up residence in Somerset House where she is recording her ninth album inside an architectural installation designed by Something & Son. An enclosed box, the recording studio has one-way glazing, showcasing Harvey, her band, producers and engineers as a mutating. multi-dimensional sound sculpture.

Goodbye To All That: Reflections on War from The Somme to Afghanistan – February 3
A special Faber event on February 3rd will celebrate the much-anticipated publication of The Illuminations by award winning author and journalist, Andrew O’Hagan. Entitled Goodbye To All That: Reflections on War from The Somme to Afghanistan, the event will see a number of brilliant cultural figures – including doyenne of Irish literature, Edna O’Brien and poet and musician Kate Tempest – alongside O'Hagan himself, each offering a different perspective on war.

Charlotte Dumas: Anima and the Widest Prairies – February 6 - April 6
This month sees the first UK solo exhibition of Dutch artist Charlotte Dumas at The Photographer's Gallery. Dumas' photographs evoke notions of fragility and freedom, centring predominantly on the shared planes of consciousness between equine, canine and human existence. These compelling works are acclaimed for their aesthetic beauty as well as their contemplative aura.

Harringay Local Store
A mecca for gastronomes with a penchant for organic, locally sourced food, Harringay Local Store is an inspired project from Ebony and Paul Harding, who have lived in Harringay for eight years. Their new shop will provide the local community with fine wines and good quality seasonal produce from around the UK.

Barbara Kruger: Early Works – February 10 - April 11
This month Skarstedt London will bring together some of the seminal and most recognisable works from Barbara Kruger's early career. Confrontational and uncompromising, Kruger's characteristic juxtaposition of text and image exposes the stereotypes and hypocrisies of American society and its media outlets.

Fashion Talks at The V&A – Marella Caracciolo ChiaGareth Pugh
The V&A is holding a few talks that are not to be missed this February. On the 10th, Marella Caracciolo Chia, niece of 50s icon Marella Agnelli, is talking about her aunt's life and style while on the 20th, AnOther favourite Gareth Pugh will be discussing his career and inspirations.

Luc Tuymans – Until April 2
David Zwirner presents a new series of paintings from Dutch artist Luc Tuymans. Painted from pre-existing imagery – including material found online and the artist’s own iPhone photos – the compelling and at times unsettling works often appear "slightly out-of-focus and sparsely coloured, like third-degree abstractions from reality."

Laurie Simmons and Kasper Sonne at The Arts Club – Ongoing
A new show from artist (and mother of Lena Dunham) Laurie Simmons is the latest in a series of well-curated exhibitions at The Arts Club. Simmons' distinctive photographs of staged realities using dolls, ventriloquist dummies and mannequins, are haunting explorations of the boundaries between reality and illusion, full of disquieting psychological subtexts concerned with melancholy, isolation and gender. Also on show is the work of Kasper Sonne whose abstract pieces are an explosion of colour and playfulness, created through his experiments with chemical solvents and paint pigments. The Arts Club exhibitions are open to the public between 10am and 12pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays, by appointment only.

Cross Section of a Revolution – Until March 7
A group exhibition of Lisson Gallery artists, Cross Section of a Revolution explores global aspects of trade, trauma, religious belief systems and contested territories, via a diverse array of artistic media, from sculpture to film. Featuring work from the likes of Broomberg & Chanarin, Liu Xiaodong, and Rashid Rana, the show is both challenging and thought provoking, striking an especially resonant chord in the face of current cultural instability.

Great Theatre Performances: How to Hold Your Breath – February 4-March 21; Vault Festival – Until March 8; Boa– February 5-March 7
There are plenty of fantastic theatrical performances to get your teeth sunk into this month, like How to Hold Your Breath at the Royal Court. A brilliant piece of new writing from Zinnie Harris, and directed by Vicky Featherstone, this play offers a witty, dark and provocative insight into European culture, questioning our principles and how we live now. Also not to be missed is Vault Festival, returning to the Waterloo tunnels with six weeks of "entertainment, ideas and chaos". Its two headline productions – True Brits by rising British Asian playwright Vinay Patel; and Yve Blake’s The Lie Collector, a musical celebration of real life confessions – promise exciting viewing. Finally, running for a limited 5-week period at the Trafalgar Studios, is Boa, a tender and powerful love story spanning thirty years, three continents and two wars, starring Dame Harriet Walter and her husband Guy Paul. A Valentine’s Day excursion perhaps?

Valentine’s Day 
And speaking of Valentine's Day, why not surprise your loved one this year and go beyond the predictable remit of red roses and chocolates? You could take a trip to Keats’ house in Hampstead to see original copies of his exquisite Romantic poems and letters to Fanny Brawne or head to the Charles Dickens museum's pop-up gin library where, for one night only, you can revel in artisanal gin specialties in the candlelit basement. For a more lively option, there's Wilton's Music Hall's Valentine Stomp, where a twenty piece jazz orchestra will perform scintillating Big Band tracks to transport you back to the golden era of Swing. Meanwhile, Tom’s Kitchen is offering a delectable Valentine’s day menu designed for sharing – perfect for those in quest of a romantic tête-à-tête. And for those unwilling to eschew chocolate entirely, why not take a walking tour of London’s chocolatier history with Cocoa Hernando – a chance to explore the dark and depraved history of chocolate in Hogarth’s London, complete with an artisanal chocolate sampling at every pit stop along the way? And finally, for the ultimate Valentine's Day film, there's Love is All, Kim Longinotto's acclaimed documentary made up of 100 years of BFI love scenes on screen, set to a stunning Richard Hawley score.

Compiled by Arabella Noortman and Daisy Woodward