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A bird’s-eye view in London

A bird’s-eye view in London

Our pick of the season’s cultural events worth travelling for, from Andreas Gursky to plumed Indian dancers 

Our pick of the season’s cultural events worth travelling for, from Andreas Gursky to plumed Indian dancers 

December/January 2018

LONDON The shape of things
Andreas Gursky, the German photographer famed for his bird’s-eye photographs, said: “I am never interested in the individual.” Now his admirers can see his exquisitely detailed disinterest in full colour, when the renovated Hayward Gallery reopens with the first major retrospective of his work in Britain. Having dodged demolition in the 1990s, this brutalist landmark will celebrate its 50th anniversary in fine fettle, with 66 restored pyramid rooflights casting the light just right over Gursky’s pictures. January 25th-April 22nd

PARIS Jeunesse Diorée
When Christian Dior released his first fashion collection in 1947, the modern lines, cinched waists and daring silhouettes – dubbed the New Look – won him instant fame and revitalised the musty world of French couture. A spectacular exhibition in Paris celebrates the 70th anniversary of that launch, interweaving the work of artists from whom Dior drew inspiration – Dalí, Man Ray and Giacometti as well as classical and Renaissance masters – with over 300 haute-couture gowns, atelier toiles, fashion photographs, illustrations and fashion accessories. The colour is dazzling, as are the frocks. Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, until January 7th

New York Artist-tech thinking
In 1977 Beryl Korot, an American video artist, premiered her ground-breaking installation highlighting the links between the designs produced by weavers on traditional looms and computer programming. Her installation is at the heart of “Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959-1989”. Nearly 100 pieces illustrate the ways in which artists, architects and designers engaged with the technology that has reshaped our lives. The smartphone generation may be shocked by examples of early tech, including the first Apple Macs and the enormous CM-2 Supercomputer from 1987. MOMA, until April 8th

CARTAGENA Classical beauty
Cartagena is the jewel of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Its old town may hold the continent’s most perfectly preserved colonial architecture. It is a fitting venue for one of South America’s most glittering gatherings of classical musicians. This year, the International Festival of Music focuses on three cornerstones of the classical style: Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. There will be chamber concerts, recitals and vocal concerts in dramatic venues, from the Santa Clara Chapel to the Adolfo Mejía Theatre. Outside, sultry days give way to cool evenings with an ocean breeze that stirs through streets framed with bougainvillea. The weather in January is reliably glorious. January 5th-16th

NAGALAND Away with the birds
Like the bird itself, the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland presents an eye-popping spectacle. Nagalanders, who live in the valleys and deep jungles of the north-eastern pendant of India, call the rest of the country “the mainland”. Fly into Kohima via Kolkata, then head to Kisama to catch this gathering of the state’s 16 Naga tribes. Tour company, the Ultimate Travelling Camp, sets up its luxury tents for the festival, enabling visitors to dance with the birds while lodging in style. The Nagas speak a variety of tongues and pursue enough distinct cultural practices to busy an army of anthropologists. It requires artifice to bring them together, but the result is an otherworldly display of dances and sporting contests, all performed wearing brilliant plumage. A concurrent rock festival lends 20th-century dash. Kisama heritage village, December 1st-10th

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