Three to see

Three to see: London

From slick and surreal photographs at the Serpentine to art in canal boats for the Art Licks Weekend

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Torbjørn Rødland’s Apple (2006) is on show at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery Collection FRAC Nord Pas de Calais, France

Sets of molars, some with remnants of fillings, lie strewn across a plate alongside a spoon, yoghurt lid and cake remains in Torbjørn Rødland’s Plate and Spoon (2015). The photograph is one of many in The Touch That Made You (until 19 November) at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery that is slickly produced but viscerally jarring. The exhibition, which opens today, is the LA-based, Norwegian photographer’s first solo show in the UK. Other subject matter that undergoes Rødland’s slightly surreal gaze include strawberries and cream, the heiress and socialite Paris Hilton, a child urinating into a river and butterflies feasting on overripe bananas.

London’s annual weekend festival of grassroots artist-led projects, the Art Licks Weekend (until 1 October), is five this year and for the first time it has a theme. Finding Solutions speaks to the initiative’s aim from the start—to recognise the artists finding creative ways of working despite the skyrocketing costs of London life. “People have to be quite imaginative in the kind of space they have,” says Art Licks’s director Holly Willats. The 65 venues this year stretch from Bounds Green in the north to Croydon in the south and take in two canal boats, a Victoria line Tube carriage, three public parks and many homes. “I think it shows that places like Peckham are no longer affordable,” Willats says. “It’s [now] more like wherever’s possible.”

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, which opens at the Victoria and Albert Museum tomorrow (30 September-25 February 2018), is a collaboration between the museum and the Royal Opera House. It recounts a cultural, rather than musicological, history of opera by highlighting in chronological order seven opera premieres in seven European cities, including Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in Venice, Handel’s Rinaldo in London and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in Vienna. If you know little about opera and would like to know more, there could not be a better place to start. If you are an opera buff, you will be delighted to see these old friends in their historical milieu. The exhibition is the first to take place in the museum’s new, purpose-built Sainsbury Gallery.