Solway Selects: April 2012

Arts and Culture Editor Diane Solway’s must-sees for April.


Poised between fact and fiction, the photographs by Canadian artist Stan Douglas plunge viewers into events they can’t quite make out. The historical references are familiar, but not so the story line. See for yourself in “Midcentury Studio,” at London’s Victoria Miro gallery April 18 through May 12, for which Douglas used actors and period pieces to dream up pictures taken by a fictional photographer working in the forties. For his latest series, “Disco Angola” (below, at New York’s David Zwirner gallery March 22 through April 28), Douglas assumes the persona of a seventies-era New York photojournalist who travels to Africa to document its liberation struggles and finds unexpected parallels to the disco underground back home.

From top: Stan Douglas’s “Disco Angola”; Mary Ellen Mark’s Prom

Also on my radar this month: The book Prom (Getty Publications), by real-life photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark, captures this quintessential rite of passage in its infinite variety. Traversing the country, Mark snapped same-sex dates (above), pregnant prom-goers, and teens dressed for the military stint that awaited them after their big night…An enthralling performer, the superstar-ballerina-turned-contemporary-dancer Sylvie Guillem makes her first U.S. appearance since 2006 in “6000 Miles Away,” a three-choreographer bill at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater in New York April 4, 5, and 7.

Illustration by Alexandra Compain-Tissier; Douglas: courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York; Prom: Mary Ellen Mark