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Arts and culture: What's on in June?

A compilation of some of the exciting arts and culture events to look forward to seeing in Bristol this month.

By Daniel Tester, Second Year, Politics and Sociology

Tropical Malady, The Cube, 4th June

To mark the 20th anniversary of its release, The Cube revisits the breakout film of arthouse cinema's chief conduit to the spirt world, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Part queer coming-of-age romance, part anthropomorphic Thai folklore, Tropical Malady marked the thudding arrival of one of the most polarising artists in international cinema today. Baffling, beguiling and brazen in equal measure, a string of successes  have since cemented Weerasethakul as a generational poet-cum-provocateur, and Tropical Malady has emerged as an unlikely cult classic of early 2000s slow cinema. Not to be missed.

R.A.P. Ferreira, Strange Brew, 8th June

Under half a dozen names, Rory Ferreira has self-released something like an album a year for about the last decade, and in doing so has carved out a corner of hip-hop that is wholly his own. Philosophical but fun - zany, but never twee - gently existential bars about doing laundry and getting escorted out of the supermarket, casually chucked over jazzy, analogue-sounding boom-bap. What's not to like?


Absurdist A/V Jumble Sale, The Cube, 8th June

Ever watched former snooker world champion Steve Davis mashing up old educational DVDs, Cilit Bang adverts and eighties TV broadcasts while stood on stage dressed as ice-cream man? Billed as a 'total sensory flotsam and jetsom overload,' The Absurdist A/V Jumble Sale might just be The Cube's strangest semi-regular happening, as well as an evening-length embodiment of everything that makes the place an essential part of keeping Bristol weird. Live VJs ('visual-jockeys'), including Davis himself, chop and screw charity shop DVD esoterica for a few hours as you get lost in the weird, cobwebby recesses of your psyche that catalogue endless suburban summer holidays spent consuming bizarro cultural artefacts you'd forgotten existed. Better than Gravs.


Anthony Naples, Softi, Strange Brew, 14th June

NYC's finest purveyor of hazy, left-field techno comes to Strange Brew this month for a late one with support from London DJ Softi. In recent years, Naples' releases have drifted into the afterparty-appropriate BPMs of ambient, kosmische and dub techno, and some of his work sounds so hypnagogic and haunted you think he might be techno's answer Burial. His higher energy live sets fuse all this into an innovative, genre-expanding mix with an emotional palette spanning the full distance from come-up to comedown.


Donald Rodney: Visceral Canker, Spike Island (24th May - 8th September)

The summer's a good one at Spike Island, where the gallery welcomes a season-long retrospective of the trailblazing British artist, Donald Rodney. Born in Birmingham in 1961, Rodney gained visibility as a member of Wolverhampton's Blk Art Group, and went on to become a key figure in the 1980s Black Art Movement. An always political artist, Rodney challenged colonial legacies and institutional racism long before the wider art world finally decided that was the right thing to do, and his back-catalogue is full of scathing, winking political works that interpolated the iconography and materials of pop culture. One notorious piece, for instance, juxtaposed a doll of The A-Team's Mr T with a Robert Mapplethorpe photo of a large black penis. Rodney died in 1998 after a lifelong battle with sickle cell anaemia - a struggle that informs much of his work. You wonder what he'd have done since: he'd apparently floated the idea of building a model of the Tate out of sugar cubes to probe the history of slave-trade profit that built the place. This is characteristically forward-thinking fare from Bristol's best art gallery.

Featured Image: Isabel Williams

What events are you looking forward to attending in Bristol this June?