The best things to do and see in Europe this week

Le Gant d’amour (After de Chirico and Jean Genet), 2010
Le Gant d’amour (After de Chirico and Jean Genet), 2010 Copyright Francesco Vezzoli
Copyright Francesco Vezzoli
By Amber Louise Bryce
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Taylor's Tortured poets department, teary masterpieces and 2024's most controversial film - here are our recommendations for this week.


Another week, another round-up of exciting things to see, do and listen to this week around Europe. 

Obviously, the big one - for Swifties at least - is Taylor's new album, 'The Tortured Poets Department' (more on that below), but there's also a number of new exhibitions and events covering everything from AI art to embroidered tears. 

Another notable event is the Venice Biennale, which returns for its 60th edition and examines ideas of nationhood, belonging and foreignness under the theme 'Foreigners Everywhere.’

*Record scratch* - if you're reading this on 20 April, it's also Record Store Day! We've very helpfully put together a list of the 17 best vinyl releases for the event, so pop some tunes on and grab your diary. 


'Digital Art Week 2024', London, UK

Kevin Abosch, The Future Queen of England, 2024, NFT and Print
Kevin Abosch, The Future Queen of England, 2024, NFT and PrintHOFA Kevin Abosch

We're well and truly living in the future, where artificial intelligence (AI) continues its rise and can do things like make the Mona Lisa rap - or create genuine masterpieces through human collaboration. 

AI is a key aspect of Digital Art Week, a celebration of digital creativity and technological innovation through exhibitions across the city. Launching on 22 April, it's a week-long event that includes a special collaboration with the HOFA (House of Fine Art) Gallery platform, which launches on 25 April 2024 and runs until 30 April. Of note to see here is the AI piece 'The Future Queen of England by Irish artist Kevin Abosch. 

And on the topic of AI art - there also just so happens to be another great exhibition in London called ‘Post-Photography: The Uncanny Valley’  at the Palmer Gallery. It's led by the works of Boris Eldagsen, who, in 2023, revealed that he won a prestigious photography award by submitting an AI-generated image. Find out more here

Francesco Vezzoli: 'Musei Delle Lacrime (Museums of Tears)', Venice, Italy

Francesco Vezzoli, 'La nascita di American Gigolò' (After Sandro Botticelli), 2014
Francesco Vezzoli, 'La nascita di American Gigolò' (After Sandro Botticelli), 2014Alessandro Ciampi/A.Ciampi

It's my Botticelli and he'll cry if I want him to! Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli is making masterpieces weep with his newly opened exhibition atMuseo Correr. Vezzoli, bemused by the lack of crying in paintings, has made a career out of embroidering big balloon-like tears onto famous artworks. His current display focuses on renaissance figures and pop culture icons such as Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga, the tearful transformations playing with context through the addition of campy kitsch. It's on until 24 November, so don't cry - you've got plenty of time! 


London's Eid Festival, UK

In celebration of the holy month of Ramadan coming to an end, London’s free Eid festival comes to Westfield Stratford until 21 April. There's a colourful mixture of entertainment on offer, with everything from DJ sets to dancing, and traditional and contemporary music performances. There's also the chance to take part in various workshops and try so much good food. It's the perfect day out with family. 

EUmies Awards 2024 Winners, Brussels (and online)

Ready to see some of the very best of contemporary European architecture? Winners of the 2024 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Awards Winners are set to be announced on 25 April at 7pm CET at CIVA (Centre for Information, Documentation and Exhibitions on the city, architecture, landscape and urban planning). You can also catch them online on their YouTube and Instagram


Civil War

We know, we know - it's a repeat recommendation! But Alex Garland's Civil War is 2024's most controversial film so far - and it just so happens to be our Film of the Week, so we have an official review for you to sink your teeth into ahead of seeing it in cinemas (if you haven't already.) The plot follows a group of journalists, including Lee (Kirsten Dunst) and her accidental apprentice Jesse (Cailee Spaeny), who are en route to Washington D.C. to reach the President before rebel forces do. 

"It’s a disquieting watch that strives for realism, achieves it, and demands a theatrical experience," our critic David Mouriquand said

TV Series

Secrets of the Octopus


The octopus is a truly fascinating creature. For example, did you know they have three hearts? And for those that were a fan of the 2020 documentary My Octopus Teacher, this new National Geographic series that's streaming on Disney Plus from 22 April provides even more insight into the mesmerising molluscs. Guided by scientist Alex Schnell, we're taken on a journey through the watery worlds of these strange beings, learning about their survival techniques, evolutionary adaptations, and losing ourselves in their hypnotic, other-worldly forms. 


Taylor Swift: 'The Tortured Poets Department'

Does she ever take a break? Global superstar Taylor Swift has released her newest album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’, which dropped at midnight and was followed by a “surprise double album” two hours later! 

Our critic (and resident Swiftie) David Mouriquand has already taken the (original 16) tracks for a spin, calling the album "an uneven but entrancing post-mortem on love and its pitfalls." Read his full review here.

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