London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts Launches 75TH Anniversary Season

Bengi Ünsal ICA Photo credit © Anne Tetzlaff
Bengi Ünsal ICA Photo credit © Anne Tetzlaff

The Institute of Contemporary Arts new season sees a rebalancing of its programme across artforms, styles and media, with a dynamic series of live performances, music and night-time programming complementing the thriving visual arts, film and education programmes at the institution’s London home. New work from across the disciplines is at the centre of the programme, which re-establishes the ICA as a platform for today’s most challenging and vital artists.

Bengi Ünsal ICA  Photo credit © Anne Tetzlaff
Bengi Ünsal ICA Photo credit © Anne Tetzlaff

The season is the first under the leadership of Bengi Ünsal, who became the ICA’s second female Director earlier this year after serving as the Southbank Centre’s Head of Contemporary Music. The season arrives exactly 75 years after the ICA was officially founded by a disparate collective of artists in 1947, shortly before presenting its first exhibition – 40 Years of Modern Art: A Selection from British Collections – in the basement of an Oxford Street cinema in February 1948.

Highlights include:
P-R-E-S-E-N-T, a major one-night takeover of the ICA’s ground floor to celebrate the institution’s 75th birthday, supported by Bottega Veneta (Wednesday 1 February 2023).

An expanded music programme in partnership with DICE, with live shows from the likes of Black Country New Road, Slausen Malone 1, Deathcrash, Naima Bock, Ellauro and Carmen Villain; Astrals, a new series championing emerging talent featuring nights curated by artists including Nkisi and Kode9; and minus one, a series curated by the city’s most exciting emerging artists, producers and club collectives.

Hold Hold Fire, Olivia Plender, 2022
Hold Hold Fire, Olivia Plender, 2022

New commissions in the ICA Theatre, from sound installations and performances to a co-production with acclaimed theatre company Tamasha.

An all-night takeover from queer club collective INFERNO, followed by the fourth INFERNO summit – this time focused on experimental trans artists.

INFERNO, ICA, 2020 Photography by Anne Tetzlaff

A far-reaching cinema programme, with ICA-curated seasons and series supplemented by the return of visiting events such as the BFI London Film Festival.

Two major exhibitions from powerful voices in British art, Christopher Kulendran Thomas and R.I.P. Germain

RIP Germain credit Joshua Osborne
RIP Germain credit Joshua Osborne

A dynamic talks and learning programme, including collaborations with Dazed Club, the London College of Fashion and the Conditions low-cost studio programme


The season also sees the launch of The ICA Is, a new testimonial campaign. Artists, audiences and staff members have told the ICA what the institution means to them – and their answers serve as a framework for reconsidering the multiple histories, artistic investigations and cultural contexts that have informed the ICA across its 75-year history. The campaign, which includes a new logo, will feature on, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #ICA75.

To mark the moment, the ICA is also launching:

Infrequencies, a new podcast series, making available a number of talks and other special events from the ICA’s audio archive .

A new digital journal, featuring essays, interviews, videos, images and reading lists by ICA staff and commissioned artists that take a closer look at the programme.

In partnership with creative street advertising specialists Jack Arts, a year-long poster campaign highlighting events and projects from our forward and past programme can be seen throughout London.

A fundraising auction in partnership with Sotheby’s (Saturday 15 October), designed to support the safeguarding of the ICA’s future and future generations of artists (to be announced Tuesday 27 September – a separate press release available on request).

A new ticketing partnership with DICE, driven by a passion to support emerging artists and help audiences discover them; all music tickets will be sold on DICE.

Bengi Ünsal, ICA Director, says:
“As we celebrate this milestone occasion, 75 years since our founding in 1947, we are grateful for the bold visions of the artists, musicians, creatives and audiences who have all contributed to what the ICA is. The ICA has always been progressive, an alternative and a safe place for all those who are looking beyond the mainstream, taking risks and defying definitions. Safeguarding the space for them and the next generations is our most important responsibility. This anniversary is an exciting moment to celebrate what the ICA is to its community. It is also an opportunity to reflect on our history, to plan thoughtfully for our future, and to say thank you.”

Wolfgang Tillmans, Artist and ICA Board Chair, says:

“Having been a Londoner for three decades now, I can’t think of a single year in which the ICA didn’t enrich, surprise and contribute to my understanding of art in the context of the UK and the wider world around us. It is an honour to be part of this ongoing journey in its 75th year. The ICA is needed now more than ever as an independent advocate and platform for the next generation of artists, whose work strives to answer to the pressing challenges of our time.”

©2022 ICA