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Art and spies at London's Imperial War Museum

— July 2013

Associated media

Artist's impression of what the Imperial War Museum will be like when its makeover is complete in summer 2014

Imperial War Museum London partially re-opens with major new family exhibition Horrible Histories®: Spies and a new art programme: IWM Contemporary

Following a temporary closure to begin transformation works and build new First World War Galleries, IWM London has partially re-opened with a major new family exhibition Horrible Histories®: Spies and IWM Contemporary, a new programme showcasing significant works by leading artists, in response to war and conflict.

While IWM London is partially open (from 29 July – Summer 2014) building works to transform IWM London will continue behind the scenes until the new reconfigured atrium, large object displays and new First World War Galleries to mark the First World War Centenary are opened in summer 2014.

IWM Contemporary, the Museum’s new arts programme of exhibitions and events, launches with Omer Fast and his film 5,000 Thousand Feet is the Best (29 July – 29 September 2013). In this 30-minute film based on a series of interviews with a former drone operator, artist Omer Fast explores how the use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan is rapidly changing the politics, ethics and personal experience of contemporary conflict. The film will be first work shown in the brand new art gallery dedicated to the IWM Contemporary programme.

The IWM Contemporary programme will present a series of exhibitions each year at IWM London and a major exhibition at IWM North this autumn. Upcoming exhibitions includeMike Moore and Lee Craker’(23 Oct 2013 – 5 Jan 2014) in a striking exhibition of reportage and portrait photographs taken of US and UK soldiers in Iraq 1991 – 2012 as well as ‘Donovan Wylie’ (23 Oct 2013 – 21 April 2014) – one of Britain’s leading photographers and filmmakers – which will examine the personal and environmental legacy of military structures. There will also be a series of free talks to accompany the IWM Contemporary programme, details of which will follow in the autumn.

Visitors to Horrible Histories®: Spies (29 July 2013 – 4 Jan 2015)  will be immersed into the world of Second World War spy-craft encountering everything from Cracking Codes, and Great Gadgets through to Savage Sabotage and Clever Camouflage as well as objects from IWM’s unique Second World War collections. Families can discover techniques used by the most cunning spies, including how to make invisible ink and use fake feet as well as setting out on their own mission with an interactive ‘stamper trail’.

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