• History is Now ‐7 Artists Take on Britain

Wilson, Jane, 2015, Show, Exhibition or Event, History is Now ‐7 Artists Take on Britain

Abstract or Description:

History Is Now: 7 Artists Take On Britain explored 70 years of cultural and social history. 7 artists were invited to curate sections which bring together a set of thematic ideas and that are generally situated in a particular historical moment.
Jane Wilson wanted to explore episodes of social and political unrest that have shaped Britain during the late twentieth century, paying attention to the spaces in which these episodes have taken place and the ways in which artists have responded to them. The earliest site of conflict she examined was the mining town of Peterlee, County Durham. She re-visited the contested legacy of Victor Pasmore's modernist architectural contributions to the town, as well as an artistic intervention led by Stuart Brisley in the late 1970s. During the 1980s thousands of women gathered at Royal Air Force Station Greenham Common, where 96 US missiles were held, to protest against nuclear armaments. While exploring the Greenham Common archive I was drawn to documentary images of the site's chain-link perimeter fence. These images resonate with other works included in the exhibition, such as Stuart Brisley's 1 = 66,666 (1983) and Rita Donagh's Slade (1980).
Northern Ireland during the Troubles (1966-98) is the third place of unrest tackled, this long-running conflict is explored through works by artists including Rita Donagh and Conrad Atkinson that point to, rather than attempt to resolve, the situation's complexity. Elsewhere in this section, works by artists rarely shown together are united by a shared concern with the ways in which architectural space – particularly that which has been the scene of conflict – can be measured, and how memory can be recorded.
The author have looked closely at three sites of conflict and contention during a particular moment in history through a sort of prism of how artists, at the time, responded to them. The artworks she selected were each made within very specific parameters and contexts. In gathering them together she was mindful of the original contexts, as well as the fact that a selection like this can never be entirely representative of a total body of work. The objects and artworks that shouldn't function as artefacts or relics: by bringing them together the author hoped to somehow animate the energy and momentum inherent in what for her were extraordinary works and documents, some of whose context and initial impetus might now seem obscured.

Curator of an exhibitionLauson, Cliff
History is Now ‐7 Artists Take on BritainLondon, Southbank, Hayward Gallery, UK10 February - 26 April, 2015Museum/exhibition
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Funders: Wellcome Trust, The Henry Moore Foundation
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2016 15:44
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2019 15:25
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1745
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