Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tate Modern - A Taste of Political Art (47)

Tuesday was another engaging session at Tate Modern in the presence of  and a lot of children on holiday from schools (although I'm not sure what some of the under 10's were getting from their visit).

I'm calling this Political and looking at  Feminist Art later (although you'll see that there's a crossover) - Some of the Political stuff is concerned with Colonialism and Racism  but also about (I think) the powerful in our society.

10 works by Sue Williamson

This was called Case 6831/21

The work by Sue Williamson related to the part played by many of the Women in supporting the fight is South Africa for equality, many of the women illustrated the dignity of their standing up and being counted by small acts of heroism.

 The works themselves were often understated too with subtle decoration around etched photographic portraits   reminding some in the group of stamps (with a 'perforation' from pinking shears perhaps) I was reminded of Stained Glass windows and almost saintly resonances.

An allegory -for better or worse?

In an adjoining room was another work, that was also about Colonialism - and if this is the case it could be viewed as distastefulness and/or 'uncomfortable'.

The work by Jane Alexander that I thought of being surrealist has other levels too as the South African born artist makes clear here..

What do the unsettling figures say to us?
Again I'm not too sure what many of the visitors would read into the work as it could be just another 'Selfie' opportunity.

It was interesting too to learn that it was a commissioned work that had been exhibited, initially in a 'space' very much related to 'Colonial' times) hence the chandeliers) . 

The work is called 'African Adventure' which too suggests irony but irony that may go undetected by many I fear.

If you have time perhaps the MA thesis on Jane's work by Tracy-Lee Nicol will help with some pointers .

The other work with a taste of the political resistance we examined was Civil Tapestry 4 and one of the intriguing aspects of it is that it's made up of fire hoses - the association being that they were used for quelling 'unrest'.

Civil Tapestry (2011) by Theaster Gates  

The responsible artist Theaster Gates is a Black American artist from Chicago and the work references some of the history of civil disturbance/resistance by American urban city dwellers.

£62 26 is making an appearance 


Another major literary figure (John Milton)  is commemorated 

Here's 47 two flats now - look at the lovely tiles on the left  though

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