Saturday, 19 September 2009

Pic of the day

Mark Wallinger - State Britain, 2007

I was thinking about this installation earlier today, and can't believe it was exhibited 2 years ago. I saw it on the off-chance, and funnily enough it was the same day that Mark Wallinger was taking a few pics of the work for himself

The press release explains its background better than I can:

Mark Wallinger has recreated peace campaigner Brian Haw’s Parliament Square protest for a dramatic new installation at Tate Britain... Running along the full length of the Duveen Galleries, State Britain consists of a meticulous reconstruction of over 600 weather-beaten banners, photographs, peace flags and messages from well-wishers that have been amassed by Haw over the past five years.

Brian Haw began his protest against the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq in June 2001, and has remained opposite the Palace of Westminster ever since. On 23 May 2006, following the passing by Parliament of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act prohibiting unauthorised demonstrations within a one kilometre radius of Parliament Square, the majority of Haw’s protest was removed. Taken literally, the edge of this exclusion zone bisects Tate Britain. Wallinger has marked a line on the floor of the galleries throughout the building and the Duveens, positioning State Britain half inside and half outside the border

Faithful in every detail, each section of Brian Haw’s peace camp, from the makeshift tarpaulin shelter and tea-making area to the profusion of hand-painted placards and teddy bears wearing peace-slogan t-shirts, has been painstakingly sourced and replicated for the display. In bringing back into the public domain a reconstruction of Haw’s protest before its curtailment, Wallinger raises challenging questions about issues of freedom of expression and the erosion of civil liberties in Britain today

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