This is a multifaceted exhibition that examines how the production and reception of art has been influenced by left wing values.
To wander the rooms and take in works such as Jacques-Louis David – The Death of Marat 1793-4 alongside interactive pieces such as Ruth Ewan’s A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World 2003 (which documents literally every protest song known to man and makes them available for selection…) and David Medalla’s A Stitch in Time 1968 – 72 (which invites you to stitch whatever you wish on to the work while it’s on display)..finds you immersed in a world of counter information, attempts to strip art of elitism and the deliberate anonymity and freedom collaborative artistic endeavors bring.
Taking in 275 works across 7 rooms; this is an impressive exhibition which sets out a project that LJMU PhD student Lynn Wray originally conceived and one which sees the Tate entering a new way in which it presents work within its hallowed walls. This new way seeks to link concurrent strands and themes across the floors of the Tate Liverpool’s white cube space. This is the first exhibition that realises this vision set out by Francesco Manacorda, artistic director of Tate Liverpool and is deftly executed with the assistance of Eleanor Clayton and the Tate team.
The themes: Art by the people for the people, activist art and political messages within the works and the aim of removing the notion that art is only for the elite are discussed throughout the exhibition. Questions adorn the walls, Do we need to know who makes art? Can art infiltrate everyday life…Can art effect everyone?
While Art is unquestionably all around us, the exhibition looks at how artists engage with us and the attempt to step away from the gallery context and use more ‘everyday’ situations to reach a wider audience. For me it is evident in this exhibition that some of the best art is conceived when a passionate belief is used as the catalyst.
a) view with friends, because this exhibition invites discourse.
b) make sure you set aside half a day to take in all the floors and enjoy the Tate as a whole…
For me the ‘conversation’ continued long after I’d had left the building…This exhibition delves deep and invites the participant to question their views on how art is produced and perceived and then even goes on to challenge notions held by those who are well versed in art history.
At the heart of the Art Turning Left is The Office of Useful Art Tate Liverpools contribution to a long term project that explores the usefulness of art. The office has an open booking system allowing visitors, local groups and societies the chance to host talks, activities, debates and discussions. Staffing the office are students from LJMU’s School of Art and Design who will engage the visitors in discussion about the ethos of The Office.
Situated on the ground floor and programmed in parallel with Art Turning Left is – Palle Nielsen: The Model – A model for a Qualitative Society which documents the utopian project that attempted to create a new form of social interaction by transforming the large exhibition space in Stockholm’s Moderna Museet into a free adventure playground for children in 1968.
20.000 children took part over the course of the ‘experiment’ using the various climbing ropes, rubber foam diving pools, carnival masks, LP’s and turntables (the soundtrack is perfect…Bob Dylan The Times They Are a-Changin’…English Music for Harpsicord, The Zodiac, Cosmic Sounds) the children simply ran amok…it remains one of the most ambitious and experimental forms of cultural expression and analysis to date… but is still a relatively unknown episode in the history of radical art.
This is a must see and sets the scene for the rest of the exhibits throughout….
It seems apt that the Art Turning Left is being hosted in Liverpool given its subject matter, as Ken Loach recently stated, ‘If there was a revolution it would start in Liverpool’
For me it seems like a new dawn for Tate Liverpool and I look forward to future exhibitions overseen by Francesco Manacorda and his team.
Art Turning Left runs from 8 November 2013 – 2 February 2014
for more info visit here
Until Such Time – The ‘Eye