Red, White And Blue
From 07/11/12 to 08/12/12
Location: London Chelsea Space, United Kingdom
Private view: Tuesday 11th November 2012 6 – 8.30pm
Red, White and Blue explores relationships, influences, and appropriations in political, pop and punk imagery. Critically positioned in the context of this Jubilee and Olympic year, the exhibition reflects upon corresponding historical moments: the 1951 Festival of Britain, the birth of punk and the Silver Jubilee. Picking up where our last show, DOME, left off Red, White and Bluelooks again at how the recently re-emerging themes of austerity, legacy, and national identity have resonated across the last half century, both in the UK and internationally.
Red, White and Blue combines film, photography, graphics and contemporary art to expand the relationship between pop and punk culture, politics and place, reflecting back upon the past as well as examining the present. Whilst ideas of Britannia and Britishness permeate this exhibition, the show includes international perspectives of place and political defiance from Sao Paulo, Sarajevo, New York, and Ljubljana.
The exhibition begins with plasma screens and video projection; a control room or nerve centre; a video immersion tank. Next, a kind of billboard alley of photographic images, pop art, graphics and posters; imagery piled high, international, and layered with histories. Anti- government protests from South America and civil war in the Balkans are depicted through posters and the moment of the Royal Jubilee of 1977 and the emergence of a Punk sensibility is evoked in black and white photographs.
At the end of this graphic walkway a TV on the floor acts as an abject sentinel, a cathode tube at the end of the tunnel. In the main space, ideas of pop, punk, politics and place are consolidated within vivid, colourful artworks. Emptied out and cleaned up abstracted details of political symbols and music related graphics find new materiality and new meanings in a contemporary context.
Curatorial concept and design: Donald Smith with Daniel Sturgis
An illustrated publication is available with foreword by Donald Smith and main text by Michael Bracewell.