10 February – 26 April 2015
For ‘History is Now: 7 Artists Take On Britain’, the artists were invited to curate a display exploring British post-war history. 250 artworks are brought together in six different sections, offering different perspectives on the nation’s recent past.
Sam Taylor-Johnson’s portrait of footballer David Beckham, David (2004) and 8-chlorotheophylline by Damien Hirst (2003) are featured in Simon Fujiwara’s selection, which he has called ‘Happy Economics’. This offers an almost archaeological arrangement of artefacts behind glass, representing Britain’s post-Thatcher economy and culture. Roger Hiorns’ presentation, documenting the BSE (bovine spongiform encepathology) outbreak in the 1980s and 90s, also includes Out of Sight. Out of Mind. (1981) by Hirst, a sculpture comprising two cow heads in formaldehyde.
Measures of Distance (1988) by Mona Hatoum forms part of Jane and Louise Wilson’s presentation, in which the artists consider ‘sites of conflict and contention at a particular moment in history’. The video work is comprised of layered elements such as letters written by from Lebanon by Hatoum’s Palestinian mother, images of her mother showering and taped conversations between the two women.
Gilbert & George’s 1981 film The World of Gilbert & George was chosen by John Akomfrah, whose presentation considers ‘the emergence of artist filmmakers who were not using film to express exterior reality, but are themselves the artwork’.
‘History is Now: 7 Artists Take On Britain’
Monday: 12 – 6pm
Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm
Mona Hatoum ‘Measures of Distance’ (1988) (still)
A Western Front video production, Vancouver, 1988
© Mona Hatoum Courtesy White Cube