A new exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park will look at people who rebel against the Establishment and what motivates them to do so.
Called Revolt and Revolutions and drawn primarily from the Arts Council Collection, it will give an insight into counterculture and anti-establishment movements and show the work of artists who seek to make a difference – helping to suggest ways we might contribute to change on an individual, community and even global level.
The exhibition is announced by Susan Philipsz’s tentative version of The Internationale (1999) broadcast across the landscape, drawing visitors into the Bothy Gallery.
Inside, Ruth Ewan’s A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World (2003) invites you to select from an ever-growing archive of protest songs, recently updated to include the Trump era.
A series of sculptures and prints from the mid 1970s, around the time of YSP’s inception, highlight the volatile environment of the era and the rise of anti-capitalist, punk and do-it-yourself movements.
Christiania (1977) by Mark Edwards captures the Danish anarchist commune that emerged from the squatting of an abandoned military barracks in Copenhagen.
Andrew Logan’s Homage to the New Wave (1977), a large mirrored mosaic safety pin, appropriates the symbol that came to represent punk culture and ethos while Victor Burgin’s Possession (1976) questions the fairness of wealth distribution.
In Peter Kennard’s subversive photomontage Haywain, three nuclear warheads are inserted into the idyllic East Anglian countryside of John Constable’s painting The Hay Wain (1821). Shown alongside Marcus Lyon’s Greenham Women to be Evicted (1992) and Nightguard, Stonehenge (from our Forbidden Land) (1988) by Fay Godwin, the works highlight a shift towards anti-war and land access activism in the 1980s and 1990s. Helmet Head No.3 (1960) by Henry Moore, a supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, also features.
The final room premieres a new episode of Larry Achiampong and David Blandy’s FF Gaiden series. The video, which uses the virtual landscape of Grand Theft Auto V as its backdrop, shares the story of Alison Catherall, a local resident who has long championed social justice at a grass roots level.
Revolt & Revolutions continues a strand of YSP programming that encourages debate and presents issues relevant to contemporary society.
It also coincides with Alfredo Jaar’s major YSP exhibition The Garden of Good and Evil (running until April 8) a poetic interrogation of humanitarian issues and human and civil rights abuse.
Exhibition-inspired events include Do You Want to Change the World? (February 20) on the evening of the United Nation’s World Day of Social Justice. Let’s Play Vinyl: Heritage HiFi (March 3) celebrates the fact that the first independent English record label was started by Mike Levon, a student of Bretton Hall – bring your vintage dub and vinyl records and join Let’s Go Yorkshire and selector Paul Huxtable for an afternoon of music.
Visitors are invited to share how they would change the world using #60SecondSoapBox