Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A critique of ‘hassled’ urban life and wandering

The Works by 28 of known contemporary international artists from the rich British Council Collection are being showcased at the ‘Homelands’ show currently in Mumbai, slated to travel to Bangalore in June 2013.

Jimmie Durham was active in theatre, performance and literature in the US civil rights movement through the 1960s. Between 1973 to1980, he was a political organizer in the American Indian Movement. Durham uses text to transform a child-like drawing into a potent political comment on relationships between individuals, communities and countries. His work often offers a scathing critique of urban life in cities.

Gillian Wearing's work demonstrates a complex understanding of the alternately comic and tragic experiences of everyday life. She uses the techniques of documentary photography, film and television to frame the concerns, words and actions of ordinary people, often in everyday situations, slightly and often subtly displaced in context.

By combining such diverse media with the language styles of alternative protest movements, folk and punk, Bob and Roberta Smith attempts to challenge established authorities and values, and encourage creativity in people. Many past projects and performances have involved participatory elements, sharing similarities with the Fluxus movement of the 1960s.

David Shrigley’s works are at once poignant, shrewd and very droll. Shrigley has been disfiguring the Glasgow landscape for years with his absurd signs, transforming a public lavatory with a gaudy symbol designating it as a pub called 'The Ship' or annoying his neighbours by displaying a neon sign 'slum' in front of his home.

The series ‘Scenes of the Passion’ records the places of George Shaw’s childhood and youth. Painted in a photo- realistic style, the images are not representations of ‘real’ places but instead landscapes that are recollected through the artist’s memory. Mother Tongue by Zineb Sedira explores the notion of language as it is spoken by three generations of women of her family. The three women and three languages – Arabic, French and English – also represent the past and present relationship between three countries – Algeria, France and England.

Grayson Perry uses the seductive qualities of ceramics and other art forms to make stealthy comments about societal injustices and hypocrisies, and to explore a variety of historical and contemporary themes.

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