[NetBehaviour] Mark Wallinger: State Britain.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Jan 15 17:39:12 CET 2007

Mark Wallinger: State Britain.

Mark Wallinger has recreated peace campaigner Brian Haw’s Parliament 
Square protest for a dramatic new installation at Tate Britain. Running 
along the full length of the Duveen Galleries, State Britain consists of 
meticulous reconstruction of over 600 weather-beaten banners, 
photographs, peace flags and messages from well-wishers that have been 
amassed by Haw over the past five years.

Faithful in every detail, each section of Brian Haw’s peace camp from 
the makeshift tarpaulin shelter and tea-making area to the profusion of 
hand-painted placards and teddy bears wearing peace-slogan t-shirts has 
been painstakingly sourced and replicated for the display.

Brian Haw began his protest against the economic sanction in Iraq in 
June 2001, and has remained opposite the Palace of Westminster ever 
since. On 23 May 2006, following the passing by Parliament of the 
‘Serious Organised Crime and Police Act’ prohibiting demonstrations 
within a one kilometre radius of Parliament Square, the majority of 
Haw’s protest was removed. Taken literally, the edge of this exclusion 
zone bisects Tate Britain. Wallinger has marked a line on the floor of 
the galleries throughout the building, positioning State Britain half 
inside and half outside the border.

In bringing a reconstruction of Haw’s protest before curtailment back 
into the public domain, Wallinger raises challenging questions about 
issues of freedom of expression and the erosion of civil liberties in 
Britain today.


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