[NetBehaviour] Mark Wallinger: State Britain.
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
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