Art

The responsibility that comes with seeing

Author: 

Pat Yarker

Pat Yarker reviews Incoming, free at The Curve, Barbican, London, until 23 April.


Hundreds of thousands of people continue to flee war and persecution in the Middle East and northern Africa. Thousands die as they attempt to find safety in Europe. This installation, an artwork not a documentary, comprises almost an hour of video footage of migrants and refugees making their perilous journey.

A review of Incoming, free at The Curve, Barbican, London, until 23 April.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Culture and Reviews: 

Publications: 

Writing out anti-bourgeois art

Author: 

Hugh Daniels

Hugh Daniels reviews Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, at the Royal Academy until 17 April.

A review of Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, at the Royal Academy until 17 April.

Culture and Reviews: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

John Berger and seeing politically

Author: 

Hugh Daniels

Since the death of John Berger on 2 January the bourgeois press has squirmed over the task of commemorating a major public figure who was also a lifelong Marxist. Some have responded by simply attacking him.

As demonstrated in his seminal 1972 BBC TV series (and accompanying book) Ways of Seeing, John Berger shared the period’s wariness about the dangers of seductive ideologies. However he responded by encouraging us to locate contradictions and complexities within our experience of the world, rather than keeping our distance.

Culture and Reviews: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Autocollants: the public face of the activist

Author: 

Beth Redmond

Workers' Liberty has produced a set autocollants (political stickers, widely used in other countries but not until now in Britain: see here)

In his book on autocollants, Zvonimir Novak argues that in France, progressively over the last 40 years, the autocollant has become the “means of expression of those who do not have access to the mainstream media”.

Buy a batch of the new Workers' Liberty autocollants, and get your socialist message out and about!

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Culture and Reviews: 

William Morris in political context

Author: 

Michéal MacEoin

The William Morris exhibition Anarchy & Beauty at the National Portrait Gallery is well worth a visit for anyone interested in Morris, his art, and the late nineteenth-century socialist movement.

The William Morris exhibition Anarchy & Beauty at the National Portrait Gallery is well worth a visit for anyone interested in Morris, his art, and the late nineteenth-century socialist movement.

Culture and Reviews: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

The gothic reaction to industrial capitalism

Author: 

Luke Hardy

What have Karl Marx, Dracula, a modern robotic production line and St Pancras station got in common? According to Andrew Dixon they all have more then a touch of the gothic about them.

In this three part series, Dixon makes a convincing and fascinating case that the gothic sensibility has become a way of responding to and critiquing industrial capitalism and the urbanism, technology and pollution that comes with it.

A review of The Art of the Gothic, BBC 4.

Culture and Reviews: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Between art and activism

Author: 

Luke Neal

As the Labour and Conservative parties staged their annual conferences, an exhibition entitled Politika: Art & the Affairs of the City was staged in a former cotton mill in Ancoats, Manchester.

Curated by the “insurgent art activist” collective Upper Space, 20 artists put on a programme of workshops, speakers and activities “to generate starting points for an answer, another view, in order to to sustain another ideology against consumerism and the disempowerment that it represents”.

A review of Politika: Art & the Affairs of the City, an exhibition staged in a former cotton mill in Ancoats, Manchester.

Culture and Reviews: 

Publications: 

Disobedient Objects

Author: 

Rachael Barnes

The Disobedient Objects exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, emits a strange atmosphere. It is a curation of works, or “objects” which have contributed to social change, collected over the last three decades.

V&A exhibition of objects which have contributed to social change.

Culture and Reviews: 

Publications: 

Art and Anarchy

According to the curators Paul Gravett and John Harris Dunning and artistic director David McKean, the exhibition explores the British Library’s collection of comics and plumbs the depths of private collections, to show the history of British sequential art, as well as its writers and artists. It partially succeeds.

The curators wanted to show the political history of comics, the medium’s ability to subvert, and its role as a medium for analysing class, sexuality and ethnicity, not to mention the many occasions when it has become the subject of political battles.

A review of the Comics Unleashed: Art and Anarchy in the UK exhibition at the British Library.

Culture and Reviews: 

Publications: 

Pages