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50 minutes
June 2020
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State of the Art 5: Politics

How can art self-consciously engage with urgent social and political questions? How might art contribute to social and political change? A wide range of practices is featured here in the work of artists in the United States and Britain.

Leon Golub’s epic paintings, achieved by scraping paint from a canvas, confront the viewer with scenes of interrogation and torture. Hans Haacke’s work is more conceptual, analysing the operations and networks of corporate capitalism, including how the art market is complicit in exploitation.

Peter Dunn and Loraine Leeson collaborate with community groups in London’s Docklands to explore concerns about planning issues, housing and public space. Victor Burgin combines texts and images in artworks that are informed by debates about representation, psychoanalysis and desire. And Terry Atkinson aims to reinvent History painting for the contemporary world, tackling among other concerns the presence of the British in Northern Ireland.

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