Archives for posts with tag: Tate Modern

Image

The IFS newspaper is just going to press – 500 copies will be printed and ‘guerilla distributed’ around galleries, book stores and travel hubs – as far and wide as I can get them.

See the newspaper here: http://www.newspaperclub.com/INDEPENDENTFREESTATE/newspapers/20552-independent-free-state-final-edition

Press Release:

The Independent Free State is a ‘blueprint’, an imaginative possibility, that explores the correspondence between physical and psychical realities. Itis a site for transformation, a place for thinking, dreaming, seeing. The cry for a state of independence is universal, political and deeply personal: it takes courage to try and find your site of freedom, it’s not a safe endeavour.

I reflect on how territory has been re-drawn as I re-draw and ‘whitewash’ as I see fit. It’s a powerful act to re-draw land mass. With a flick of the brush or pen, perhaps hundreds of square miles of territory has been eradicated. Oceans wiped out. Mountains obliterated. Whole communities, cultures, war zones are reduced to colour, tone and contour. Isn’t this how those in power have always thought of the map – regardless of what lives may exist there – take a pencil and re-draw a border where one did not previously exist?

The figures are not quite human, they are human-objects: simulacrum. But they are female.  Female ownership of land, property, children, of her own body is a modern concept: territory of her own. Though her body has always been ‘of the land’ – a place of discovery and endeavour, an unknown territory to be taken, a place to ‘stake your claim’.

Here, map and female form have become one. They’ve synchronized and melded, each transforming the other. You could call this feminization of the map. Her territory: occupied territory. The map’s flesh-toned urban sprawl becomes her. Drawn images incorporate the contours, roads, railways and edges of the land  – seeking out drawings that already exist.

Image

At the same time, a new billboard poster will be on display on the Blackfriar’s Road in London just south of the river near Tate Modern for the month of August. It will be a back-lit installation and I hope, highly visible, in a prime location for the duration of the Olympics, when the eyes of the world’s media will be on London.

The Independent Free State lives on.

Image

Advertisements

The Independent Free State mobile billboard toured around London on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd July 2012. The following images are from Day 2: Westminster, Central London and selected iconic locations. The Olympic Stadium was also on my ‘hit list’ but we couldn’t get anywhere near it. Stopping on the roadside in Central London is a precarious business – however the Independent Free State and the photographer went unchallenged the entire day which was a surprise in this summer of high security.

I like how the context of The Independent Free State re-invents and re-presents itself in each location – whether it has two large cannon pointing at it outside the Imperial War Museum, peace flags waving in the background outside Westminster, three young women like classical statues lined up in front of it somehow echoing the female forms in the image, the reflected image in the previously ‘occupied’ territory of St Paul’s cathedral, a statue of Churchill looking down on it or the prestigious Lloyds, Shard and ‘Gherkin’ buildings looming up behind it…

On Exclusion Zones and Routes…

Just as I was planning my mobile billboard’s routes around London for 3 days in July, I came across this in The Guardian:

Writer Iain Sinclair has said he fears freedom of movement will be restricted in Westminster because of military-style tactics to be  used in the build-up to the Olympic Games this summer. The Ministry of Defence is reportedly considering deploying surface-to-air missiles in parts of London.

 “My impression of central London is that it’s becoming a gradual no-go zone, or a very difficult zone to manoeuvre your way through. There is no longer permission to move through. There are all these suspended permissions and barriers and the whole operation of security.

All of which makes my having gained permission for my billboard to enter the ‘exclusion zone’ of Westminster even more of a ‘privilege’. A double-sided artwork titled Independent Free State. OS maps of London and the Thames Gateway. ‘Human replicants’. What kind of strange equation is all that?

Sinclair added: “I was walking around the Olympic site two days ago with an American writer for Harper’s magazine, and he revealed at this point that he was formerly a US marine. “He said, ‘I recognise this landscape totally. It’s a military exclusion zone. It’s been treated in exactly the same way as we would operate in Baghdad’.

“It’s true – you’ve got these people who have dug in and are securing perimeter fences and are putting up barbed wire and checkpoints and overhead drones. We have now invaded ourselves.”

The Westminster exclusion zone means the billboard will only be able to visit all the central London sites on one day, I’ll have a photographer  onboard and hope to get some dramatic shots ‘in situ’ though it’s unpredictable where and for how long the billboard will be able to ‘stop and linger’ – particularly a few weeks before the Olympics.

My 3 routes look like this:

Sunday 1st July: All the main Galleries and cultural hubs outside of Westminster. Stopping along the way for ‘unsuspecting’ audiences on the street: include the V and A, Saatchi Gallery, South London Gallery, The Drawing Room, South bank Centre, Hayward Gallery, Tate Modern, Barbican, Cubbitt, Victoria Miro, White Cube, Whitechapel Gallery, Maureen Paley, Cell Project Space, Matt’s gallery, Wapping Project, Clifford Chance…

Monday 2nd July: Westminster – all the main tourist sites plus Battersea Power Station and other iconic city buildings including the Gherkin, The Shard, Canary Wharf and of course The Olympic Park. (If we can get anywhere near).

Tuesday 3rd July: The billboard will tour all around the perimeter of the Westminster ‘Exclusion Zone’ – parking up at the perimeters of Hyde Park and Regents Park and other high-visibility locations wherever possible.

The GPS tracking’s going to be really interesting documentation…