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April 06, 2007

Mistaken As Red


Loraine Leeson's Art for Change

With political art now celebrated in galleries and museums all over the world what happens when practices tied to specific struggles and places are institutionalised? At the recent retrospective of textbook political artist, Loraine Leeson, Peter Suchin uncovers the remains of an earlier discussion intitiated by Art & Language to propose a radical reconsideration of Leeson’s art and the terms of the debate.

The recent retrospective of the work of Loraine Leeson at London’s SPACE studios, Art for Change, throws up a number of questions about the efficacy and even the desirability of something one might term, for the sake of convenience at least, ‘political art’. This is an issue to which I will return below. Based on a much more substantial exhibition organised by the New Society of Visual Artists in Berlin, 2005, the London show focused upon a number of key projects organised and executed by Leeson in collaboration with her former partner and colleague Peter Dunn... ‘The exhibition’, according to the accompanying leaflet, ‘celebrates Loraine Leeson as an artist whose work has influenced and supported social change for over thirty years. Leeson’s practice’, the text tells us, ‘is underpinned by a collaborative process which has involved health workers, trade unions, tenants associations, action groups, young people, schools and institutions, as well as other artists and professionals.’" Continue reading Mistaken As Red by Peter Suchin, Mute.

Posted by jo at April 6, 2007 11:50 AM