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This Way Up (2019)
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Mark Wallinger

This Way Up (2019)
Mark Wallinger is known for his production of thoughtful and provocative artworks over three decades. From an early series of oil paintings collectively known as Capital (1990) which showed homeless individuals standing in front of imposing, wealth connoting doorways to Ecce Homo(1999), his poignant life-size Christ: barbed wire crown, the ‘Saviour’s’ hands bound behind his back, sited on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square quietly surveying the urban scurry below. An image of piety amidst the city’s facades of power.   Another hugely significant – and law challenging – assemblage by Wallinger was State Britain(2007). It consisted of a painstaking reproduction of peace campaigner Brian Haw’s anti-US and UK foreign policy protest, the result of years of direct-action occupying Parliament Square. The artist’s forensic reproduction of banners, placards, flags, tarpaulin shelter, tea making area, messages from supporters and graphic pictures of victims of conflict, etc., was installed in Tate Britain helping the artist to win the Turner Prize that year.   For flyingleaps Wallinger has paired an inverted deep pore close-up portrait of ex-PM Theresa May with a 1649 quote from True Leveller activist Gerard Winstanley which begins, perhaps optimistically, ‘When once the earth becomes a common treasury again, as it must…’. The street display of This Way Up(2019) coincided with Wallinger’s The World Turned Upside Down (2019) being installed outside the LSE. A child’s shiny tin globe remade four metres in diameter. The deceptive fixity of maps as well as nation states and borders are bought into question by this topsy-turvy reorientation of a world that exists so variously in our minds.
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