Name: Removal of 'LACK' fly-posters/artwork from Gallery frontage in Malvern

Date:  2006-present , 2006-present , 2006-present

Location:  Europe

SubjectPolitical/Economic/Social Opinion


Artist: Artist: Craig Barnes Gallery: Division of Labour

Confronting Bodies: Great Malvern community groups and local residents, Gallery landlord, Gt. Malvern conservators

Date of Action: October - 2012

Specific Location: Unit 1 Cowleigh Rd, Gt. Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 1QD UK

Description of Artwork: Posters in three colours fly-posted over the whole frontage of Gallery

Description of Incident: The exterior works were removed following pressure from local residents and community council groups.

Results of Incident: The results are interesting within the political and social context of the area in Gt. Malvern. The imagery on the posters is inoffensive. At the root of the complaints the issue was colour (too bright) and the nature of the process of fly-posting onto a listed building in an area of "Outstanding Natural Beauty" as recorgnized by the the government institutional bodies. The conservative sensibilities of the local population are being challenged by a new contemporary art gallery which has an international reach but is operating out of a small English market town in a rural area. The philosophy of the gallery is centred in Worcestershire in the UK where the gallery director has chosen this location as his family residence. The ethos of the gallery is to grasp the nettle and forge new audiences in critical contemporary art and the artists represented all share common themes in a continuation and appreciation of institutional critique, and dialogue surrounding conceptual art practices. A tough sale in rural conservative England where tradition and representational art works are prevalent and the desirable face of fine art. In this particular censorship (which we recorgnize is not of big political note) is the idea of the 'fall' in relation to use of colour as being the offensive driver behind the removal. Artist and writer David Batchelor talks about the 'fall' in relation to his colour fields and installations. David references Alice in Wonderland as a literary exploration of how colour is perceived as an evil or source of corruption. David explores these ideas in Chromophobia; "The central argument of Chromophobia is that a chromophobic impulse - a fear of corruption or contamination through color - lurks within much Western cultural and intellectual thought. This is apparent in the many and varied attempts to purge color, either by making it the property of some "foreign body" - the oriental, the feminine, the infantile, the vulgar, or the pathological - or by relegating it to the realm of the superficial, the supplementary, the inessential, or the cosmetic." (Reaktion Books synopsis)

Source: Nathaniel Pitt : Gallery Director

Submitted By: Nathaniel Pitt

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