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Anti-war demo? Let's put the show on right here

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 12:02 AM
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Anti-war demo? Let's put the show on right here
Brian Haw's vivid stand against the Iraq war was ended by legislation banning him from Parliament Square. In recreating his demo as art, Mark Wallinger has made protesters - and lawbreakers - of us all

Laura Cumming
Sunday January 21, 2007
The Observer

Mark Wallinger: State Britain
Tate Britain, London SW1, until 27 Aug

Forty metres in fact (and the measurement will prove crucial) of ragged banners and embroidered slogans, painted rainbows and portraits of politicians, of papier-mache figures tumbling to their death, horrific photographs of maimed and burned babies, of crosses and poppies hoisted on bamboo canes, of tattered poems and prayers and outrage. A fragile pageant stretching all the way through the marble canyon of the Duveen Galleries - demotic art in high places - it is an awesome sight to behold.

And an awesome sight one should have seen before had not this war memorial, this shrine, this one-man protest against Iraq, created and maintained by the former merchant seaman Brian Haw, been obscured by barriers and rushing traffic for six long years on the polluted turf of Parliament Square ...

Haw, it is generally agreed, had become such a thorn in the side to Blair and his pro-war colleagues that a special amendment was passed to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act that applied directly to him. You can find it in Section 132 - the removal of a man's right to demonstrate without permission within one kilometre of Parliament Square ...

But there is a twist, as always with Wallinger's art, and it is to do with placement. Running beneath the installation and across the floor of the Duveen Galleries is a narrow black line that vanishes into the walls. It describes the passage of the one-kilometre exclusion boundary straight through the museum itself. Half the installation is outside the boundary. The other half crosses the line and breaks the law ...,,1995121,00.html
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