May 27, 2009 - Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art - Parades and Processions: Here comes everybody
May 27, 2009

Parades and Processions: Here comes everybody

Thomas Hirschhorn
The Procession
2005
Exhibition view: Carried Away – Procession in Art, Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem
2008

Parades and Processions: Here comes everybody
Francis Alÿs, Fiona Banner, Jeremy Deller, Thomas Hirschhorn, Rachel Hovnanian, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, William Kentridge, Michèle Magema, Annette Messager,
Amy O’Neill and Hiraki Sawa
.
28 May – 24 July 2009

14 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW

www.parasol-unit.org

This spring Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art will present Parades and Processions: Here comes everybody . The exhibition will feature works by twelve international artists who take their inspiration from the traditional meanings of ‘parades’ and ‘processions’, creating works that epitomise the social and political context of our time. The resulting works, ranging from sculpture to installation, films and videos, are powerful forms of expression that address issues of history, culture, identity and politics. They also highlight the recent and increasing phenomenon in our society of holding parades and processions. This exhibition aims to show a selection of works by contemporary artists who see in these themes considerable possibilities for expression.

A ‘parade’ is usually a festive occasion for which people dress up in extravagant costumes and create elaborate and highly structured artefacts, while a ‘procession’ is more often an organised group of people proceeding in a formal or ceremonial manner, often with a religious or political connotation. Throughout civilisation, parades and processions have been integral to the human experience and social customs have been abundantly illustrated on ancient monuments. Often connected to religious, sacrificial or triumphal occasions they eventually evolved into festivals and carnivals. Nowadays parades and processions have become democratic activities in which people participate, interactively sharing a special experience with a group of like-minded people. They have become the perfect vehicle for communication and solidarity, and also raise questions about sociological and behavioural phenomena of our time, such as the increased surge in urban life, group selection, self-expression and the marked focus on the body.

The expressive power of parades and processions allows many contemporary artists to adopt these traditional themes, and by replacing some of its emblems and icons with other symbols and objects, bring new meaning to the work. In so doing they revitalise the concepts of parades and processions, which in the past have been considered formal traditions. In their quest to create new ways to express themselves, these artists have benefited greatly from the efforts of those artists who in the 1960s and early 1970s, liberated art from the museum walls and placed it in the midst of society and public spaces in the form of happenings and performances.

Joyce, James, Here Comes Everybody (1923) is the title of a sketch in which Joyce introduces HCE, eventually the main protagonist in Finnegans Wake (1939)

This exhibition will be accompanied by a new publication.

The exhibition is supported by Arts Council, England, the Swiss Cultural Fund in Britain and Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council.

Visitor information

Gallery opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm and Sunday, 12 – 5pm

Admission: Free

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