November 11, 2013 - Tate Liverpool - Art Turning Left and Palle Nielsen
November 11, 2013

Art Turning Left and Palle Nielsen

Left: Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Marat (La Mort de Marat), 1793–4 © Musée des Beaux – Arts. Photo: C. Devleeschauwer. Right: Palle Nielsen, The Model: A Model for a Qualitative Society, 1968. Photograph. © Palle Nielsen, VEGAP, Barcelona / DACS 2013.

Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making 1789-2013
Palle Nielsen: The Model

8 November 2013–2 February 2014

Tate Liverpool
Albert Dock
L3 4BB

Art Turning Left examines how the making and the reception of art have been influenced by left-wing values, from the French Revolution to the present day. Taking inspiration from Walter Benjamin’s approach, the show does not focus on the political attitude or the work’s message, but rather on its position in the contemporary relations of production. Starting from key left-wing values such as collectivism, equality and the search for alternative economies, the show explores how artists have transformed the processes of art-making and the distribution of artworks in order to produce art politically. 

Eschewing chronology, the works in the exhibition are organised in seven sections each addressing a question: Can art affect everyone? Do we need to know who makes art? Can pursuing equality change how art is made? How can art infiltrate everyday life? Does participation deliver equality? How can art speak with a collective voice? Are there ways to distribute art differently? The artworks in each section put forward different solutions to these problems, pointing out how artists found themselves struggling with similar dilemmas across different historical periods. This exhibition structure is also meant to encourage visitors to formulate their own interpretation of the works, taking an active position vis-à-vis putting their values into practice. 

Located at the heart of Art Turning Left is the Office of Useful Art, a working office and education centre. It will remain open throughout the exhibition and is Tate Liverpool’s contribution to Tania Bruguera’s Asociación de Arte Útil, a project that promotes the idea of art as a process that should have real effect in society. The Office of Useful Art is a collaboration with the L’internationale network and Grizedale Arts, and is supported by Arts Council England and the Culture Programme of the European Union. Please visit the Tate website for the full programme. 

Art Turning Left also takes the form of a publication building on the research undertaken to realise the exhibition. 

Participating artists
Anni Albers, Francis Alÿs, Gerd Arntz, Atelier Populaire, the Black-E, Black Mask, Marianne Brandt, Bertolt Brecht, KP Brehmer, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Luis Camnitzer, Chto Delat, Constant, Roger Coward, Walter Crane, Jacques-Louis David, Guy Debord, Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane, Braco Dimitrijevic, Emory Douglas, Equipo 57, Ruth Ewan, Lionel Feininger, León Ferrari, Fluxus, Pinot Gallizio, Piero Gilardi, Goldin+Senneby, Walter Gropius, Group Material, Guerrilla Girls, IRWIN, Asger Jorn, King Mob, Gustav Klucis, Komar and Melamid, Jan Kotik, Zhao Kunhan, Julio Le Parc, Otto Lindig, El Lissitzky, Maximilien Luce, Mass Observation Movement, David Medalla, Cildo Meireles, Giors Melanotte, Du Mingcen, László Moholy-Nagy, William Morris, OSPAAAL, Liubov Popova, Alexandr Rodchenko, Taller de Gráfica Popular, Tim Rollins and K. O. S., Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Situationist International, Piero Simondo, Humphrey Spender, Gunta Stölz, the Hackney Flashers, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, Julian Trevelyan, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Robert Wattis, Dong Zhengyi, Li Zhenhua, Yao Zhongxin, Zvono Group.

Art Turning Left is curated by Eleanor Clayton, Francesco Manacorda and Lynn Wray.

Sponsored by Liverpool John Moores University and a range of other supporters.

Palle Nielsen: The Model is the most comprehensive display of archival material from Danish artist Palle Nielsen’s groundbreaking social experiment The Model – A Model for a Qualitative Society 1968. This was a utopian project that attempted to create a new form of social interaction by transforming the large exhibition space in Stockholm’s Moderna Museet into a free adventure playground for children. Nielsen’s project allowed children to take over a museum space in its entirety. It remains one of the most ambitious and experimental institutional interventions to date.

Tate Liverpool’s Palle Nielsen: The Model will include documentation of The Model 1968 that encompasses slide projections, architectural plans, photographs, TV recordings and LPs that were made available to the children, as well as paper ephemera and press coverage of the event. To produce The Model 1968 Nielsen worked with Aktion Samtal (Action Dialogue), a conglomerate of various left-wing groups who were building illegal playgrounds across Stockholm as an alternative form of protest aimed at offering a constructive critique of city planning. Tate Liverpool’s archival reconstruction of the project aims to capture its original political agency and its roots in the activist networks of Sweden and Denmark.

Palle Nielsen: The Model is curated by Stephanie Straine.

Supported by Tate Liverpool Members and a range of other supporters.


Tate Liverpool presents Art Turning Left and Palle Nielsen
Tate Liverpool
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