William Hogarth, the Chapman Brothers, State Britain

On Saturday Paul and I went to the Tate Britain Gallery and saw a number of really good exhibitions.

There was a room of new work by Jake and Dinos Chapman called When Humans Walked the Earth (see below).
State Britain by Mark Wallinger was a recreation of the protest by Brian Haw that used to be outside the British Houses of Parliament until it was confiscated by police in May 2006 following the passing by Parliament of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act prohibiting unauthorized demonstrations within a one kilometre radius of Parliament Square. If this law is taken literally, the edge of this exclusion zone reaches Tate Britain so Wallinger has positioned State Britain half inside and half outside the border and has marked a line on the floor of the galleries throughout the building (see below for detail). [Brian Haw is still resident across the road from parliament – he’s been there about 5 years now – but he is only allowed to take up about a couple of square metres.]
The final exhibition we looked at was the William Hogarth exhibition which featured so much work it was a bit too much to take in at once. There were paintings of portraiture, and of street scenes of William Hogarth’s London, plus many of the etchings and prints he made of his paintings, including the infamous Gin Lane (see below). Hogarth was interested in portraying the incredible poverty of the London of his day.


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