Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980s Britain. Tate Liverpool

Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980s Britain
Tate Liverpool: Exhibition
28 February – 11 May 2014

‘Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980s Britain, is a new take on how the changes in the meaning of words reflect the cultural shifts in our society. This dynamic exhibition takes its name and focus from the seminal 1976 Raymond Williams book on the vocabulary of culture and society.

An academic and critic influenced by the New Left, Williams defined ‘Keywords’ as terms that repeatedly crop up in our discussion of culture and society. His book contains more than 130 short essays on words such as ‘violence’, ‘country’, ‘criticism’, ‘media’, ‘popular’ and ‘exploitation’ providing an account of the word’s current use, its origin and the range of meanings attached to it. Williams expressed the wish some other ‘form of presentation could be devised’ for his book, and this exhibition is one such interpretation.

Almost sixty works by artists such as Rita Donagh, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, John Latham, Stephen McKenna, Carl Plackman, Donald Rodney, Jo Spence, and Anne Tallentire are grouped in relation to key words from Williams’s book. Words such as ‘liberation ’, ‘behaviour ’, ‘unconscious’ and ‘romantic’ will be juxtaposed with works, encouraging further exploration and debate. To represent the impact of oppositional politics in Liverpool we are displaying all 20 original copies of The End, a fanzine with a political overtone produced during the 1980s by musician Peter Hooton and Phil Jones.’

Keywords was previously on view at Iniva (the Institute of International Visual Arts), London 27 March – 18 May 2013 ahead of being relocated to Tate Liverpool. The exhibition is organised by Tate Liverpool in collaboration with Iniva, London.

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-liverpool/exhibition/keywords-art-culture-and-society-1980s-britain#


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