YOU MUST DISAGREE WITH AUTHORITY FIGURES
Inspired by the ARTIST ROOMS: Jenny Holzer exhibition at mac Birmingham, You Must Disagree with Authority Figures took place across the highly political summer of ‘17 and captured the opinions, fears and hopes of young people, families and community groups in their own voices. The project drew inspiration from Holzer’s use of appropriated text, provocative language, slogans and statements.
A series of workshops provided opportunities to people in challenging circumstances to explore and express their own political views from their unique situations, such as homelessness or displacement due to migration. Ampersand Projects worked with homelessness charity Crisis and St. Chad’s Sanctuary who support refugees and those seeking asylum to engage their communities.
The activity culminated at the end of the summer with an artistic disruption to the public spaces at mac and Cannon Hill Park with politically informed interventions and public performances which were developed over a weekend with young artists. Workshops took place with collage artist Mark Murphy, filmmaker Scott Johnston and artist duo Frilly to give opportunities to individually and collectively explore the political, social and personal issues that are important to them.
The interventions included a fashion runway performance by Liz Ord; a foreboding sculptural work by Hipkiss and Graney; fictional hoardings that advertised luxury apartments being built in the park by Tara Collette and Amrit Randhawa; a spoken word intervention about student debt at a cash point by Jade Foster; appropriated statements on the park paths by Amarno Inai; a film by Maniba Zariat and and finally a series of works by Chloe Knibbs which presents quotes from homeless people as bench memorial plaques.
Over thirty thousand visitors experienced the activity over the weekend-long interventions, giving the young artists a unique opportunity to develop site specific work, and to exhibit to a large public audience.
The ARTIST ROOMS collection of over 1,600 works of modern and contemporary art is displayed across the UK in solo exhibitions that showcase the work of more than 40 major artists. ARTIST ROOMS Jenny Holzer at mac Birmingham was part of a touring programme that gives young people the chance to get involved in creative projects, discover more about art and learn new skills. Since 2009, 40 million people have visited more than 150 displays at over 75 museums and galleries.
The ARTIST ROOMS collection is jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate, and was established through The d’Offay Donation in 2008, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, and the Scottish and British Governments. YOU MUST DISAGREE WITH AUTHORITY FIGURES was created in partnership with ARTIST ROOMS and supported by Arts Council England, Art Fund and Creative Scotland.