If, like me, you often find yourself lamenting the apathy of our modern society, then you may find a friend in artist Richard Grayson. His new exhibition features video work that discusses the if, when, and where engaged artistic and political protest can exist in our disparate and capitalist culture. It may sound heavy, but like all good artists, Grayson has a way of charming out the serious bits via an harmonious installation of video pieces. His new digital installation represents the first in a series of collaborative productions between Matt’s Gallery from east London and CGP London, an artist-led initiative in Southwark.
Taking its inspiration from Stalin Wasn’t Stalling, a protest song covered by Robert Wyatt on his seminal album Nothing Can Stop Us Now, Grayson’s artwork features modern day citizens as they drift through their homes, central London and places of financial interest. Each individual performer sings Wyatt’s song of solidarity and praise for the Red Army throughout their video. They are united by a song but separated by time and space, coordinated to a harmony by the artist conductor. The artwork addresses the tension between the cohesion, of sorts, brought about by the Internet, but also highlights the physical distancing that communicating in our digital era has led us to. Will the artist ever be able to engage in acts of protest like Wyatt? Well, that’s where the debate starts.
Grayson is an internationally renowned artist, working predominantly in digital media. He writes, curates and makes. He most recently worked as curator in the 2014 Adelaide international exhibition Worlds in Collision. (Words: Laura Thornley)
On from 23 May–15 June 2014. For more info visit: www.mattsgallery.org/artists/grayson/exhibition-5