Global problems at East International
IAN COLLINS After putting Norwich on the global map of cutting-edge art over successive summers, the annual East International show is poised to bring global problems to Norwich.
After putting Norwich on the global map of cutting-edge art over successive summers, the annual East International show is poised to bring global problems to Norwich.
Holocaust, war, terrorism, power-crazed politicians, detention, corruption, propaganda, torture, greed, environmental crisis – all these are themes for the 26 artists now chosen for the 2005 display. So don't expect chocolate-box pictures in the explosive exhibits filling the Norwich Gallery at the Norwich School of Art and Design and spilling out across the city from July 2.
Instead, the art of anger will express itself in video installations, performance, live web broadcasts,
e-mail and other electronic media in non-stop display until August 20.
Curator Lynda Morris says: "This East exhibition began with the idea of 'resistance'. The work of many artists does not fit the object-based priorities of commercial art galleries and collectors. This challenging display features young artists from Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East with political agendas critical of existing structures. They are conc-erned with themes such as resistance to war, manipulation of truth, climate change or bio-technology."
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All the exhibitors – some with headline-grabbing names such as Radio Goya, Making Things Better and Asnat Austerlitz – have been selected by veteran artist Gustav Metzger. The selector is himself a master in the art of resistance, having been born in Nuremberg in 1926 to Polish-Jewish parents. He and his brother escaped the Nazis in 1939, on one of the last kindertransport trains to reach England.
A stateless person since 1948, he studied drawing under the brilliant David Bomberg and lived in King's Lynn in the 1950s.
As a founder member of the Committee of 100, Metzger was jailed along with Bertrand Russell after protests against nuclear weapons.
The selector has new or retrospective exhibitions opening in Vienna, Tate Liverpool and London's Cubitt Gallery this year.