Experiencing art history in London in the wake of Brexit

Yesterday, the director of the USF Art and Art History program took us to visit a contemporary artist studio. It was quite interesting. As contemporary art expands, the idea of how to create art grows. These artists create using experience and situations. For instance, they were commissioned by the Tate Modern for one of their performance pieces. This included a team of individuals who all selected “Action cards” which had a description of an abnormal social action on them. One person´s selection was to stand in front of a famous Jackson Pollock spatter painting and assume the character of Jackson Pollock, vigorously splattering the canvas with imaginary paint. Another card instructed the team member to follow closely in another person’s footsteps around the gallery until they said something. It was a light-hearted and refreshing idea to act out these abnormal social interactions that would never be considered an art piece in the past, but it’s now currently something that a huge institution, like the Tate Modern, would pay for them to do and document.

Interested in how the group acquires funding for the other projects they create, I inquired about how else they received monies for their large-scale artworks. This question struck a sore spot. If you do not already know, the U.K. will be withdrawing from the European Union. This will take heavy effect on the people in London and all over the U.K. When I asked about funding, I felt the emotion of this young artist’s answer. She told us how a lot of the arts funding comes from the E.U. and that once they are withdrawn they will have to figure out how they can fund their projects otherwise. Workers from other countries will no longer to be able to work outside of their country along with many other political issues that are uprising with this change. Tomorrow, I will be attending an event that allows individuals to discuss how this will effect them and why it is happening. More updates coming soon!

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