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Molly Crabapple

The Art of Revolution and Protest

Festival of the Future City/
Tue 17 October 2017

Molly Crabapple

The Art of Revolution and Protest

9235c33e39ceb9caa3f2bd7b15ef12382d888215
Tue 17 October 2017,

Artist, journalist and writer Molly Crabapple has reported from and made art about some of the most war-torn areas of the world – including Guantanamo Bay, Abu Dhabi’s migrant labour camps, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank and Iraqi Kurdistan. In 2012 her posters for Occupy Wall Street were used widely – some went viral – and her apartment became an unofficial salon for artists making work about the protest. In 2013 her exhibition Shell Game, a series of large-scale paintings about the revolutions of 2011, led to her being called “an emblem of the way that art could break out of the gilded gallery”. Her art was used in the Writers Resist rally on 15 Jan 2017 to mark Donald Trump’s inauguration. For Molly Crabapple, drawing is ‘exposure, confrontation, or reckoning. Every line a weapon’. She talks about her work and the art of protest and revolution.

This event is one of six University of Bristol art lectures taking place in 2017. The concepts of ‘art’ and ‘revolution’ intersect in many and various ways. This year’s Autumn Art Lecture Series explores some of them. It does this in the year of the anniversary of one of the world’s most profound revolutions, that of Russia in 1917 – the lecture on this, given by John Milner the curator of the Royal Academy exhibition (2017), takes place on its exact anniversary, according to the Gregorian calendar – 7 November (25 October Julian).  Other lectures address art and the Chinese cultural revolution (Robert Bickers), the visual culture of the French revolution (Valerie Mainz) and more diverse revolutionary topics such as the representational revolution of the first exhibition dedicated to queer British art (at Tate Britain 5 April – 1 October 2017), given by its curator Claire Barlow; the revolution in the presentation of art on television represented by Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation in 1969, given by the presenter of the new series Civilisations David Olusoga. We start with the American artist Molly Crabapple talking about the role of contemporary art as weapon of protest and revolution.

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