History is Now: 7 Artists Take on Britain

Hayward Gallery |10 February – 26 April 2015

Admission: Standard entry £10.90

Seven artists reflect on British cultural life from 1945 to the present day.

As the Second World War neared its conclusion, Britain approached a watershed moment. The post-war world would be a very different place, and Britain’s economy, still labouring under outdated Victorian notions of industry, would struggle to compete in the new global market.

One month after V-E Day, the recently founded Council of Industrial Design announced an exhibition to reflect on Britain’s past industrial successes and create a blueprint for its future. Titled ‘Britain Can Make It’, the exhibition was distinguished by a 13-foot plaster egg at its entrance – a reference to one of the exhibition’s central exhibits, Misha Black’s ‘Birth of an Egg Cup’, but also symbolic of the planned rebirth of British industry for a brave new era. Seven decades later, the UK finds itself on the brink of another turning point, with new questions and new uncertainties.

Simon Fujiwara

Simon Fujiwara

Today’s Britain isn’t post-war, but post-recession, post-riot, post-referendum. In the lead up to the 2015 general election, the Hayward Gallery has taken inspiration from the Council of Industrial Design’s exhibition for a new show reflecting on key moments in British culture since the end of the Second World War.

Seven artists – Richard Wentworth, John Akomfrah, Jane and Louise Wilson, Hannah Starkey, Roger Hiorns and Simon Fujiwara – have each been invited to curate a ‘chapter’ of the exhibition, selecting artworks and objects that capture pivotal events from the last 70 years, from the emergence of the surveillance state to the mad cow disease epidemic. – Art Fund

Hayward Gallery
Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road
020 7960 4200
Opening Times:

Mon, 12noon – 6pm
Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun, 10am – 6pm
Thu, Fri, 10am – 8pm

Leave a Reply