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The Art of Revolution 1917-2017, Undercroft Gallery, Norwich

September 5, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - September 30, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

The exhibition is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik October Revolution.

“The public has no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. If it could see the authors and the scenery, and how prepared the historical tragedy is for the public, it would be an eye-opener. ”

From the diary of Colonel House

”In many cultures Red means passion and love. In Tibetan philosophy, it means connection with the Universe. In the Russian language ‘red’ often means ‘beautiful’. Dostoevsky said ‘Beauty Will Save the World’. We all create the world around us and in particular, artists are responsible for bringing to the world their creativity. Art is a powerful tool to bring Beauty to the World – to Save it”


‘INTERROGATE’ something
‘QUESTION’ something
‘DISRUPT’ something

This exhibition will explore the significance and impact of different Revolutions over 100 years. This will be expressed through industry, art, music, film, theatre, fashion, performance, design, sex, and political activism. 100 years ago there was a Socialist Revolution in Russia. This revolution brought to the world a large number of radical new approaches in art. History is coloured by artists. They mark the turning points of epochs for generations to come.

We live in an era of revolutionary change and global transformation. When we mention the word revolution we immediately think of the destruction of the old orders and beliefs. Artists present the creation of new principles. Revolutions can be silent, stormy or invisible. Revolutionary artists are often avant-garde leading cultural change. Artists by talking about revolution were showing the way, calling for an uprising, calling for freedom. And people backed the artists despite the shock. This is the power of visual art. The Art of Revolution.

And what about the 21st century?
Do we have complete freedom? Do we have a revolution with no canons and ideologies blurred? Revolutions are forgotten or are very far away and surrounded with myths…
More and more people are attracted to realism and pop art. People think that abstract art is a game, just for fun. Can art surprise and create something radical, different, unusual now? I don’t think so.

Reality can be represented in different ways – radically, revolutionary, classically, traditionally. Art is becoming more elusive, unreal, virtual, immaterial. In this, perhaps, lies the new, the radical and revolutionary. Nobody can be shocked by formaldehyde animals anymore. But it can be shocking if you take a brush and go back to traditions, back to the origins and to the past revolutions.

This exhibition references the past. Why don’t we stop for a moment, take a look back and risk plunging into the world of revolutionary art? We are here to digest, to reconsider the ideas of artists of 100 years ago whose work is still relevant today. But we will use new technologies and media. A lot has changed: people’s beliefs, their countries, the revolution of their lives, through changes in architecture, music, theater, literature, dance, sex; the revolution of the inner world, the evolution of the artist and the viewer; their feelings, attitudes, emotions and thoughts.

Pictures reveal the inner world, even if they are of an external reality. Every artist is special, uniquely painting the large palette of human nature. Therefore, we cannot exclude the gloomy, the gruesome, the tragic and the terrifying frankness. Man and woman and their lives are everything. The whole world. A whole revolution.

The Art of Revolution

The Art of Revolution uses art to transform public opinion, and inspires creative action towards social change.
The artworks we create consist of individual pieces, public installations, films, books and catalogues, multi-modal pieces, land art, and/or performances. They are often provocative, and use the power of visual language and revolutionary words to elicit profound reactions and strong connections to the work and connections between one person and another.
Our ‘social issues’ work has an artistic vision and captures its most pared down and fundamental nature. These projects include hands-on art making, outreach and/or public installation and are relevant to the educational curriculum.
Our goals include:
• producing provocative works of art and literature that address critical social issues.
• promoting social change by creating art by and for the people
• connecting new activists to their cause using an artistic approach as a point of entry.
• supporting artists and organizations working at the interface of art and social change.
• mobilizing individuals towards civic engagement.
We work to engage and educate the public, nurture artists and activists, and strengthen social justice movements. Our projects will live on in the community, beyond our initial involvement.
What we are offering covers a wide spectrum —
• large and small artworks and multi-modal pieces which we conceive and produce ourselves,
• projects involving local, national and international artists,
• projects which we have commissioned
• every art works should have a red colors or tones.

Participating artists

Alexandra Blythe, Andrew Jay, Andy Hornett, Deanna Tyson, Gennadiy Ivanov, Frances Martin, Helen Wells, John Sparks, Julia Cameron, Linda Johnson, Martin Swan, Monika Wesselmann, Natasha Day, Peter Offord, Richard Cleland, Rob Bellman, Robert Nairn, Simon Marshall, Sophia Shuvalova, Tanya Goddard, Viv Castleton, Sue Law, Glenn Goring, Elena Nikiforova