To be attributed to a Tate spokesperson:
God is Great 1991, a work by John Latham featuring copies of the Bible, a Koran and a Talmud, which have been physically manipulated, is not included in the display of the work of John Latham, which opened at Tate Britain last week. Having sought wide-ranging advice, Tate feels that to exhibit the work in London in the current sensitive climate, post 7 July, would not be appropriate.
The artist was informed of the decision and regretted that we were unable to show the work at the current time. He asked that we include a label in the room to make it clear to visitors why the work was not on display.
There will be a discussion exploring issues around the subject at Tate Britain on 8 November at Tate Britain. A panel of leading figures on art, ethics and religion will debate art’s claim to cultural independence. In a time of increasingly political and social anxiety, Latham’s work, with direct references to canonical texts brings to the fore the fraught relationship between the artist’s practice and contemporary society.
The exhibition John Latham in Focus runs from 5 September 2005 – 28 February 2006 at Tate Britain.