Taking its title from a 1975 Ant Farm work in which a Cadillac drives through a wall of blazing TV screens, Media Burn mixes 1970s works with contemporary pieces to examine the blurred boundaries between art, politics, protest and the media.
It combines contemporary works with those from the 1970s and 1980s, all sharing a DIY, collage aesthetic that involves manipulating the images and techniques of the mass media. Some of the artists explore the relationship between politics and everyday life in the domestic environment. Others take to the streets, contemplating the effectiveness of protest and direct action in the twenty-first century.
Martha Rosler’s collages throw a spotlight on the media consumption of the Iraq war, while Peter Kennard’s satirical photomontages provide a savage commentary on 1980s British politics and society. Sharon Hayes holds a one-woman protest using slogans taken from past political actions. Similarly, Jens Ullrich doctors documentary photographs of demonstrations to render their placards meaningless. Wynne Greenwood and K8 Hardy present a spoof feminist news report, while Valérie Mréjen creates a hypnotic and melancholy essay on the limited horizons of a 1970s housewife. Josephine Meckseper’s glittering shop window displays teasingly blur the relationships between politics and art, culture and advertising.