Listen to John Hughes, Visitor Engagement Assistant at Tate Liverpool, share his personal response to the work ‘Condition Report’ by American conceptual artist Glenn Ligon.
About the artwork, John says:
Lately, I’ve had some unexpected conversations. They start out as guided tours – where I do all the talking – but then something happens. People start to chat amongst themselves. That’s often the case with Condition Report by Glenn Ligon. When talked about, this work provokes further reaction and discussion.
The work is based on signs carried by Black sanitation workers who were on strike in Memphis in 1968. Ligon shows twice the workers’ slogan ‘I AM A MAN’ along with some scribbly handwritten notes. Art and history, then, according to Ligon, are subject to changing conditions. Art and history are far from static or fixed. Art and history can be re-thought as time goes by.
Thanks to Ligon, I’m conducting my guided tours in a new way. His artwork is allowing me to start open discussions on a range of related issues and this work is teaching me to listen. It’s teaching me to be like the artwork itself, open to change and open to various, unexpected reactions.
This film has been created as part of the Terra Foundation For American Art Series: New Perspectives.