Press Release

Level 2 Gallery: Media Burn

Tate Modern  Level 2 Gallery
16 December 2006 – 18 February 2007

Opening on 16 December at Tate Modern, Media Burn is the latest exhibition in the Level 2 Gallery series. It examines the blurred boundaries between art, politics, protest and the media, taking its title from a 1975 Ant Farm video work in which a customised Cadillac is driven through a wall of blazing TV screens. Media Burn brings together contemporary works with those from the 1970s and 80s and features Ant Farm, Wynne Greenwood, K8 Hardy, Sharon Hayes, Peter Kennard, Josephine Meckseper, Valérie Mréjen, Martha Rosler and Jens Ullrich. Level 2 Gallery is Tate Modern’s dedicated space for the latest ideas, themes and trends in international contemporary art.

The works in Media Burn all share a D.I.Y approach or collage aesthetic, as artists manipulate and invert the images and techniques of 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 coverage of the Iraq war, while Peter Kennard’s satirical photomontages provide a savage commentary on British politics and society of the Thatcher era. Sharon Hayes holds a one-woman protest using slogans taken from past political actions. Similarly, Jens Ullrich alters documentary photographs of demonstrations to render their placards meaningless. Wynne Greenwood and K8 Hardy present a spoof feminist TV news channel, while Valérie Mréjen creates a hypnotic and melancholy exploration on the limitations imposed on a 1970s housewife. Josephine Meckseper’s glittering shop window displays blur the relationships between politics and art, culture and advertising.

The 2006-7 Level 2 series is conceived and led by Emma Dexter, Curator of Contemporary Art, Tate Modern. Media Burn is co-curated by Ann Coxon and Amy Dickson, Assistant Curators, Tate Modern. The next exhibition in the Level 2 Gallery Series will be The Artist’s Dining Room (2 March – 15 April 2007) in which Manfred Kuttner, Anselm Reyle and Thomas Scheibitz reinvigorate the language of abstraction in both painting and sculpture through the use of brilliant paints, shiny surfaces and unexpected materials.

Wynne Greenwood and K8 Hardy will be performing New Report Live at Tate Modern on 17 February from 19.30 in the Level 2 Café and throughout the galleries. This free event is supported by Tate Members.