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Room 10 in Artist and Society

Citizens

Ghana

Fred Wilson, Ghana  2009

© Fred Wilson

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The citizen

Richard Hamilton, The citizen  1981–3

The citizen was based on stills from a 1980 news report about the IRA ‘dirty protest’ at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland. Paramilitary inmates had initially been given a ‘Special Category’ status. This was revoked, and they were treated as ordinary criminals. In response they decided to wear only prison blankets and to daub their cell walls with excrement. Hamilton wrote that he could not ‘condone the methods’ of the IRA, but was struck by the resemblance to Christian martyrdom. He also felt a connection to the prisoners since they had produced ‘wall paintings’. One panel shows the prisoner and his cell; the other is more abstract, an unconfined space.

Gallery label, January 2019

© The estate of Richard Hamilton

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Congo

Fred Wilson, Congo  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Lorna Simpson, Then & Now  2016

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Flag I

Teresa Margolles, Flag I  2009

The fabric of Flag I contains traces of blood, soil and other substances from the sites of murders around the northern border of Mexico, testifying to the thousands of violent deaths associated with the powerful drug cartels that control smuggling routes to the United States. Another version of this work was shown at the Venice Biennial in 2009, where Margolles represented Mexico with an exhibition titled What Else Could We Talk About? As the government failed to intervene in the drug wars, the blood-stained cloth was hung outside the Mexican pavilion as a memorial for citizens that the nation ignored.

Gallery label, November 2015

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Prison Paintings 9

Gulsun Karamustafa, Prison Paintings 9  1972

Prison Paintings is a series of fifteen paintings in acrylic on paper made by the Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa between 1972 and 1978 (Tate T15182–T15196). Displayed all together or in smaller groups, the works present an emotive sequence of images showing women of all ages in prison settings. They are painted in bright bold colours in a quasi-naïve style. The sombre subject matter draws on the artist’s personal experience of being incarcerated in Turkey in the early 1970s. Following the military coup of 1971 Karamustafa, who was a member of the 1968 generation and a politically active student during her university years in Istanbul, was arrested and sentenced to six months in prison for aiding and abetting political activists. The Prison Paintings were painted from memory, after the artist had been released from an institution intended for female prisoners serving life sentences. She has explained her motivation in making the paintings: ‘I made them in order to remember, in order to be able to keep [what happened] in mind. After serving time in the Maltepe, Selimiye and Sağmalcılar prisons in Istanbul, I was sent to Izmit Prison to be with the ones sentenced to penal servitude for life.’ (Quoted in Rumeysa Kiger, ‘Artist Gülsün Karamustafa fulfils promise in major SALT Beyoğlu exhibition’, Today’s Zaman, 20 October 2013, http://www.todayszaman.com/arts-culture_artist-gulsun-karamustafa-fulfills-promise-in-major-salt-beyoglu-exhibition_329239, accessed 4 March 2016.)

© Gulsun Karamustafa

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Prison Paintings 16

Gulsun Karamustafa, Prison Paintings 16  1972

Prison Paintings is a series of fifteen paintings in acrylic on paper made by the Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa between 1972 and 1978 (Tate T15182–T15196). Displayed all together or in smaller groups, the works present an emotive sequence of images showing women of all ages in prison settings. They are painted in bright bold colours in a quasi-naïve style. The sombre subject matter draws on the artist’s personal experience of being incarcerated in Turkey in the early 1970s. Following the military coup of 1971 Karamustafa, who was a member of the 1968 generation and a politically active student during her university years in Istanbul, was arrested and sentenced to six months in prison for aiding and abetting political activists. The Prison Paintings were painted from memory, after the artist had been released from an institution intended for female prisoners serving life sentences. She has explained her motivation in making the paintings: ‘I made them in order to remember, in order to be able to keep [what happened] in mind. After serving time in the Maltepe, Selimiye and Sağmalcılar prisons in Istanbul, I was sent to Izmit Prison to be with the ones sentenced to penal servitude for life.’ (Quoted in Rumeysa Kiger, ‘Artist Gülsün Karamustafa fulfils promise in major SALT Beyoğlu exhibition’, Today’s Zaman, 20 October 2013, http://www.todayszaman.com/arts-culture_artist-gulsun-karamustafa-fulfills-promise-in-major-salt-beyoglu-exhibition_329239, accessed 4 March 2016.)

© Gulsun Karamustafa

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Réquiem NN

Juan Manuel Echavarría, with Fernando Grisalez, Réquiem NN  2006–2013

Each of these prints captures two moments, months or years apart. They show graves in the cemetery of Puerto Berrío, a town on the banks of the Magdalena river in Colombia. For decades, the site has been the resting place for unidentified bodies found on the shores of the river. They are rescued by the villagers of Puerto Berrío and buried in the town cemetery. They are known as ‘NN’s ‘Nomen Nescio’ or ‘No Names’. Echavarría spent years visiting the site, gaining trust and permission from the community. Through his lens, he preserves and records this act of mourning, which he sees as a form of collective resistance. In some cases, families from Puerto Berrío have renamed the deceased with names of loved ones who also lost their lives in the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war.

Gallery label, December 2020

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The Darkward Trail

Nicole Eisenman, The Darkward Trail  2018

The Darkward Trail 2018 is a large painting on canvas by the American artist Nicole Eisenman, measuring over three metres by two and a half metres. It shows three characters in a desert facing left, as if in the midst of a journey. The tallest figure appears on the right side of the painting. Dressed in what appears like a patchwork of pale yellow bandages, the man’s skin is a corpse-like blue-grey; Eisenman rhymes the skin with the dense ray of blue that emerges from the torch held in his outstretched arm and that seems to darken rather than illuminate his way, as hinted at by the title of the work. To the character’s immediate left, though somewhat further back in the landscape, a second male figure rides a small ass. His obesity contrasts with the first man’s emaciated appearance; he appears at least as heavy as the creature below him. His back is arched and his arms are tucked into his striped shorts. On the left of the image, a third figure is directing a drone. The drone flies right above his head and its eye meets the single eye protruding from his skull. The landscape that these characters inhabit is sparse and resembles a wasteland after a chemical disaster. The sky is yellow, with clouds on the horizon; the desert floor is empty but for a dead spindly tree and a small cactus. A tiny sun glows above.

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Prison Paintings 10

Gulsun Karamustafa, Prison Paintings 10  1972

Prison Paintings is a series of fifteen paintings in acrylic on paper made by the Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa between 1972 and 1978 (Tate T15182–T15196). Displayed all together or in smaller groups, the works present an emotive sequence of images showing women of all ages in prison settings. They are painted in bright bold colours in a quasi-naïve style. The sombre subject matter draws on the artist’s personal experience of being incarcerated in Turkey in the early 1970s. Following the military coup of 1971 Karamustafa, who was a member of the 1968 generation and a politically active student during her university years in Istanbul, was arrested and sentenced to six months in prison for aiding and abetting political activists. The Prison Paintings were painted from memory, after the artist had been released from an institution intended for female prisoners serving life sentences. She has explained her motivation in making the paintings: ‘I made them in order to remember, in order to be able to keep [what happened] in mind. After serving time in the Maltepe, Selimiye and Sağmalcılar prisons in Istanbul, I was sent to Izmit Prison to be with the ones sentenced to penal servitude for life.’ (Quoted in Rumeysa Kiger, ‘Artist Gülsün Karamustafa fulfils promise in major SALT Beyoğlu exhibition’, Today’s Zaman, 20 October 2013, http://www.todayszaman.com/arts-culture_artist-gulsun-karamustafa-fulfills-promise-in-major-salt-beyoglu-exhibition_329239, accessed 4 March 2016.)

© Gulsun Karamustafa

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Prison Paintings 15

Gulsun Karamustafa, Prison Paintings 15  1972

Prison Paintings is a series of fifteen paintings in acrylic on paper made by the Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa between 1972 and 1978 (Tate T15182–T15196). Displayed all together or in smaller groups, the works present an emotive sequence of images showing women of all ages in prison settings. They are painted in bright bold colours in a quasi-naïve style. The sombre subject matter draws on the artist’s personal experience of being incarcerated in Turkey in the early 1970s. Following the military coup of 1971 Karamustafa, who was a member of the 1968 generation and a politically active student during her university years in Istanbul, was arrested and sentenced to six months in prison for aiding and abetting political activists. The Prison Paintings were painted from memory, after the artist had been released from an institution intended for female prisoners serving life sentences. She has explained her motivation in making the paintings: ‘I made them in order to remember, in order to be able to keep [what happened] in mind. After serving time in the Maltepe, Selimiye and Sağmalcılar prisons in Istanbul, I was sent to Izmit Prison to be with the ones sentenced to penal servitude for life.’ (Quoted in Rumeysa Kiger, ‘Artist Gülsün Karamustafa fulfils promise in major SALT Beyoğlu exhibition’, Today’s Zaman, 20 October 2013, http://www.todayszaman.com/arts-culture_artist-gulsun-karamustafa-fulfills-promise-in-major-salt-beyoglu-exhibition_329239, accessed 4 March 2016.)

© Gulsun Karamustafa

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Prison Paintings 6

Gulsun Karamustafa, Prison Paintings 6  1972

Prison Paintings is a series of fifteen paintings in acrylic on paper made by the Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa between 1972 and 1978 (Tate T15182–T15196). Displayed all together or in smaller groups, the works present an emotive sequence of images showing women of all ages in prison settings. They are painted in bright bold colours in a quasi-naïve style. The sombre subject matter draws on the artist’s personal experience of being incarcerated in Turkey in the early 1970s. Following the military coup of 1971 Karamustafa, who was a member of the 1968 generation and a politically active student during her university years in Istanbul, was arrested and sentenced to six months in prison for aiding and abetting political activists. The Prison Paintings were painted from memory, after the artist had been released from an institution intended for female prisoners serving life sentences. She has explained her motivation in making the paintings: ‘I made them in order to remember, in order to be able to keep [what happened] in mind. After serving time in the Maltepe, Selimiye and Sağmalcılar prisons in Istanbul, I was sent to Izmit Prison to be with the ones sentenced to penal servitude for life.’ (Quoted in Rumeysa Kiger, ‘Artist Gülsün Karamustafa fulfils promise in major SALT Beyoğlu exhibition’, Today’s Zaman, 20 October 2013, http://www.todayszaman.com/arts-culture_artist-gulsun-karamustafa-fulfills-promise-in-major-salt-beyoglu-exhibition_329239, accessed 4 March 2016.)

© Gulsun Karamustafa

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Prison Paintings 11

Gulsun Karamustafa, Prison Paintings 11  1972

Prison Paintings is a series of fifteen paintings in acrylic on paper made by the Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa between 1972 and 1978 (Tate T15182–T15196). Displayed all together or in smaller groups, the works present an emotive sequence of images showing women of all ages in prison settings. They are painted in bright bold colours in a quasi-naïve style. The sombre subject matter draws on the artist’s personal experience of being incarcerated in Turkey in the early 1970s. Following the military coup of 1971 Karamustafa, who was a member of the 1968 generation and a politically active student during her university years in Istanbul, was arrested and sentenced to six months in prison for aiding and abetting political activists. The Prison Paintings were painted from memory, after the artist had been released from an institution intended for female prisoners serving life sentences. She has explained her motivation in making the paintings: ‘I made them in order to remember, in order to be able to keep [what happened] in mind. After serving time in the Maltepe, Selimiye and Sağmalcılar prisons in Istanbul, I was sent to Izmit Prison to be with the ones sentenced to penal servitude for life.’ (Quoted in Rumeysa Kiger, ‘Artist Gülsün Karamustafa fulfils promise in major SALT Beyoğlu exhibition’, Today’s Zaman, 20 October 2013, http://www.todayszaman.com/arts-culture_artist-gulsun-karamustafa-fulfills-promise-in-major-salt-beyoglu-exhibition_329239, accessed 4 March 2016.)

© Gulsun Karamustafa

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Prison Paintings 14

Gulsun Karamustafa, Prison Paintings 14  1972

Prison Paintings is a series of fifteen paintings in acrylic on paper made by the Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa between 1972 and 1978 (Tate T15182–T15196). Displayed all together or in smaller groups, the works present an emotive sequence of images showing women of all ages in prison settings. They are painted in bright bold colours in a quasi-naïve style. The sombre subject matter draws on the artist’s personal experience of being incarcerated in Turkey in the early 1970s. Following the military coup of 1971 Karamustafa, who was a member of the 1968 generation and a politically active student during her university years in Istanbul, was arrested and sentenced to six months in prison for aiding and abetting political activists. The Prison Paintings were painted from memory, after the artist had been released from an institution intended for female prisoners serving life sentences. She has explained her motivation in making the paintings: ‘I made them in order to remember, in order to be able to keep [what happened] in mind. After serving time in the Maltepe, Selimiye and Sağmalcılar prisons in Istanbul, I was sent to Izmit Prison to be with the ones sentenced to penal servitude for life.’ (Quoted in Rumeysa Kiger, ‘Artist Gülsün Karamustafa fulfils promise in major SALT Beyoğlu exhibition’, Today’s Zaman, 20 October 2013, http://www.todayszaman.com/arts-culture_artist-gulsun-karamustafa-fulfills-promise-in-major-salt-beyoglu-exhibition_329239, accessed 4 March 2016.)

© Gulsun Karamustafa

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Antigua-Barbuda

Fred Wilson, Antigua-Barbuda  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Prison Paintings 17

Gulsun Karamustafa, Prison Paintings 17  1972

Prison Paintings is a series of fifteen paintings in acrylic on paper made by the Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa between 1972 and 1978 (Tate T15182–T15196). Displayed all together or in smaller groups, the works present an emotive sequence of images showing women of all ages in prison settings. They are painted in bright bold colours in a quasi-naïve style. The sombre subject matter draws on the artist’s personal experience of being incarcerated in Turkey in the early 1970s. Following the military coup of 1971 Karamustafa, who was a member of the 1968 generation and a politically active student during her university years in Istanbul, was arrested and sentenced to six months in prison for aiding and abetting political activists. The Prison Paintings were painted from memory, after the artist had been released from an institution intended for female prisoners serving life sentences. She has explained her motivation in making the paintings: ‘I made them in order to remember, in order to be able to keep [what happened] in mind. After serving time in the Maltepe, Selimiye and Sağmalcılar prisons in Istanbul, I was sent to Izmit Prison to be with the ones sentenced to penal servitude for life.’ (Quoted in Rumeysa Kiger, ‘Artist Gülsün Karamustafa fulfils promise in major SALT Beyoğlu exhibition’, Today’s Zaman, 20 October 2013, http://www.todayszaman.com/arts-culture_artist-gulsun-karamustafa-fulfills-promise-in-major-salt-beyoglu-exhibition_329239, accessed 4 March 2016.)

© Gulsun Karamustafa

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Jamaica

Fred Wilson, Jamaica  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Niger

Fred Wilson, Niger  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Haiti

Fred Wilson, Haiti  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Nigeria

Fred Wilson, Nigeria  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Togo

Fred Wilson, Togo  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Seychelles

Fred Wilson, Seychelles  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Senegal

Fred Wilson, Senegal  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Burkina Faso

Fred Wilson, Burkina Faso  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Trinidad-Tobago

Fred Wilson, Trinidad-Tobago  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Swaziland

Fred Wilson, Swaziland  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Saint Vincent-Grenadines

Fred Wilson, Saint Vincent-Grenadines  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Cameroon

Fred Wilson, Cameroon  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Uganda

Fred Wilson, Uganda  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Benin

Fred Wilson, Benin  2009

© Fred Wilson

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Art in this room

Ghana
Fred Wilson Ghana 2009
The citizen
Richard Hamilton The citizen 1981–3
Congo
Fred Wilson Congo 2009

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Lorna Simpson Then & Now 2016
Flag I
Teresa Margolles Flag I 2009
Prison Paintings 9
Gulsun Karamustafa Prison Paintings 9 1972

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