Heritage: Image and History
Impressions Gallery and York City Art Gallery
June 16 – July 21, 1990
© Victor Sloan
Until quite recently there was only one way of ordering events, only one way of arranging artefacts, and only one voice to describe the past. There was only one history. But today British history is being challenged. History has become the battle ground where debated around national identity, methods of teaching, and ideas about the authentic are being fought. These conflicts are symptomatic of major changes taking place in Britain.
The development towards a post-industrial society with the service sector playing a more important role economically, Britain’s declining international role in world affairs, coupled with the crisis of modernity in the western world have helped to create the climate where previous held ideas on history have come into question.
These changes have assisted in bringing to the forefront the issue of diversity, raising questions on race, gender, class and regionalism. Previously neglected areas of the past are now being brought into view. One outcome of this questioning has been the beginnings of a critique on the role of the heritage industry in contemporary culture.
New work has been commissioned from artists and photographers to look at the growing heritage industry in Britain. The exhibition features the work of Denis Doran, Graham Evans, Stephen Farthing, Lubaina Himid, John Kippin, Karen Knorr, Alison Marchant, Ingrid Pollard, Paul Reas, Bill Sharp, Posy Simmons, Victor Sloan and Peter Turley.
This exhibition can be seen as an extension of the museum, but one which recognises the diversity of culture, of visions, of life. One which can question its own rhetoric. This exhibition might be the first if this kind of museum, temporal, ever-changing, making space for other voices, never allowing the dust to settle, and always engaging with the present.
Part of this exhibltion is being simultaneously shown at the York City Art Gallery, Exhibition Square.
An extensive 40 page catalogue with colour and b/w reproductions is available to accompany the exhibition. This features essays by Graham Coster, Gaby Porter and Jessica Saraga.
Monday – Saturday, 10-5pm
Last admission, 4.30pm
The exhibition is a joint touring exhibition between Cornerhouse in Manchester and Impressions.
Funded by the Arts Council and Yorkshire Arts