Guernica Remakings

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

Guernica Remakings is a curated exhibition of artefacts, research materials and films on collaborative activist art and craft makers. Ashmore developed documentary films and curated a touring exhibition and website as part of an enquiry into how meaning is constructed and held in material form by textile crafting communities to reveal local and global political issues. Case studies of textile reproductions of Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ were contextualised by collection and study of other significant politicised reworkings of the painting. Ashmore, a maker and art historian, drew on these and her own participation in a reworking of ‘Guernica’ to ask: How does collaborative activist craft practice foster solidarity, empowerment and socio-political engagement? Why does the painting ‘Guernica’ in particular resonate when translated into apparently different contexts? And, how can curatorial exhibition practice support engagement with the painting’s humanitarian message?

The central case study used documentary film to examine the work of the Keiskamma Art Project, which translated ‘Guernica’ from the Spanish Civil War to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Ashmore analysed this alongside other notable politicised remakings of Picasso’s ‘Guernica’, extending the long-term recognition of the painting's psychoanalytic significance, narrative content and religious meaning to understand what makes it translatable to global communities in distress. Ashmore evolved a methodology of participatory film production to evidence the acts of making and the ways these strengthened bonds within communities. The exhibition interpreted the significance of remaking for diverse communities and reflected on the extent to which it represented an act of solidarity with all of those who have been moved to remake it before.

The Guernica Remakings exhibition was first displayed in the University of Brighton Gallery (2017) and subsequently toured to Salford, London and Rose Hill, Mauritius (2019). The outcomes of the project are hosted on a curated website.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUniversity of Brighton Gallery
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017

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