V&A Museum Invites Artists to Reimagine Europe as UK Parliament Passes Brexit Bill

Rosa Barba, Constant Dullaart, and Raqs Media Collective are among participating artists.

The Victoria and Albert Museum garden. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
The Victoria and Albert Museum garden. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is staging Collecting Europe, a week-long festival in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut London and the British Council this week. It began yesterday, February 1, 2017, and ends on February 7.

Coinciding with yesterday’s parliament vote to trigger Article 50, starting the official process of the UK leaving the EU, the festival unveiled commissions by twelve artists and designers who had been tasked with creating work envisioning Europe 2,000 years from now.

“As major global events continue to unfold, citizens are inevitably questioning what Europe stands for and how they see their place within it, the arts have a unique and important role to play, in encouraging debate around the big questions of the day,” said acting V&A director Tim Reeve in a statement.

”Collecting Europe is a responsive and thought-provoking project, tackling these issues through the lens of art and design. Visitors will encounter exciting and provocative installations that interact with our world-renowned collections and historic spaces, created by artists living both inside and outside Europe.”

Participating artists include Rosa Barba, Constant Dullaart, Raqs Media Collective, Thibaut de Ruyter, and Remco Torenbosch. The artworks are accompanied by a series of talks and opportunities for discussion.

“For some people, Brexit is an expression and strengthening of British identity; for others it means alienation from their own or adopted country,” said Angela Kaya, Director of the Goethe-Institut London.

”Beyond Brexit, migration and nationalization tendencies make this a critical moment for us to ask: What defines Europe and European identity today? What does Europe mean as an idea? It is only with this historical distance that we can get a clearer sense of what Europe means today.”

For what promises to be a breath of fresh air in comparison with the constant bluff and bluster over Brexit, the full program of Collecting Europe can be found here.


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