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Issue No. 18 - Humanity

Brexit: The Beginning of the End?

Brexit: The Beginning of the End?

Wolfgang Tillmans, The State We're In, A  (2015) ©Wolfgang Tillmans, courtesy Maureen Paley, London 

Wolfgang Tillmans, The State We're In, A  (2015) ©Wolfgang Tillmans, courtesy Maureen Paley, London 

As is customary, art and politics blend once again with Wolfgang Tillmans’ campaign against Britain’s separation from the European Union. As a founder of the non-profit exhibition space Between Bridges, the German artist has used his photographs of borders to create a powerful campaign, which is currently on view at London’s Maureen Paley Gallery.

The campaign is a compilation of downloadable posters with phrases inciting voters to support Britain to stay a member of the EU. Tillmans feels quite strongly about the issue, claiming that “the antidemocratic forces in eastern Europe, the Islamist forces around the Mediterranean, [and] the big business interests in North America, are all poised to wash away the EU’s laws of moderation.” For the artist, Britain’s separation from the union may signify the beginning of the end.

One of the highlights of the series is an image of the crossing of international borders in the Atlantic Ocean titled “The State We’re in, A” (2015). The images contain a powerful message about how borders, which are such emblematic notions in today’s world, can enhance as much as diminish our senses of freedom and belonging. 

Wolfgang Tillmans, exhibition view, ground floor gallery: Maureen Paley, London 2016 ©Wolfgang Tillmans, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Wolfgang Tillmans, exhibition view, ground floor gallery: Maureen Paley, London 2016 ©Wolfgang Tillmans, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Today, June 23, British citizens will be voting on the referendum proposed by the British government in May 2016. Both sides of the debate seem to have strong arguments regarding the fate of Great Britain’s relationship to the rest of the continent and how this may change the general economic, political and social situation on both ends.

Tillmans’ photographs along with posters of his campaign, which are also available online, will be on view at Maureen Paley Gallery until July 31st.  This show will be a preparation for Tillmans’ major solo exhibition at the Tate Modern on February 2017. 

Wolfgang Tillmans, exhibition view, ground floor gallery: Maureen Paley, London 2016 ©Wolfgang Tillmans, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Wolfgang Tillmans, exhibition view, ground floor gallery: Maureen Paley, London 2016 ©Wolfgang Tillmans, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Images ©Wolfgang Tillmans, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Article © Karolina Sotomayor

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