Dundee Contemporary Arts presents new and recent works by Ruth Ewan in her first major solo show in the United Kingdom.
‘Brank & Heckle’ will explore notions of enforced silence and vocal protest by combining the artist’s ongoing interest in creative forms of agitation with new work responding to Dundee’s social heritage.
The exhibition features a newly-commissioned sculpture based on photographs of a statue of Paul Robeson that went missing in the 1940s in suspicious circumstances. Archive material relating to Robeson’s career and his experience of racism and political persecution will be presented alongside tomatoes of the black-fleshed variety ‘Paul Robeson’, specially grown for display in the galleries.
A jukebox hosting over 2000 progressively themed or idealistic songs, entitled ‘A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World’, will allow gallery visitors to select music to accompany their visit, while ‘Nae Sums 1911 – 2011’ references an imagined slogan from Dundee’s school strike of 1911 using large letters made from reclaimed school desks. These letters use the unique Menzieshill typeface created by Ewan with the help of children from Menzieshill High School.
Ruth Ewan is interested in viewing history as alive, relevant and capable of configuring the future. Conceptually led but socially realised, her work takes specific historical images and sounds and renders them ‘active’ through use.
‘Brank and Heckle’ runs from 13 August – 9 October 2011 at Dundee Contemporary Arts gallery. For information on this and other exhibits go to www.dca.org.uk/