Ruth Ewan: We Could Have Been Anything That We Wanted to Be and It's Not Too Late to Change
Cooper Gallery's major five-chapter exhibition and event project The Ignorant Art School: Five Sit-ins towards Creative Emancipation strides forward this autumn with a timely new exhibition by internationally celebrated Scottish artist Ruth Ewan.
We Could Have Been Anything That We Wanted to Be and It's Not Too Late to Change brings together artworks considering revolutionary time inspired by Dundee's historical connection with the 1789 French Revolution. Ewan's exhibition features a decimal clock especially installed on the public façade of Cooper Gallery, a virtual and physical perpetual Republican Calendar and an immersive installation How Many Flowers Will Make the Spring?, offering us a transcendent moment resonating with dissent and solidarity.
Desiring to introduce a new 'civil era', the French Revolution secularised and rationalised time by abolishing the 24 hour day in favour of a decimalised 10 hour day and by renaming every month of the year to reflect not the names of Gods or Kings but nature, science and the labouring classes. Inherently political, this revolutionary reclaiming of time rings loud and clear in We Could Have Been Anything That We Wanted to Be and It's Not Too Late to Change.
Featuring a new ambitious installation by Ewan, How Many Flowers Will Make the Spring?, weaves together oral histories and the personal recollections of activists involved in public moments of dissent with an indoor meadow-like landscape made of dried grasses and plants. Channelling the natural symbolism of the French Republican Calendar How Many Flowers Will Make the Spring? asks us to embrace liberty and freedom not as individualistic goals nor as distant utopian aims, but as collective trans-historic struggles to which we can all contribute and effect social change.
'As flowers turn toward the sun, by dint of a secret heliotropism the past strives to turn toward that sun which is rising in the sky of history." (Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History IV, 1940)
The exhibition is free and open to all.
Opening times Monday to Saturday, 11am-4pm.
Information published by Leisure and Culture Dundee.
Promoted By: Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.
This event has now passed.
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