Disobedient Objects – V&A UN

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Today I decided to go to see the Disobedient Objects exhibition at the V&A. This exhibition deals with the idea that objects hold a certain power and are key in political, sociological and economical issues. From using simple forms of protest (Posters, Banners and Badges) to more bold and outlandish ides (wearing monkey masks, sculptures and decorated death trucks).

“From a Suffragette tea service to protest robots, this exhibition is the first to examine the powerful role of objects in movements for social change. It demonstrates how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and collective creativity that defy standard definitions of art and design.”    (Disobedient Objects: about the exhibition, 26th July – 1st February V&A, 16/10/2014)

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The first thing seen when entering is a selection of quotes introducing me to the exhibition. These quotes stated how activist social movement have been  the source of everything we enjoy now, how these acts of protest have impacted our lives and aided our abilities. Without these acts we would not be who wee are. I also realised they used chip board rather than the classic white exhibition displays. This added to the idea that the objects were very personal and made or appropriated with care but also brought to light that those who made/used the display items had a very tight budget.

The first object that caught my eye were three huge paper mache and textile puppets. These were used to protest against the Iraqi war. An Iraqi woman is seen carrying a dead body with two business men behind her. The facial expression of the woman shows grief however the men seem to have an element of glee on their faces.This was created by Peter Schumann the founder of the “Bread and Puppet Theatre” who popularised the movement of puppetry and argued that the materials used should not be important as art isn’t only for those who can afford it. I think these puppets are very captivating, you can see the characters creates and the passion and effort put in to the creation.

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