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Taking Up Space

100 years on from the momentous passing of the Representation of the People’s Act which paved the way for women’s right to vote, the debate about women’s presence in the UK public realm continues. Taking up Space brings together works by women in the Government Art Collection that challenge public space.

This exhibition has been curated by Eliza Gluckman, Deputy Director and Senior Curator and Dr Laura-Maria Popoviciu, Curator, Research & Information (Historical).

Eternal Maharana and She II by Güler Ates
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Architecture is one of the main areas investigated in this exhibition through works of art that map physical and psychological spaces, by artists including Rachel Whiteread, Jane and Louise Wilson, Anne Tallentire, Phoebe Boswell, Güler Ates and Mariele Neudecker.

Much of the fight for women’s rights took place in the public domain, through action and protest. Other areas this exhibition explores are communication, mapping and surveillance. A tapestry work by Caragh Thuring is a powerful comment on the political structures within the city. Gillian Wearing’s iconic video Dancing in Peckham challenges the boundaries of acceptable behaviour in public spaces. Sally Payen’s metaphoric rendition of the Greenham Common protests takes us back to the pre-digital era by referencing the telephonic tree. Recent works by Emma Hart, Nicole Wermers, Celia Hempton and Anna Barham address communication and digital surveillance as a current and urgent concern in a society grappling with social media and fake news.

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