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Aulich, J., 2015.

The Third Eye: Modern History and Posters as part of Modern History Vol 3

Output Type:Exhibition
Venue:Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre
Dates:23/9/2015 - 21/11/2015
Number of Works:18

Posters are usually collectively produced in studios and are the result of the dynamic between the graphic artist, writer and commissioner. They are seen in public spaces and strike the eye without permission to advertise their messages in thought-provoking ways.

The posters are drawn from a private collection themed on progressive and communist politics further determined by intuition, happenstance and a personal aesthetic. It has no claims to be representative but demonstrates strategies employed by graphic artists to address some of the major issues of the post war world.

The selection is framed by an intrinsic narrative and available space. Two previous selections without regard to running length and height produced two very different visions. This, the final version includes relatively more posters from the UK and Cuba because they are relatively small. I'll leave you as the spectator to think about how historical narratives of any kind might be created.

The installation embraces the grand narratives of modern history: Peace; Imperialism; Capitalism; Cold War; Democracy; Communism and its collapse, the War Against Terror and the rise of neo-liberalism. They also articulate existential questions concerning the fate of the individual.

Some are straightforwardly propagandistic and give visual expression to political rhetoric. Some rely on traditional Christian and national iconographies and images of the crowd. Others employ elaborate and subversive visual metaphors. The theatre posters, for example, are mediations of plays, performed at times of severe social stress themselves providing oblique oppositional commentaries on life.