British artist Peter Liversidge (b. 1973) presents a new solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery inspired by ideas around demonstration and protest.
The exhibition is the result of a collaboration with groups of primary school children from east London, who worked with the artist to compose and write lyrics for protest songs, create choreography and design banners and placards.
A film of the performances taking place at the Whitechapel Gallery on May Day 2014 and on London’s South Bank shows the artist and sixty children aged 8 and 9 from Marion Richardson Primary School in Tower Hamlets in demonstration. The film work is displayed alongside hand painted banners and archive material.
For the project Liversidge held workshops over a 4 month period to encourage the children to express their views on community and the power of a collective voice. The songs included everything from a rally against homework and a dislike of tight fitting shoes to tales of the school playground and everyday life in east London. Documentation of the workshops, rehearsals and lyrics which included ‘Less trucks and cars / More chocolate bars!’ and ‘I Don’t Like Cooked Tomatoes’ are also featured in the display.
Liversidge is a conceptual artist whose work combines elements of performance and documentation. He is interested in the processes of making artworks and the success or failure of an idea. A central aspect of every new work he creates is a typewritten ‘proposal’ relating to a specific site or commission. If a proposal reaches completion the results can range from painting, books and installations of found or made objects to solo performances and large scale participatory events.
Liversidge has worked on a number of proposals for the Whitechapel Gallery in the past. For the 2013 exhibition The Spirit of Utopia he staged a live stand-up comedy night open to the public, a fictitious exhibition archive and an event where ‘summer snow’ emitted from large snow machines, temporarily showering visitors and passers-by with flecks of white foam in the height of summer.
Peter Liversidge: Notes on Protesting is on display in galleries 5 & 6, spaces dedicated to the Whitechapel Gallery’s work with schools and local communities.
To coincide with the display the artist will re-stage the performance Notes on Protesting on May Day 2015 (Friday 1 May 2015) 12pm with pupils from Marion Richardson Primary School.