Departure lounge ramblings on music, places, climate change and stuff outdoors

Posts from the ‘Museums’ category

Artists and Empire

The best bit of the Tate Britain’s compelling ‘Artists and Empire’ exhibition comes right at the end, in the ‘Legacies of Empire’ room. Here, Hew Locke’s clever guerilla art sees him adorn a statue of Bristol’s founding father, Edward Colston, in cheap plastic gold trinkets, a modern equivalent of the tat that imperial traders exchanged for slaves. For, as Locke explains in an accompanying Restoration, Colston and Bristol’s wealth was built on human trafficking.

The Museum of Tomorrow

Sited on an archipelago in the port district of Rio de Janeiro, on approach the Museum of Tomorrow looks like some kind of spaceship, perhaps an inter-galactic freighter. Once inside and looking out, however, the feeling is of being in the belly of a whale, its huge skeletal frame exposed to the burning sun. It is an extraordinary structure housing a truly unique museum, that invites the visitor to ponder human existence in way that is progressively profound, disturbing, and uplifting.

West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song

The British Library’s ‘West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song’ is an engrossing and rewarding introduction to this vast region of 340 million people, 1,000 languages and 17 nations. Despite loving the music of Fela Kuti, Toumani Diabate, and Ali Fark Toure, markontour had hitherto failed to understand the regional and cultural connections between these great artists. This exhibition shows how their West African homelands share a love of story-telling, of which these great artists are simply modern expressions.