‘Utopian Realism’ is an exploration of rural utopianism, idealism and industrialism in the North East of England and Mid Wales by the artists Mair Hughes and Bridget Kennedy.

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Robinson Institute

I am very excited about an exhibition on at Tate Britain at the moment and hopefully between now and October I will get down to London to see it.

It is a commissioned work by Patrick Keiller called The Robinson Institute in which Keiller has brought together a number of works from the Tate collection in order to take visitors on a journey to the heart of landscape and its many cultural implications. The Robinson of the show title is a fictional character in several of Keiller's film works (Robinson in Space and Robinson in Ruins for example). Through his eyes we see contemporary British landscape as he travels with his companion (who is the narrator in the films) to various sites of historical significance.

Keiller's brilliantly researched works provide an insight into the political and socio- economic health of the country and have a wry sense of humour.

There are several essays available on line about the AHRC funded research project he is involved with (called the future of landscape and the moving image*), but this one is a bit shorter and covers several issues that Mair and I have touched upon in our research during the Utopian Realism project.

The ‘overall objective’ of the research, as spelled out in the application, was:
‘To identify, understand and document aspects of the current global predicament in the UK’s landscape, and explore its histories and possible futures by creating images and texts, and combinations of both, which together constitute a critique and a document of the UK’s landscape at a particular point in its history, in a period characterised by conflict and anxiety about the future.’
Taken from Doreen Massey's Essay Landscape/space/politics: an essay


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  2. This Tate exhibition sounds really interesting. I work for a gallery called ‘Ascot Studios’ a Contemporary Art Gallery (http://www.ascotstudios.com) which is based in the Ribble Valley - a beautiful area of countryside in the North West of England. We represent a few landscape artists, and this seems like a fantastic exhibition to be visited at the Tate.