Monument: Aftermath of War and Conflict (The Undercroft) 

14. Jun - 3. Aug 14 / ended Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts


The Undercroft, beneath Norwich War Memorial, City Hall, Norwich

Exhibition | Multi-disciplinary | Midlands

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John Cornu Sitting on the Fence, 2011. Courtesy of the artist

John Cornu Sitting on the Fence, 2011. Courtesy of the artist

Monument: Aftermath of War and Conflict (The Undercroft, Norwich)

Monument is a new exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, organised as part of a series of inter-connected exhibitions of contemporary art in England and France. It marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

The Undercroft in Norwich City centre, at the head of Norwich market, is itself beneath a First World War memorial, also designed by Edwin Lutyens. Dominating the space will be 193 camouflage flags by the collective Société Réaliste and an installation by John Cornu (1976-), of a cloud of 300 First World War horse-traps. This is a particularly poignant monument in the context of East Anglia where many of the horses serving in the war were reared, and which as a consequence of that war, are now an endangered species. The element of risk will be heightened by Djamel Kokène’s (1968-) enormous ball of barbed wire evoking the idea of both weapon and deterrent.

The exhibition in the Undercroft contains a number of participatory and interactive elements. Beneath the memorial itself, Marcus Vergette (1961-) is placing a bell Silence, Beat, Silence, which may be rung by visitors. Didier Vivien’s work Cold Memories commemorates through albums, individual soldiers who died in the First World War. And taking the subject to a broader realm, Becky Shaw will create works interactively, working with the space to create new monuments out of old, using colonial aspects of the Sainsbury Centre’s world art collection as a starting point.

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