Richard Wright (born 1960), who lives and works in Glasgow, is the third and final artist to curate the Contemporary Art Society series at Tate Britain. His selection takes its title from William Hogarth's 1736 engraving. This satirical image is not so much a critique of an indolent audience as of a boring sermon.
Hogarth's satire perhaps has its parallels in the condition of art - it could be understood as an indirect exhortation to more inspiring forms of address which could solicit attentiveness or even fervour.
Since the 1960's contemporary art has increasingly adopted the stupefying strategies of advertising in order to market instantly desirable consumer goods. The incidental, almost ephemeral pieces chosen for this exhibition may not be immediately persuasive. Instead, they address a more peripheral sense of vision: a vision which is less concerned with the artificial or exaggerated act of spectatorship (seeing and knowing from the outside) and more concerned with an osmotic relationship between the self and the world.
For example, the fragmentary works by William Blake and Kurt Schwitters included in the exhibition are not so much intended to be seen as entered, and the use of a vitrine to display both two- and three-dimensional works invites viewers to reassess the way in which they perceive objects.
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