In the run-up to the 2015 General Election, History Is Now offers a radical new way of thinking about how we got to where we are today.
John Akomfrah, Simon Fujiwara, Roger Hiorns, Hannah Starkey, Richard Wentworth and Jane and Louise Wilson have each been invited to curate sections of the exhibition, looking at particular periods of cultural history.
Their varied and highly original curatorial 'takes' on Britain provide fresh perspectives and illuminate key moments in the nation's journey from the post-war period to the present day.
The artists pursue inventive ways of exploring our recent history, spanning ideas and topics as varied as the Cold War, post-Thatcherite society, protest movements, feminism, BSE, and celebrity culture.
They present over 250 objects from both public and private art collections as well as everyday artefacts including maps, costumes, newspapers, films, and personal diaries, together with scientific and military displays.
While each section of the exhibition is distinct in both focus and style, taken together, History Is Now provokes reflection and debate on the events, people, and objects that have shaped the nation in recent decades, so informing our future decisions and directions.
History Is Now is co-curated by Dr Cliff Lauson, Hayward Gallery Curator.
This exhibition includes some nudity and sensitive content. One film in John Akomfrah’s presentation (Gallery 5) has a strobing effect.
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A full-colour catalogue is published in conjunction with the exhibition, illustrating the artists' sections and including an essay by Cliff Lauson and newly commissioned texts by six diverse writers: Sheila Dillon, Adrian Forty, Daniel Fujiwara, Charlotte Higgins, Jackie Kay, and David Mellor.
Image credit: Eduardo Paolozzi, Take-off, 1972 (from original Bunk collages 1947-52) © Trustees of the Paolozzi Foundation. Licensed by DACS 2015
Tuesday 10 February – Sunday 26 April 2015
Monday 12 noon – 6pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Late night Thursday and Friday, 11am – 8pm
Tours of History Is Now take place on Thursdays at 7pm and Saturdays at 1pm. They are free with a same-day exhibition ticket.
Given the high volume of works in the exhibition and the amount of detailed information included, we are very pleased to allow same day re-entry. Please speak to our ticketing hosts in the foyer for more information and do take this into consideration when planning your visit.
*Supporter tickets include a small voluntary donation which will help us to present the very best in contemporary art. If you are a UK taxpayer and are able to Gift Aid your donation, we can reclaim the tax you have paid on the whole entry fee, not just the donation. Southbank Centre is a registered charity No 298909.