The Imperial War Museum Age of Terror: Art since 9/11 exhibition features more than forty British and international artists, including Ai Weiwei, Grayson Perry, Gerhard Richter, Jenny Holzer, Mona Hatoum, Alfredo Jaar, Coco Fusco and Jake & Dinos Chapman. In keeping with and respecting the museum’s wishes and protocol I have not published this post with any pictures taken from the exhibition (you are not allowed to take any) so I will just write about it instead. The museum has changed quite a bit since I first visited some years ago. It was founded in 1917 and originally conceived to document the military and civil effort of the First World War.
Moving with the times, interactive and creative presentations are now used to showcase tragic circumstances in a sympathetic, creative and poignant way; allowing you to reflect and think about moments in time where there was tragedy and loss of life on all fronts. The latest exhibition focuses on terrorism and is broken down into various sections:
Direct or immediate responses to the events of 9/11.
Issues of state surveillance and security.
Our complex relationship with firearms.
Bombs, drones and the destruction caused by conflict on landscape, architecture and people.
Mediums used to convey these themes include: Photography, film, sculpture, print, painting, and installations. One of my favourite pieces from the exhibition was Iván Navarro’s The Twin Towers (2011), which is a neon light installation with an infinity drop creating the illusion of an infinite concave space.
As someone who was not alive during the Second or First Wolrd War, I cannot imagine the circumstances that people of those times went through. The Imperial War Museum and footage we have today does give you a glimpse. However, I am of the era of 9/11 and remember that day very well and for me as the exhibition states everything did change from that day in 2001.