Known for his witty and politically incisive paintings, since the 1970’s Tam Joseph has sought to challenge dominant discourses and the ‘received wisdom’ of history and culture in his work.
The Hand Made Map Of The World, is based on an original painting made in 2012 and was first presented as a billboard in the 2014 festival. Newly sited for this current presentation on the Meadows, Joseph is drawn to the wider historical associations of this green space, which in 1886 hosted the International Exhibition of Art, Industry and Science, one in a succession of ‘world fairs’ to be staged in cities throughout Victorian Britain.
Transforming and subverting the ‘World Political Map’, Joseph playfully renames familiar landmasses to lay bare the destructive quest for territorial control which has dominated geopolitics over the centuries, and critique the supposed ideological neutrality of maps.
Challenging our view of the world, and history, in Joseph’s hand made world, America becomes China, the United Kingdom becomes Cuba. In the artist’s own words: ‘It’s All in the Mind’.
The original painting on which this billboard is based, The Hand Made Map Of The World, 2012, is in the collection of the Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, London.
Image: Tam Joseph, The Hand Made Map Of The World (cropped section), 2014
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