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Bristol Museum & Art Gallery presents: No Borders
Release date: Thu, 29/11/2012
Visitors to Bristol Museum & Art Gallery will soon be able to enjoy cutting-edge contemporary art from some of the world’s leading artists when a new exhibition No Borders opens on Saturday, December 15, 2012.
A Ton of Tea by renowned Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei on display in the UK for the very first time, the site-specific wall-drawing, Untitled (There is No Border Here) 2006, by Shilpa Gupta and Holiday for Tomorrow by Haegue Yang are just three of the new acquisitions in the No Borders exhibition. They are made possible thanks to Art Fund International, the Art Fund’s £5 million scheme that over the past five years has supported the development of outstanding international contemporary art in five museum partnerships throughout the UK.
The city council’s museum service has been given up to £1 million to develop their collections of international contemporary art, and as a result is able to showcase major works by artists such as Ai Weiwei, Walid Raad, Haegue Yang and Akram Zaatari. Other artists in the No Borders exhibition include: Yto Barrada; Hala Elkoussy; Shilpa Gupta; Amar Kanwar; Tala Madani; Zwelethu Mthethwa; Imran Qu’reshi and Shahzia Sikander.
Bristol Museums Galleries & Archives' Art Fund International programme is supported as part of Art Council England (ACE) major partner museums scheme.
Julie Finch, head of Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives, said: "The exhibition is the first opportunity for visitors to see this important new collection of contemporary art for the city, which has been developed by Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, with funding from The Art Fund and support and advice from Arnolfini. It’s a stunning new collection in its own right, which we hope to build on in the future and which adds new meaning to the museum’s historic collections. We are sure No Borders and future exhibitions in the Global to Local series will draw visitors to Bristol to see works by these high-profile artists. Exciting artworks such as A Ton of Tea by globally-renowned artist Ai Weiwei, will be on display and will remain in Bristol as a lasting legacy.”
Tom Trevor, Director of Arnolfini, added: "It has been an honour to fulfil the role of Associate Curator of the Art Fund International collection working in partnership with Bristol Museum & Art Gallery to build a world-class collection of contemporary art for Bristol. One of the most important and ambitious schemes ever launched by the Art Fund, the aim of the Art Fund International initiative was to encourage a radical change in the scale and ambition of contemporary art collecting in the UK. The Art Fund International collection in Bristol has taken the museum’s historic collections from Africa, China and the Middle East as its starting point and, at the same time, sought to consider Bristol’s history as a port city and site of international trade and exchange. In many ways this has challenged the core principles of the museum - 'new wine in old skins' - so I applaud the openness and vision of all involved.”
Reflecting upon the globalised conditions of the art world today, as well as the particular histories and contexts that inform each artist’ s practice, the collection brings together the work of internationally acclaimed artists from Benin, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, South Africa and South Korea.
The Art Fund collection of contemporary international art locates the city of Bristol as a point of connection in a dynamic and rapidly changing web of global relations, mobility and exchange.
Art Fund director, Stephen Deuchar, said: "Ai Weiwei's allegorical A Ton of Tea illuminates both the international trading links intrinsic in Bristol's history and the DNA of the artist's home country of China, one of the world's biggest exporters of tea. We're thrilled to have helped Bristol Museum and Arnolfini work together to build a collection of outstanding international contemporary art through our Art Fund International initiative."
No Borders is curated by Tom Trevor, Director of Arnolfini and Associate Curator of the Art Fund International Collection, with Julia Carver, Curator of Visual Art at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. The Art Fund International collection has been developed by Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, in partnership with Arnolfini and with advice from Jeremy Lewison, freelance curator and former Director of Collections at Tate.
This free exhibition will be displayed on the ground floor and second floor of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Visitors to the second floor galleries will be able to use the new lift, which for the first time provides full access to all floors in the museum.
A programme of events, including talks and tours will accompany the exhibition. See bristol.gov.uk/museums for latest information.