Get Up, Stand Up Now : Generations Of Black Creative Pioneers
A major new exhibition celebrating the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond.
This summer, Somerset House London celebrates the impact of 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond, with a landmark exhibition showcasing art, film, photography, music, literature, design and fashion. It is the first time that this distinguished group of approximately 100 artists are represented together, with their work articulating and addressing the Black experience and sensibility, from the post-war era to the present day. Historic artworks and new commissions sit alongside items from personal archives, much of which has never been seen by the public before. Through these original photographs, letters, films and audio clips, the exhibition connects the creative, the personal and the political, reflecting how artists have responded to the issues of our times.
Curated by acclaimed artist Zak Ové, Get Up, Stand Up Now begins with the work of his father, Trinidadian Horace Ové, credited as the creator of the first feature film by a Black British director, and his pioneering peers who were part of what is now known as the Windrush generation, such as Armet Francis, Charlie Phillips and Vanley Burke. During the 1960s and 1970s, they developed a new creative model for modern multicultural Britain, paving the way for the next generation of artists, such as John Akomfrah, Sonia Boyce and Steve McQueen, who all contribute to the exhibition.
Get Up, Stand Up Now extends to works from today’s brilliant young Britain-based talent too, including photographer Ronan McKenzie, fashion designer Mowalola Ogunlesi and musician Gaika, who interrogate identity in innovative ways. Carrying forward the line of enquiry and internationalist ambition established by Horace Ové and his dynamic creative circle, a number of renowned contemporary diasporic artists also participate in the exhibition, including David Hammons, Carrie Mae Weems and Sanford Biggers.
Curator Zak Ové has invited each artist to exhibit on account of their significant contribution to shaping our cultural landscape. All the artists’ trailblazing work transforms their local experiences into a global, universal language, which challenges the systems of power and representation and continues to change the consciousness of society today.
Numerous works will be created especially for the exhibition, championing the wealth of Black creative talent working today. Highlights confirmed include an original soundtrack by Trinidadian DJ, producer and member of Major Lazer, Jillionaire, which will be streamed throughout the exhibition space. Participating Somerset House Studios residents, including artist Larry Achiampong, musician Gaika and filmmaker Jenn Nkiru (who worked on Jay Z’s and Beyoncé’s APESH*T), will also present new pieces for the show.
GET UP, STAND UP NOW ARTISTS INCLUDE:
A Guy Called Gerald, Abe Odedina, Adjaye Associates, Ajamu, Alexis Peskine, Althea McNish, Anthea Hamilton, Anthony Joseph, Armet Francis, Aubrey Williams, Barbara Walker, Barby Asante, Barkley L. Hendricks, Benji Reid, Beteye Saar, Black Audio Film Collective – John Akomfrah, Bradford Young, Caleb Femi, Campbell Addy, Carrie Mae Weems, Charlie Phillips, Che Lovelace, Chris Leacock (Jillionaire/Major Lazer), Chris Ofili, Cooly G, Cosmo Whyte, David A. Bailey, David Hammons, Deborah Roberts, Dennis Bovell, Denzil Forrester, Derrick Adams, Don Letts, Ebony G. Patterson, Elizabeth Colomba, Emheyo Bahabba ‘Embah’, Errol Lloyd, Faisal Abdu’Allah, Franklyn Rodgers, Gaika, Gary Simmons, Glenn Ligon, Gordon Parks, Grace Nichols, Grace Wales Bonner, Hank Willis Thomas, Hassan Hajjaj, Helen Cammock, Hew Locke, Horace Ové, Hurvin Anderson, Ishmahil Blagrove, Jay Bernard, Jazzie B, Jenn Nkiru, Julie Mehretu, Kehinde Wiley, Keith Piper, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Larry Achiampong, Lavar Munroe, Lezley Saar, Libita Clayton, Lina Iris Viktor, Linton Kwesi Johnson, LR Vandy, Lubaina Himid, Marlene Smith, Marlon James, Martine Rose, Maud Sulter, Mickalene Thomas, Mowalola Ogunlesi, Nari Ward, Neil Kenlock, Nick Cave, Niyi Olagunju, Normski, Patrick Betaudier, Paul A. Smith, Paul Maheke, Pauline Black, Peter Doig, Phoebe Boswell, Rashid Johnson, Rhea Storr, Richard Mark Rawlins, Ronald Moody, Ronan McKenzie, Sanford Biggers, Satch Hoyt, Selina Nwulu, Shabaka Hutchings, Sonia Boyce, Stephen Burks, Steve McQueen, Taliwoah, Thick/er Black Lines, Thomas J. Price, Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers), Vanley Burke, Victor Ekpuk, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Young Fathers, Zadie Smith, Zak Ové, Zanele Muholi, Zoe Bedeaux