Tag Archives: Histories of British Iconoclasm

Art under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm @ Tate Britain

テートブリテンのArt under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm展(10月2日〜2014年1月5日)は、16世紀に始まったイコノクラスム(宗教的聖像やシンボル、遺物等の破壊を伴う聖像破壊運動)から現代にかけて、イギリスにおける芸術への攻撃の歴史を紹介する展覧会。時系列に、宗教・政治・Aesthetics(美的観点)3つのセクションに分かれており、攻撃された絵画や彫刻、写真、書物等の展示を通じ、破壊に至った背景や理由を探求する。

宗教のセクションでは、ヘンリー8世の命により、16〜17世紀にかけて政府が強行したDissolution of the Monasteries修道院解散)に始まり、宗教改革、偶像崇拝を恐れる支配者や清教徒による宗教芸術への攻撃の様子が、頭部を切断されたキリスト像や砕かれたステンドグラス、キリストや聖人の顔がくりぬかれた時祷書などから見て取れる。私たちはイギリスのあちこちにある修道院の遺跡を見て回るのが好きなのだが、廃墟となった修道院には、こういった歴史的背景があったのだ。


芸術への攻撃は、作品や作品の表現内容への不満が動機となることがあるが、最後のセクションでは、メディアでの言論攻撃や個人による破壊行為にさらされたテート収蔵品3点の他、見る者に破壊の様子を体験させるAuto-destructive art オート・ディストラクティブ・アート)や、変容や解体、破壊を表現した作品など、既存のアートを否定するアーティスト側からのアプローチに焦点を当てている。


展覧会の様子(写真):Dow Jones Architects

Tate Britain’s Art under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm (Oct 2 – Jan 5, 2014) is an exhibition exploring the history of Iconoclasm (defined as deliberate destruction of icons, symbols or monuments) and attacks on art in Britain from the 16th century to now. The exhibition examines the movements and causes which have led to assaults on art through objects, paintings, sculpture and archival material in three chronological sections: Religion, Politics and Aesthetics.

The Religion sections presents from state-administered iconoclasm under Henry VIII including the Dissolution of the Monasteries during 16th and 17th centuries to attacks on religious art that began with the Reformation and by later rulers and Puritan reformers who feared idolatry. You can see destructive acts on religion and religious art such as statues of Christ decapitated, smashed stained glass, fragments of the rood screen and a defaced book of hours. Dissolution was a tragic incident to British religious communities, but I fascinated by monastery ruins I have seen throughout the countries.

Political iconoclasm encompasses the examples of attacks on symbols of authority during periods of political change, such as breaking statues and monuments, and attacks on paintings in museums and galleries by the militant Suffragettes (second photo below).

Attacks on art can be motivated by unhappiness with the artwork or the ideas it represents. Aesthetics section explores Tate works subjected to verbal attacks in the press and to physical attacks by individuals, as well as destruction on art by artists themselves, such as Auto-destructive art movement and transformational practices applied by artists.

Concept of the exhibition is unique and fascinating, but overall, the show itself seems a bit superficial to me and the issues are not examined in depth – probably because it consists of three different sections. Especially the last section focused on different perspective from the first two with which I enjoyed, and I felt like seeing two different shows. A bit out of focus.

More photos of exhibition : Dow Jones Architects


The missing figures in Canterbury’s stained glass


‘Surveillance Photograph of Militant Suffragettes’ by Criminal Record Office (National Portrait Gallery)

Chair 1969 by Allen Jones

1980年代に国際女性デーの日に攻撃にあった、テート所蔵品・Allen Jones作「Chair(1969)」

Allen Jones’s Chair 1969, damaged on International Women’s Day in the 1980s