A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain
27th Oct 2022 – 19th Feb 2023
Somerset House, London
From the press release…
‘This autumn Somerset House presents a major exhibition celebrating our greatest cultural provocateurs and visionaries, examining how ideas rooted in horror have informed the last 50 years of creative rebellion in Britain.
The Horror Show! is a landmark exhibition that invites visitors to journey to the underbelly of Britain’s cultural psyche and look beyond horror as a genre, instead taking it as a reaction to our most troubling times. Featuring over 200 artworks and culturally significant artefacts from some of our country’s most provocative artists, the exhibition presents an alternative perspective on the last five decades of modern British history in three acts – Monster, Ghost and Witch. Recast as a story of cultural shapeshifting, each section interprets a specific era through the lens of a classic horror archetype with thematically linked contemporaneous and new works.
The exhibition offers a heady ride through the disruption of 1970s punk to the revolutionary potential of modern witchcraft, showing how the anarchic alchemy of horror – its subversion, transgression and the supernatural – can help make sense of the world around us. Horror not only allows us to express our deepest fears; it gives a powerful voice to the marginalised and society’s outliers, providing us with tools to overcome our anxieties and imagine a radically different future.
The Horror Show! is co-curated by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard and Claire Catterall, who also conceived the idea. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard are BAFTA nominated filmmakers and resident artists at Somerset House Studios. Claire Catterall is Somerset House’s Senior Curator.’
There are three archival pieces in this show, including Monster On Nice Roof from 1972, the ‘Lo! A Monster Is Born’ issue of Suburban Press from 1974 and the anti-Thatcher poster for Red Wedge fro 1987 – ‘She Casts A Dark Shadow Over The Whole Of The Land – Vote For Light’.
We’re also producing a special edition for the occasion. Details to come.