kennardphillips: DemoTalk (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

kennardphillips: DemoTalk

A fearless critique of war and power at the Edinburgh Art Festival

Peter Kennard and Cat Phillips have been making working in response to the Iraq War since 2002. Over the past twelve years they have developed a provocative and unflinchingly fearless critical practice that confronts war and power across the world.

The Financial Times’ pink sheets are scattered across the walls of the exhibition space at Summerhall, some with the silhouette of David Cameron or Vladmir Putin emerging through the share index. In other copies of the paper the artists scratch away at these world leaders’ hazy visage, revealing distressing scenes of war; what the artists describe as ‘the victims of traded profit’.

The pink grounds of the newspaper are torn up and trodden across the floor, sludgy and brown as if walked over in protest. Some of the walls in the space are burned, singed around the edges leaving a charred smell in the air.

During the first two weeks of August, kennardphillips will be giving a lecture in the midst of their chaotic exhibition space. But the formal artist talk soon unravels into a demonstration of action. DemoTalk is a visceral trace of the artists’ accumulating and irrepressible anger and frustration.

Summerhall, 5601590, until Fri 26 Sept, free.