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02 May 2024

The Time of Capital

Professor Richard Drayton's interpretation of Hew Locke's "The Procession" (Tate Britain, 2022-3).

Art installation
Film with the Paul Mellon Centre

Professor Richard Drayton, Professor of Imperial and Global History discusses symbolic elements representing capital, labour, and resources. The film from the Paul Mellon Centre highlights the overlapping regimes of colonial and post-colonial exploitation, such as offshore drilling and offshore companies accumulating profits far from where costs are born.

Hew Locke's monumental work, "The Procession," commissioned by Tate Britain in 2022, is a captivating exploration of complex themes like carnival, post-colonialism, and environmental concerns. Described as a "colossal collage," it features life-sized figures in vibrant attire, forming a carnivalesque parade. The installation garnered praise at Tate Britain and later at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. In response, the Paul Mellon Centre commissioned filmmaker Jérome Monnot and a team to create ten short films, each approaching "The Procession" from a unique angle. Viewers can start with the film featuring Locke for an introduction, and the rest offer diverse perspectives, providing insight into the installation's richness even after deinstallation.

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Richard Drayton

Professor of Imperial and Global History

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