Disobedient Objects

imageWords by Alan Thompson Image courtesy of V&A

I’m not going to beat around the bush, I love a bit of civil disobedience. I have a small place in my heart for large crowds breaking things that deserve to be broken like capitalism, David Milliband’s confused face and Gregg’s windows (we get hungry, we’re not fucking suffragettes). For those like me, or those just hoping to gaze through glass at a more exciting world of opinions and action, Disobedient Objects has just opened it doors at the V&A. Its a free exhibition, it would have to be really though with a significant part of the audience being hippies coming to check out their ’right on’ Grandad’s shit smeared placards. The other large audience I assume is middle class, middle aged hipsters who work in boring jobs but run their mouth with elaborate stories about how they were at the fights on Brighton beach in the old days fucking up some rockers, when really they were watching Blind Date with a cup of tea their mum made them.

Disobedient Objects documents the evolution of the things we use to assert ourselves in a world where very little can be asserted except what exact type of ready meal, or previously which of the meat and two veg, we will eat tonight off the table we spent hours deliberating about buying while our unions were quietly closed or our country declared war against our better judgement.

There are blankets sewn in hope, Gurilla Girls bodysuits, a thousand handmade signs and pamphlets showing the industrial can be met with the personal. The suffragettes got a cup and saucer, which seemed a little grim seen as for a time no window in Central London was safe from the strength of the cause they carried in their fists as much as their hearts. Hammer and bricks the weapon, they realised shattered glass broke through something more than decorum and made people speak the name of their cause.

For a single room invested with the energy of so many, objects created in haste, from fear, and through frustration, it is strangely mellow experience. The best room of a less exciting museum, the Museum of Hull for example, then perhaps it would be a treat. But even then, no-one knuckles down the suffragettes to a set of china, not even the V&A.

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