Tactical Frivolity

Tactical frivolity is a term used to describe protesters who employ humour, whimsy and the carnivalesque as strategies to resist different causes. ‘Tactical Frivolity’ the exhibition considers differing visual resistance tactics employed by demonstrators across the world, drawing similarities between disparate movements to construct a collective face of protest and solidarity. Continuing Wyman’s interest in fabric and pattern design, the exhibition began with her thoughts about how best to represent “a textile for our time”. With this focus on the present, the exhibition and a number of the works draw from a vast image archive collected by the artist and takes inspiration from the appearance of contemporary, masked protesters – as well as historical precedents such as 1920s and 30s Russian Soviet propaganda textiles. Through pattern and textile design, Wyman aims to translate images of the resistance–considered by many as ‘fringe-dwellers’ and the counter culture–by incorporating their appearance, insignia and motifs into patterns and textile designs made for a domestic context. The work also acknowledges the importance of archives and documentary practices, and by effect the political strategy of ‘bearing witness’, the hearing of concerns and recognition of injustice. (Text by Tim Walsh)