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Michael Rosen

Born, 1946 in Harrow, London

Michael Rosen contributed commentary to the A6 sized, folded-down brochure that accompanied the gallery guide for Migrations: Journeys into British Art, Tate Britain, 31 January - 12 August 2012. One side of the opened-up brochure featured a plan of the exhibition’s various components, and brief introductions to each section: Portraiture and New Genres; Italy, Neoclassicism and the Royal Academy; Dialogues between Britain, France and America; Jewish Artists and Jewish Art; Refugees from Nazi Europe; Artists in Pursuit of an International Language; The dematerialised Object; New Diasporic Voices, and The Moving Image. The plan of the exhibition’s various components is intended to enable the visitor to navigate the exhibition in a chronological fashion, as well as enabling them to make the most use of the commentaries by three well-known public figures, including Rosen, whose contributions are featured on the other side of the gallery guide.

The guide begins with, “The exhibition explores how migration into this country has shaped the course of art in Britain over the last 500 years. Taking the form of selected ‘moments’ drawn from the Tate Collection - from 16th-century Flemish portrait painters, who came in search of new patrons, to moving image works from the early years of this century - Migrations traces both the movement of artists and the circulation of visual languages and ideas. In so doing, the exhibition raises fundamental questions about the formation of a national collection of British art against a continually shifting demographic.”

On the reverse of the gallery guide, the three commentaries appear, offered by Bonnie Greer, Michael Rosen and Shami Chakrabati.

Amongst Rosen’s comments in the gallery guide: Black Audio Film Collective, Handsworth Songs 1986 (in New Diasporic Voices) “Here there is a direct analogy in the poetry of James Berry and John Agard. Their experience in verse mirrors what these artists are tackling visually. Benjamin Zephaniah is from Handsworth and is writing about these experiences too.”

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Exhibition guide relating to an exhibition, 2012