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March 14, 2007
The Secret Public at the ICA
by Lee Adams

The Secret Public - The Last Days of the British Underground 1978-1988 examines the dark flowering of creativity which took shape in Britian between 1978 and 1988. The exhibition presents a volatile, ambiguous celebration of violence, negativity and protest, the artists responding directly to a darkening view of the world.

Finding particular resonances in the area of performance, but also drawing on film, video, fashion and music, the featured artists, including Trojan, Leigh Bowery, Charles Atlas, Derek Jarman, Stuart Marshall & Neil Bartlet, Mark E. Smith & Wolfgang Tillmans fused a range of contemporary and historical references, creating works exploring gender, and sexuality, and the use of the body as both spectacle and a metaphor for the wider social 'body'.

Institute of Contemporary Arts