Event Date: Tue November 13 2012
On Monday 12th of November at 2pm Cass lecturer and Artist Bob and Roberta Smith will gather with concerned friends and artists dressed as Henry Moore’s sculpture known as ‘Old Flo’ to create a ‘flash mob’ style awareness event. Participants will enact the stance of Old Flo, (a reclining figure) on the steps of the Council offices. The event is to raise awareness of- and protest against- the proposed sale of Henry Moore’s sculpture owned by Tower Hamlets council, which has caused widespread and deep concern.
The American performance artist Jessica Voorsanger will attend dressed as Henry Moore, Bob will speak about the sculpture as an image of Peace born out of War. Bob and Roberta Smith is an internationally acclaimed artist and currently a trustee of Tate.
Bob and Roberta Smith, real name Patrick Brill has worked lived and worked in the area for 20 years. Bob and Roberta Smith makes a link between Moore’s famous Shelter Drawings , ‘Old Flo’ (the sculpture to be sold) and a wartime disaster that occurred in Bethnal Green’s Tube station where on the 3rd of March 1943, 173 people were killed in a crush while attempting to enter the shelter. Bob is angry about the sale because he see’s Moore’s sculpture as generous gesture of Peace.
Bob and Roberta says ” On Monday at 2 pm I am taking a group for an ‘OLD FLO’ HENRY MOORE flash mob. People have to wear verdigris green and sit on the steps of Tower Hamlets council in ‘the old flo’ manner. I hope to generate some great images. Jessie Voorsanger is going to dress as Henry Moore”
“Hitler destroyed the East End, Henry Moore, with others, rebuilt it and now a council who seem ignorant of the area’s less recent past is selling off its principle monument to peace. For me it is like smashing up a war memorial. “
“Moore’s shelter drawings were the inspiration for this period of his work. It is terrible that the borough where scores of people died during the war in a tube station air raid shelter at Bethnal Green does not have the imagination to see how wonderful Old Flo is as a symbol of our humanity. Old Flo is an East End survivor. She is a generous and defiant image. She is so clearly drawn from Moore’s war artist work. Sitting on her plinth I imagine her to be taking air after some horrible near suffocation. The Mayor of Tower Hamlets should take a trip to Harlow and witness how amazing this kind of sculpture is not only for its formal values but for what it represents. Artists like Liz Frink ,and Barbara Hepworth wanted their art in Public spaces because in the post war era people equated public space with freedom. It was in that era that the NHS was conceived and our institutions were made meritocratic and democratic. In 2010 Chris Stevens at Tate Britain curated a great show looking at Moore’s relationship with post war culture. My god that was some history lesson but obviously one which the councillors of Tower Hamlets did not heed or even care about.”
Date : 12th November
Tower Hamlets Town Hall
5 Clove Crescent
Find out more at http://www.thecass.com/news-events/2012/november/save-old-flo