Research task 2: James Cauty, Riot In A Jam Jar, 2011

This was another very interesting research task. James Cauty is a 64 year old english artist and musician, who created models of riot scenes and displayed them in jam jars. They are powerful political messages of real life situations made up of a catalogue of 58 riots in jam jars, that were on exhibition at the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop in June 2011. They are miniature works of art that look at historical fact and future imaginings. They exploit and commemorate small doses of reality, some are funny, others are very serious. In his scenes he uses tiny German architectural figurines that he has repainted and remodelled. It has been reported that his idea of putting riotous scenes in jam jars is that he is making a point about the police technique of kettling, where the police surround crowds of people to control situations. It has also been said that by using miniaturisation he is trying to draw attention to big issues, which I think he has achieved. I also get the impression he is not a fan of authority, as he uses authoritarian figures in most of his models in a negative way. His works of art are powerful representations of real political life situations and others not so, but important enough for him to create. Personally, I feel this way of presenting art to the public has a much bigger impact visually than reading the same issues in words from a book or newspaper, but can only be achieved if done correctly.

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