Culture Trumps Content: The Irony of Richard Billingham’s Ray’s a Laugh
Britain’s art community never heard tell of Richard Billingham until he exhibited a staunchly candid series of photographs in his first group exhibition at London’s Barbican Art Gallery in 1994. Reminiscent of a long-established, photographic autobiographical genre, as seen through the revolutionary lenses of Nick Waplington and Nan Goldin, Billingham captured the emotional plights and debilitating vices of his family’s working-class pedigree over a six year period from 1990-1996. His Ray’s a Laugh series is the quintessential visual document in determining the pervasive failure of Conservative domestic policies with respect to the disassembly of the welfare state and the de-industrialization of Britain.
Matthew Ryan Smith. "Culture Trumps Content: The Irony of Richard Billingham’s Ray’s a Laugh" I Don’t Care to Discuss It: Art, Media, and the State in a Globalized Economy, Department of Visual Arts, University of Western Ontario, London. University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. Jan. 2009.
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