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An academic and critic influenced by the New Left, Williams defined ‘Keywords’ as terms that repeatedly crop up in our discussion of culture and society. His book contains more than 130 short essays on words such as ‘violence’, ‘country’, ‘criticism’, ‘media’, ‘popular’ and ‘exploitation’ providing an account of the word’s current use, its origin and the range of meanings attached to it. Williams expressed the wish some other ‘form of presentation could be devised’ for his book, and this exhibition is one such interpretation.
In addition to Tate collection works and key loans, a number of artworks are being uniquely re-presented including One for Sorrow Two for Joy 1976, a pioneering performance from Rose Finn-Kelcey, Sunil Gupta’s controversial London Gay Switchboard 1980 and Helen Chadwick’s notorious Carcass 1986.
Further details of the exhibition can be found on the Tate website.