The artists represented in the exhibition respond to these themes in markedly different ways, but their practices are connected by an interest in social and political activism, co-production and concepts of futurity. Some highlight the inequalities and prejudice that exist in our societies today, acting as a call to action in the here and now. Other works explore a variety of possible futures and invite us to collaborate in imagining the future that we want for ourselves and our communities. If the world is a work in progress, what do we want to change? What might the next 100 years have in store?
The University of Leicester celebrates its centenary in Autumn 2021. It is no coincidence that the public fund that would go on to endow the University of Leicester was opened on Armistice Day in 1918. Then known as the University College for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, the University College was envisaged as a ‘living memorial’ to the sacrifices of local people in the First World War. Leicester was to have, as the local paper put it, “more than a mere artistic war memorial”. The University motto ’Ut vitam habeant’ (‘so that they may have life’) stands as a permanent reminder on every publication and degree certificate issued since. We are the only European university founded as a memorial to the First World War, and one of only two anywhere in the world.
Ruth Beale, Michael Forbes, Khush Kali, Vince Laws, Bob & Roberta Smith, Kai Syng Tan, Jessica Voorsanger.