"Common Land / Greenham"
May 19 - June 19 1989

WorkSpace Gallery

"Margaret Harrison, long at the forefront of British feminist activism, often uses traditional art media to communicate her politics. For this exhibition Harrison will create an installation featuring collaged paintings, depicting various aspects of the Women's Peace Camp at Greenham Common NATO Air Force Base outside london. Beginning with a protest march in 1981, the Greenham vigil has included more than 50,000 women and has come to serve as an international paradigm and inspiration for political activists worldwide."1       

“Produced during a one-month residency in New York, “Common Land/Greenham” tells two distinct but interrelated stories. First and foremost is the story of the American Air Force Base at Greenham, England, where ninety-six U.S. Cruise missiles have been deployed. More particularly, the installation tells of the Women's Vigil at the gates of the base, begun in protest in 1981 and continuing to this day. But “CommonLand/Greenham” tells another story as well, that of the Common itself: a history of the land, and its appropriation, of changes in the environment wrought by changes of ownership and uses to which the land has been put, the history of altering ecology. Like the Women's Vigil itself, “Common Land/Greenham” can be seen as an inquiry into the various histories and ideologies of ‘land’ that lie in the phrase ‘land-based nuclear missiles.’ Employing a range of representational registers, the installation underscores the interrelation of these two tales of Greenham Common, situating political praxis in terms of its most seemingly mundane effects, and identifying art as signal means of civil disobedience.”2

Courtesy the Artist and New Museum