At a time when great debate rages over who should be placed on stone plinths, and why, this video by the brilliant Scottish group Young Fathers from 2017 takes a deeply sceptical look at who ends up on gallery walls and deserves a timely revisit.
It was originally commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery as a contemporary response to Looking Good: The Male Gaze From Van Dyck To Lucian Freud, a major touring exhibition exploring male image, identity and appearance. Their thought-provoking commentary powerfully explores issues around race, class, privilege, inequality, gender and representation and contains some adult language.
Young Fathers are G Hastings, from Edinburgh, Alloysious Massaquoi, originally from Liberia via Ghana and Kayus Bankole, born in Edinburgh to Nigerian parents but partially raised in Maryland, USA. They performed at Perth Concert Hall in their very early days back in 2009 and are now established as one of the most important groups to emerge from Scotland in recent decades. They have twice won The Scottish Album Of The Year Award and The Mercury Prize in 2014. Particularly difficult to categorise, their eclectic sound embraces multiple flavours of hip-hop, indie, pop, R&B, post-punk, spoken word and electronica.