In 1997 unprecedented crowds flocked to see a rotting cow’s head, a pickled shark and a head made of blood, causing outrage and controversy. The Sensation exhibition became a sensation.
Starting in the 1980s art schools, dole queues and squats of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, this series embarks on a whirlwind journey to Sensation and beyond to witness a shift in power when underground youth culture takes on the establishment, and wins.
Episode One: Upstarts
“This stimulating three-part documentary celebrates contemporary art and looks back at the big shakers in its history – starting with the 80s.” The Guardian
“This first episode of Sensationalists is strong at capturing the heady moments of those early times, and the confidence of its protagonists. They were nothing if not clever at exploiting the Thatcherite order in the 1980s, using the newly formed Enterprise Allowance Scheme, grants of £40 a week to encourage the unemployed to set up small businesses, establish studios and push their fledgling careers into the twilight.” Financial Times
DIRECTOR MIN CLOUGH/ EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/ TODD AUSTIN