db @ TATE TANKS
This is a belated post concerning the Tate’s new space The Tanks. The Tanks are so new they are not yet finished although to be fair that is also part of the overall raw industrial look. CCAS Director David Broker managed one day out of 15 weeks of art in action in this brand spanking new facility which is currently transforming the Tate Modern. Art in Action is essentially a festival of performative art in the world’s first space specifically designated for showing film, sound, projection and performance. London’s uppity art critics have not been entirely seduced and of course the usual gaggle of philistines are asking questions like “why spend 213 mill for pretentious bollocks for the arty but there were bazillions of people going through and (pardon us) but the mix of new and collected work was mostly extremely impressive.
Lis Rhodes ‘1975 Light Music is a pioneer immersive environment using two projectors with traversing beams that place the audience at the centre of the work. This is a very successful interactive work that uses projected abstract patterns in which the viewers can become part of the work. And believe me they do ! See video. There is also Korean artist Sung Hwan Kim’s multi-multi-media and slightly unhinged piece in two large enclosed spaces with a reflecting window between. Screens, objects, sound, installation all bounce off one another in a poetic piece that takes a walk on the wild side. Much loved UK artist the late Jeff Keen has a spectacular circular video work in which the audience is centred in a dioramic screen that demonstrates “the spirit of Keen’s expanded cinema events, his early experiments in drawing, painting and animation, his fascination with surrealism and popular culture, and his radical development of multiple screen projection, cut-up soundtracks and unruly live action.”
And then there was the first live commission in The Unilever Series – These associations, created by Anglo-German artist Tino Sehgal in which the audience is surrounded periodically by a group of 70 or so people moving in waves – running, walking, chanting – in the immense Turbine Hall. Every now and then someone will break from the group to approach someone with a story. It comes as a surprise and of course is a slightly uncomfortable experinece if you don’t know what is going on. But our story told by and earnest woman whose mother wore shorts in a time when shorts were not really acceptable, was not uninteresting and sparked a discussion of the overall work. Seghal says its all about individuals and masses – describing the Turbine Hall gathering place that puts people “in a joyful, bodily, unrestricted space.”
After the Pre Raphaelite block buster at the old Tate in the morning the Tanks completed a great Tate day.