Thursday, 30 August 2012
As we were walking towards the ticket desk to get our tickets, down in the lower level, I suddenly sensed, without really seeing it, a kind of collective movement. There was no extra noise, but a definite sense of intention. People were striding down the slope towards the Turbine Hall. Quite a lot of people. I felt excited -- 'Is it a flash mob?' I hissed at D. I was very much hoping that all these marching people were going to break into song. Even an impromptu performance of 'Thriller' would have thrilled me.
Still watching to see what might happen, we went to stand in the ticket line. Just then a woman of about my own age came up to me and launched into an account of how her grandmother had given her a purple suede mini-skirt forty years ago and how it had empowered her. She stood right in front of me and stared into my eyes. It was very disconcerting to be addressed at random in this way and held captive by the narrative. I felt an incredible sense of obligation, that, as always, I should be polite and listen. But at the same time it wasn't a normal interaction. I didn't know what it was but I tried to signal to D to catch it on film. I think I mouthed 'Film it!' at her, but was too polite to speak over the woman. By now she was saying that she had recently given the purple mini-skirt to her own daughter or granddaughter (not sure which -- it was hard to take it all in as I was too busy trying to process what sort of incident I was now part of). D didn't film it!
The woman came to the end of her story and wheeled away, joining the marchers again. By now they had been up and down the length of the building a few times and were running round in circles, following a leader, I think. Who the leader was was hard to work out.
Later on, at home, I discovered that it had been the first day of the latest Turbine Hall 'installation'. The group of people (or similar groups) will be marching and running and telling stories to people every day until October 28th. I had a particularly intense experience of this 'artwork', which is titled 'These associations' and devised by Anglo-German artist Tino Sehgal, because I knew nothing about it beforehand and had to find a way to respond to it whilst immersed in it. It was quite provocative, but not really as 'dangerous' as the Director of Tate Modern has proclaimed it: "the most complex, difficult and dangerous project we have ever put into this museum". One is taken by surprise, discomfited, possibly entertained, but not threatened or even asked to do anything other than look and, possibly, listen. I felt I would have liked to be part of the group, marching down the slope and back again, running round. I started to think about what stories I would have told people. Maybe that's enough.
Reviews have started to appear: Guardian, Telegraph.
Holiday report parts 2 and 3 will follow soon.
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Woaah, it feels strange stepping back onto my blog after a fairly long hiatus. Sorry for the silence. I can't really blame the fact that I've been on holiday, as that was only two weeks out of quite a few more than that. But it's the desire to do a holiday post that has actually delayed my return because it's just so daunting.
I have over 500 holiday photos, most of them really poor, and they have to be waded through and weeded out. And I want to write about the holiday in some detail so that I have a good record of it, but it all takes sooo much time. Still... here we go.
We flew to Copenhagen, the brevity of the flight bringing home just how close Skandinavia is to us in the UK. Copenhagen was founded in the late twelfth century by the dashing chap above, Absalon, who combined being a bishop with being a warrior in a way that seems entirely unfeasible today.
|My 'slot' to photograph the Little Mermaid before the chafing Japanese tourists asked me to move out of the way|
super-trendy floating hotel which I would like to stay in one day) and some beautiful older ones too, particularly the canalside area of Christianshavn.We also saw an MA art show at the Nikolaj Tower, a decommissioned church which made a brilliantly gothic art gallery:
|My kids coming down to earth (at the top of the picture)|
|Tivoli clown statue|
A great set of photos from inside Christiania by Maja Daniels here.
Tune in next time for Malmo and Lund in Part Two... (Here's a little taster)