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Fishink in London. Graffiti, The Tate and Children’s Books.

January 23, 2013

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I was in London a couple of weekends ago to catch up with some friends and family and of course have a look around. I took these images walking around a park in East Dulwich, such a lovely (albeit frosty) space.

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The graffiti was local too.

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For an afternoon we headed into London and to The Tate Modern. I’d not seen the Tanks area before which opened in July last year.

The Tanks are the fruit of the first £90m spent on plans to enlarge the exhibition space of the already vast museum by 70%. The extension project, which is planned to cost £215m in total, is due for completion by 2016 – delayed from its previously projected opening of this year. Converted from vast chambers beneath the old Bankside Power Station which once held a million gallons of oil, the new public areas consist of two large circular spaces for performances and film installations, plus a warren of smaller rooms.

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‘Light Music’ (above) is projected into a hazy room – the beams that traverse one another in the space between the two projections become ethereal sculptural forms comprised of light, shadow and theatrical smoke. This format is designed to encourage viewers to move between the screens, directly engaging with the projection beams, forming a set of social relations in which cinema is transformed into a collective event without a single point of focus. Liz Rhodes came up with the concept. Another room below, with metallic forms. I forget the name of the artist but the space, on this occasion, took precedence to the art.

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Unlike the work of South African artist William Kentridge’s eight-channel video installation ‘I am not me, the horse is not mine’  which was on in the final room. Projected simultaneously across the walls of the Tank, each film is played on a continuous loop to create an immersive audio-visual environment, which resists the establishment of a single narrative. Each short film contributes layers to a story that references Russian modernism, from Soviet film of the 1920s and 1930s to the calamitous end of the Russian avant-garde. Kentridge grew up and continues to live in Johannesburg, where his parents were lawyers involved in the anti-apartheid movement. Informed by this background, Kentridge often addresses the fraught legacy of apartheid and colonialism through innovative use of charcoal drawing, printmaking, collages, stop-animation, film and theatre. The effect of the large space and the different moving imagery was quite dramatic. This room was definitely my favourite area of the Tate on this occasion and I loved the little collaged people dancing and then coming apart before reforming differently.

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Originally, the date for the expansion of the museum was set for the year 2025. But the success of the Tate Modern caused an acceleration of the plans. The opening is sheduled for 2016 now, or even earlier. The whole project costs around £200million (€253million). Most of the money coming in from donations.

Some traditional art and paintings that caught my eye upstairs in the Tate.

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Especially these beautifully serene and calming portraits by Meredith Frampton. More info here.

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And as always I have to stop in the bookshop to discover many new things I can’t afford lol.

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The walk back along the Thames, with the evening lights reflecting on the water, was truly stunning.

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A great weekend.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2013 11:10 am

    That Ernst has always been a favourite of mine- would quite happily bring it home with me in my copious handbag. Have they improved the hang in the main galleries, they did say they were going to? It was just dreadful when I last went, did the paintings no favours whatsoever.

    • January 23, 2013 11:40 am

      I don’t know what the hanging was like before, it’s been a while since I was there but to be honest there was quite a lot in the Tate collections that left me feeling a little cold and unable to drum up any emotional attachment towards. The building is amazing, perhaps I expect too much.

  2. Chicca permalink
    January 23, 2013 5:08 pm

    The William Kentridge exhibition at the Rome MAXXI museum was great too, focusing on his theatrical work. Again, and unfortunately, the exhibition space did not do him – nor his work – justice…

    • January 23, 2013 6:38 pm

      Thanks for the comment Chicca, that is interesting to know.

  3. Sue Brown permalink
    January 28, 2013 7:52 pm

    Spotted the Quentin Blake book on your wishlist – it’s lovely. You might be interested in an exhibition of his work which starts 2nd Feb in Halifax. Info here

    • January 28, 2013 8:25 pm

      Many thanks Sue, how kind of you to send me the link, It looks to be a great exhibition, I must try and get there. Great to share these things with the Fishinkblog community too

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