This visit was mostly spurred on due to a desire to see the new Switch House extension that has been added to the Tate Modern. The first impression of the Switch House is of mismatch pyramids, that create an irregular structure that appears to spin around itself. With brickwork controlling the visible exterior windows and the connection to the boiler house, the building is impressive! The inside does not disappoint either; with disorientating curves and irregular step patterns it keeps it was a very enjoyable experience, exploring the building as it is different all the way up.
The building was designed by Herzog & de Meuron who also worked on bringing the Tate Modern to life in 2000. The structure is so impressive as it draws people in with its irregular lines and use of light.
Li Yuan-Chia, Hanging Disc Toy – This piece interested me visual as it hung down precariously from the ceiling of the room, the colours used frequently in modernism. The block colour was broken up by holes in the circles and small black and white images. As the circles slowly spun I was curious about the barrier that the Tate had put around them, it seemed instinctive to want to move around the pieces and even spin the circles gently in order to experience them from different perspectives. On reading the information card I discovered that the artwork was intended to be interactive but due to age it was deemed too fragile to allow audiences to interact with it. Considering my dissertation explorations regarding the relationship between artist and audience I wondered what the artist would have thought about this development. I considered how the value of a piece has the potential to alter an audience’s experience of an artwork, as well as considering how I might have interpreted the piece differently if I had been able to experience the work as the artist had intended.
Jack Whitten, Epsilon Group II – Looking at the artwork reminded me of the work that I produced at the end of my second year. Although Whitten used a more regimented design pattern in his piece as it is organised according to Euclidean geometry. Although he interrupts this pattern with irregular lines diagonally across the artwork. The interrupted balance of such a visually simplistic artwork was so fascinating to me, and it has reminded me that good art doesn’t have to be complicated… Although the mathematics behind the piece is something a bit more complicated than I might initially understand.
Suzanne Lacy, The Crystal Quilt – Lacy’s work questions how older women are treated within our society, bringing together 450 women over the age of 60 to discuss their experiences. Although the piece now is in documented form through photographs, video and sound I feel that is important that this piece is still in the public eye so that it can continue to aid social change. Lacy herself comments that “This raises this issue of whether you can expect art to create social change, and at what point is it no longer art.” to which I would argue that this piece falls into both categories as it calls for social change, but uses the medium of art to continue its exposure.
Meschac Gaba, Architecture room from museum of contemporary African art – I loved this piece! When I was at the Tate is was being used by kids, it was lovely to see an artwork that was engaging the younger audience of the gallery. The intention of the artwork is to have a playful way of designing a museum, and the addition of the kids creating structures added to the imaginative aspects of the experience.
Norman Lewis, Cathedral – The abstraction of this piece is wonderful, the brutality of the marks is so impressive. With the name of the piece known it becomes a sensual piece that visually explores the age and history of a cathedral. In an abstract way there is a stained glass window mixed in with the walls of the impressive building.