12 November 2012

Seeking Art - Tate Modern

Living in a big city always seems to be a gateway to becoming an 'artsy' type. You know, you become one of those people that frequent the theatre for a night out or you keep your eye out for the latest street art on the scene.  It's not to say it's a bad thing, this part of our culture is a dying, errm, art to say the least but you can't help but feel like you're becoming 'one of those guys' when you join in.

A friend of mine that works in the art industry invited me along to the Tate Modern recently. In the 3 years that I have lived here, I had never stepped foot into this building. Don't judge me.  Stranger still, we went to the museum for the start of our Big Saturday Night Out of celebrating.  Museums on a Saturday night, is not in my usual lineup but I liked a bit of change.

As this isn't normally my scene, I couldn't help but feel like the gang in Ferris Buller's Day Off when they went to visit the museum.



That song was totally playing in my head for most of my visit.

In short, it was very enjoyable to exercise my brain in a way that I haven't in quite some time. I can almost certainly conclude that I am not a fan of sculptures but I do like landscape photography and abstract art.  

One of my favourite pieces, (which I'm not really sure what you would classify this under), was titled 'Air Pollution of Iran 2004-6. Eight Flags' by Mahmoud Bakhshi Moakhar.   It was presented in a room that had 8 different Iranian flags, each from a different year in the Iran-Iraq war.  Each flag had been raised for only one year and each flag had acquired varying levels of soil and damage depending on the year.  It was some powerful stuff that had me reaching for my inhaler just looking at them.

Another good'un was 'Lament of the Images 2002' by Alfredo Jaar. When you approach the room, it may seem like nothing is or will happen.  The best way of seeing this installation is if the room is dark at first.  There's a thin white light that cuts the room in half horizontally and it stays this way for about 2 minutes. Suddenly, the thin white light grows into a large glowing light that fills the room and you realise this light was coming from two steel tables with their tops meeting in the middle - one suspended from the ceiling. I liked Jaar's message of becoming blind to everyday things in life, just as we focused on the thin white light when the room was dark rather than the two tables that were in the centre of the room.

I'm kicking myself because I didn't take any photos. I don't know what it is, but I'm always afraid they're going to tell me off and say no photos allowed - so I don't. Is that a myth?

Also, I always assumed you had to pay to go to the Tate Modern, but I only saw the free galleries. There are different exhibitions that have a fee attached or if you're a paying member you can have unlimited access.  From Wednesday, 14 November for £10 you can see their new exhibition 'A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance' featuring key paintings by Jackson Pollock and David Hockney.

I'd certainly go on a late night adventure again as the museum stays open until 22.00 on Fridays and Saturdays - if not for a bit of culture before drinking my cares away, at least for the phenomenal view.

The moon above London

St. Paul's Cathedral

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