The way things look changes the way they sound; Tate Modern visit January 2018

I’ve been to the Tate Modern a few times now. This time, as I mention in my weekly post photos, the feel of the entire entrance space had totally changed. It struck me that changing the environment visually has changed the sound people make in that space. The Turbine Hall has totally changed, thanks to Danish artists’ collective SUPERFLEX. There are swings made for several people at once, and in place of the bare concrete a stripped candy coloured carpet now covers the floor that slopes downwards from the main entrance door – when I came in children were rolling down it screaming with laughter. It all feels like a giant playground made for adults and children, rather than just a space for children to play and adults to anxiously watch them which is how a ‘normal’ playground seems to function.

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A view of part of The Turbine Hall from above.

The first time I visited I seem to remember a sort of whisper in the Turbine Hall. A quiet seriousness to match all the serious, unsmiling people that seemed to be around me, people I felt totally removed from. The next time it was raining outside, it was summer holidays, and the hall was filling up with people sheltering from the rain. There was also a sound installation. It was all quite noisy with speakers, people and rain, but certainly not fun. I actually took some video to record the sounds on that occasion.

This time the space was full of children on a school trip laughing and screaming. Or so I thought. On closer inspection I realised that the adults were having just as much fun as the children were, and lots of laughter was coming from groups of teacher on swings. They were making just as much noise as the children. There was also the rhythmic sounds of the swings, and more noise from people sitting on the carpet chatting. The entire atmosphere has changed.


The sound clip:


So, is this art? That is the question asked by a lot of grumpy people I suppose because nothing can exist in a space meant for art unless it meets their particular definition. Since the beginning of the course I’ve been thinking and reading about what art is and trying to work it out, but I can’t. It’s a question I still can’t answer really. Maybe it’s a really personal thing that an individual can only answer for themselves? As for me, I think I am getting a feel for what art is for. So on that list I’d have that it communicates a message and it produces an emotional reaction, whatever that is. Even screams of delight and happiness. For me, even the carpet has become art and I don’t know if it is part of the Superflex installation or not, but it’s actually changed behaviour. And pieces of metal bent into shapes have changed the sound of that place and the way I feel in it.

Things that moved me this visit.

Something always moves me when I visit Tate Modern.

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Guerrilla Girls (not true colour, that has been added by me). This is used for educational purposes).

The Guerrilla Girls seem very relevant in the current climate. I know someone who doesn’t see this as art, but again it’s sending a message; a very clear one. Perhaps if it is directly relevant to you (i.e. if you’re female) then it is more powerful?


tatemod (10 of 17)
‘Behold’ by Sheela Gowda. This is made with car bumpers and human hair.

This, I didn’t like. It was very powerful, very moving, but it made me uncomfortable really. It was something to do with the fact that it was actual human hair being used that I didn’t like. I suppose I cannot pin down my exact feelings on this one. You can read about it here.

tatemod (13 of 17)
Insertions Into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project by Cildo Meireles

I’ve used my camera to totally change the look and to some extent the feel of the original artwork. I really liked the idea Cildo Meireles created here. I think that is, for me, what Tate Modern is good for. It shows me ideas that other people have come up with and used, which is helpful, interesting and very inspiring.

tatemod (11 of 17)
Work by George Condo

Because I’m trying to learn to draw at the moment, this was interesting. It was quite sketchy which I liked, I liked the style of the images. I saw themes coming out over and over again and I wanted to find out more about George Condo.


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A self portrait with Fountain replica. I liked the way the man was placed in the background. A decisive moment?!

This is a copy of Fountain which was one of Duchamp’s ready-made sculptures that were ‘ordinary items designated by the artist as works of art’. The original was photographed by Alfred Stieglitz and this replica is based on that photograph.


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The Tanks. I take a photo of this curve every time I visit.


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This is a view of St Paul’s Cathedral taken from the restaurant on level 6
Ladies lunch date. Taken through a glass with St Paul’s in the background.
Ladies lunch date. Taken through a bottle.

I took these two images as experiments. My ‘big camera’ – my Fujifilm XT2 – was in my bag and would have made the other customers in the restaurant uncomfortable had I dragged it out and pointed it at them. My iPhone SE was doing it’s usual trick of telling me there was no space left to take any more images when I know very well that I have plenty of space on iCloud and it’s just being difficult on purpose to piss me off (as usual). So I had to use an iPhone 5s that I borrowed from my lunch date because once I’d seen these pictures in my head I just had to take them.

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Patterns and lights in my camera lens.

Another image, another experiment. Taken on someone else’s iPhone camera. I will loose friends if I keep doing this.

Published by Sarah Cassin Scott


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