Quick Trip – Tate Modern

With time to spare the day after the Ai Weiwei exhibition, I visited the Tate Modern. I was surprised to be fairly underwhelmed by most of the exhibitions, however, some caught my eye.

The large installation ‘Empty Lot’ by Abraham Cruzvillegas was commissioned by Hyundai. Made up of scaffolding, wood and soil from various parts of London’s park, the display is hoped to grow and therefore change from day-to-day, much like London itself.

“the history of mankind is based on movement, transformation, hope [but] owning a piece of land that is yours and for your family is the main hope of everybody – having a shelter, having a piece of land. This idea of hope is one that I’m dealing with in this work for the Turbine Hall.”¹

My favourite part of the gallery’s exhibitions was the series of photographs ‘A Small Town at the Turn of the Century’ by Simryn Gill, who depicts locals from her hometown in Malaysia wearing headdresses made of fruit.

‘These surreal combinations invoke the links between humankind and the plant world, and more broadly the relationship between culture and nature.’²

I love the absurdity of the images, which is done in a really subtle and realistic way which looks much more organic than if the fruit was added on Photoshop in editing. I also really love the composition and framing of each image in their location as the character looks both incongruous and consistant with the scenery.

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¹Judah, H. (2015) Abraham Cruzvillegas set to dig deep into the national consciousness with his earthy installation in the Tate’s turbine hall. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/abraham-cruzvillegas-set-to-dig-deep-into-the-national-consciousness-with-his-earthy-installation-in-a6677236.html

²Simryn Gill (no date) Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/simryn-gill (Accessed: 29 December 2015).

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