August 27th, 2010
Wednesday, we went along to the Tate Modern to see a couple of exhibitions, namely “Exposed – Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera” and “Francis Alÿs – A Story of Deception” – both worth going to see. I only knew of one work by Francis Alÿs but I’d never seen it, so this exhibition was a great surprise to me, whereas the Exposed exhibition simply brought together a lot of work I’d already seen before but within separate exhibitions, books and documentaries.
I had only ever seen a postcard of the work ‘Paradox of Praxis (Sometimes Doing Something Leads to Nothing)’ of a guy pushing a large ice block around the city of Mexico until it melted. This was enough to get me interested in seeing the actual video and more work by this artist. The exhibition was really well presented with large rooms devoted to different pieces of video work, paintings and installations. Large comfy sofa’s were provided as some of the video work lasted longer than 30 minutes and some were on a loop and were so hilarious you had to sit and watch and then watch some more.
These were my four favourite pieces…
1. Rehearsal I 1999–2001 (in room 7) shows a red VW Beetle driving up a hill, an image which is accompanied by a loud soundtrack of a brass band’s rehearsal. The driver was listening to a recording of the rehearsal, and each time the band paused, he stepped off the pedal so the pathetic little car rolled back down, and the process continued without resolution.
2. Paradox of Praxis I 1997 shows an absurd expenditure of effort, as Alÿs pushed a block of ice around the ‘Centre’ until it melted. The subtitle of the work is ‘Sometimes Doing Something Leads to Nothing’, an idea which speaks to the frustrated efforts of everyday Mexico City residents to improve their living conditions.
3. For Re-enactments 2000 he walked into a gun shop, bought a weapon, and carried it very visibly until he was arrested. The next day, somewhat implausibly, he persuaded the police to take part in a reconstruction of the exact same events.
4. In Patriotic Tales 1997 Alÿs leads a circle of sheep around the flagpole in the Zócalo, the ceremonial square and the site of political rallies. The action is based on an event in 1968 when civil servants were paraded in the city to show support for the government, but bleated like sheep to protest their subservience.
This is another superb exhibition – so vast, with room after room full of amazing images and video that I didn’t think it was going to end.
Exposed offers a fascinating look at pictures made on the sly, without the explicit permission of the people depicted. With photographs from the late nineteenth century to present day, the pictures present a shocking, illuminating and witty perspective on iconic and taboo subjects.
After the exhibition I wondered about and looked out onto the Turbine Hall and couldn’t help but snap this shop of a lonely figure – i felt like I was spying. I like the bold regular shapes that frame the figure.
On the way back to the station we passed under a bridge and saw these lovely colourful stripey panels (I can’t remember the name of the artist) and then I got my first real glimpse of the London Eye.
Having spent AGES in the Tate Modern we had to hurry to get to the Photographers Gallery to see the Sally Mann Exhibtion – “The Family and the Land”. I love her work and have never ever seen it in the flesh and so even though the exhibition was a little dissappointing as it was just a few pieces of her work, it was great to see large prints framed and on the wall.
Tonight we realised that Graeme’s flat had a dishwasher and this is where he was hiding the bread knife, all the knives, plates and the cheese grater! We did think it a bit odd that he had on ly had two plates, lots of forks and spoons, but only one knife – and have you ever tried cutting a sour dough loaf with a meat cleaver – not easy!
Posted in Life in Kinghorn |