Friday, March 09, 2007

Unemployment, Day 5, Part ii

After my blog earlier, I finally broke free of the constraints of house work and ran off to absorb some culture at the Tate Modern with one of my friends. After much faffing, confusion, delay and compulsive buying of food, I finally located my buddy for the day and we went off, got a little stoned and finally, made our way to the gallery, ready for a sensory implosion.

One of the things that lured me to the Tate Modern the most is Carsten Höller slide installation in the Turbine Hall. Unfortunately, we were ill prepared for the sheer number of slide enthusiasts and didn't get to go on them but that's what next week's for. Instead, we picked Levels 3 and 4 as our exhibits for the day. What I love about the Tate Modern is its constant burbling. Unlike most galleries, people walk around, chatting freely and only in the darkened exhibits does the noise subside and a reverential hush descend. The Rothko display was a prime example; while most of level 3 hums with a constant buzz of people, when you enter the Rothko room, the lights are dimmed and people tend to sit, taking in the vast canvases in semi-darkness. The second you walk in, a peace descends upon you that is hard to find anywhere within zone one.

Level four is currently host to the Gilbert and George exhibit, which is amazing. It took us about an hour to get round, having had to stop in the shop to buy up postcards of some of them. Unfortunately, having the shop in the middle of the exhibit felt disorienting when you see prints of stuff you have yet to see on sale. I must admit that when it comes to Gilbert and George, my opinion veers from love to hate on a piece-to-piece basis.

After finding out that the slides were fully booked, we ventured to the gift shop to stock up on lovely things and happened to notice a massive queue on the other side of the Turbine Hall. It turns out Gilbert and George were signing copies of their catalogue this afternoon and the bookshop was full of people lugging the 9kg copies around, buying en masse while their friend stood in the queue, guarding their position. I really should've whipped out my camera and taken a few snaps but at that point, I was too tired to really care and just keen to get the rush hour over and done with.

More photos from my art adventure later.

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