This is a link to the Tate Modern blog on this exhibitionhttp://blog.tate.org.uk/. It is quite interesting to see other peoples opinions and how varied they are form hate to love. My tendency is to love although I didn't love everything. I was not so keen on the shoe box; I didn't really get it and I thought this was just a gimmick, you can say what you like "it's art because I say it is", etc. etc. This for me said nothing at all, and Spitting toothpaste which I frankly could not look at.. I was less than keen on "Until You Find Another Yellow Schwalbe 1995" I found it fairly monotonous.
However in this room there were truly inspiring pieces; "Four Bicycles (There is Always One Direction) 1994", "La DS 1993" and "Elevator 1994" all of which were found objects but reinvented. Bicycles was a work of 4 bicycles connected together by handlebar connection to seat connection. none had either seat or handlebars but instead another bicycle was attached. Don't know if I have made this very understandable. I liked this a lot and thought the way it occupied the space was fascinating trying to work out how it was all connected and he shapes it made. All the circles in three dimensions formed by the wheels and the cogs intersecting in space. The DS was another favorite; the streamlining even more extreme than in the original and the perfect execution of the object to make it look as if it had always been like this. The lift was another interesting object. It may not have been so obviously aesthetic as the previous two items ; however it was interactive , in that one could step inside it. The lift cabin had been reduced in height as a section had been cut out of it (rather like DS) and re joined, the lights were on and the doors open. It made me feel reticent to walk into it because I had the feeling the doors may have closed and not let me out again.
One of the most interesting pieces and the works emerging from it was "Horses Running Endlessly 1995". This consisted of a giant checkerboard with knights alone placed on it. The knights are only permitted to make the usual L shaped move. The different moves were plotted and the permutations transferred to grids in order to make patterns. Orozco is fascinated by circles and these diagrams use circles and intersecting circles to describe the knights' movements "Samurai Tree Invariant paintings 2006-7" a selection of which were on show here; these were executed in only 4 colours each. These are a collaboration between Orozco and a Paris based assistant. These were lovely paintings in their own right but he calls them diagrams. There was a tonal diagram in graphite pencil and this was quite beautiful.
The final room had the game "Carambole with Pendulum" apparently a French version of Billiards, which Orozca has reinvented and asks people to invent the rules for themselves. The billiards table is oval and the red ball is suspended from a thread attached to the ceiling above directly above the centre of the table. there are two white balls, cues and chalk available to play the "game". This is another of Orozca's interactive pieces.
Apart from the very varied media used by Orozco, clearly photography is one of his great loves, The photographs are beautiful notably "Breath on Piano 1993", "Extension of Reflection 1992" and "Island within and Island 1993" amongst others, the last is particularly poignant as it shows the Twin Towers on Manhattan from a derelict island; a portent of things to come! What I found most notable is that each of these photographs gave me a feeling of the solitary. They were all very strong images and I carry them with me in my mind's eye.
An important exhibition perhaps not given the publicity it deserved. I could so easily have missed it.
On Wednesday I went to the Mexican Artist, Gabriel Orozco exhibition at Tate Modern. This as a thoroughly enjoyable experience; I felt it was a very well curated exhibition and a great opportunity to see his most famous and memorable works.
The first piece was My Hands are my Heart (1991), The double photograph of the man compressing the clay between his hands and then showing the resulting piece, this then exhibited alongside the fired clay "heart". This is apparently brick clay an everyday material rather than a specialist clay. This is supposed to represent a "moment of creation". This is a work on a small and personal scale, I found it rather moving; I had not realized that the clay piece was included in this as I had only been aware of the photographic piece before going to the exhibition. In the same room were a series of folded paper and oil paint "Rorschach" type images I think they were called Paris. The folds had been executed in different ways and the resulting images were dependent on the folds and the colours of paint used, I went with three friends to see this show and we compared notes on each of the images to see how our interpretations differed. This was a very interesting exercise; we all saw different things in the resulting images but agreed that we mainly found them quite phallic or sexual.
Black Kites (1997) was a human skull which was a found object; it had apparently taken him several months to complete the very painstakingly accurate chequer-board pattern inscribed on it with graphite pencil. This occupied the central space in this small room and the surrounding walls were covered with banners "Obit" with the first lines of obituaries from the New York Times written on them in scripts and fonts reflecting the originals. These were often amusing but my favourite quote was "He was eccentric even for an Englishman". The juxtaposition of the skull and the obituary quotations and the association with mortality is obvious.
Lintels (2001) is an installation of dryer lint from laundromat dryers hung on wires rather like washing. these delicate pieces seem to represent the detritus of life or represent a sort of death. They are grey felted and almost amorphous sheets of varying sizes; hung in pairs or alone and quite far apart. One could walk under them but not touch them so it was interactive yet not tactile. This was originally hung in New York just after the destruction of the Twin Towers and one can sense the poignancy of this instalation in this context. "For me what is important is not so much what people see in the show, it's what you see after...how your perception of reality is changed… " GABRIEL OROZCO