Visiting the crack

Last week I went to see the crack at Tate Modern, which is the latest big artwork in the Turbine Hall. You can read what the Tate thinks it’s about here. I found it less impressive in reality than I expected. I’d heard about it before I went, and it looked exactly as I expected except I vaguely thought it might be bigger and scarier at the fat end.


Shibboleth by Doris Salcedo – the crack at Tate Modern, London, originally uploaded by chrisjohnbeckett.

I personally didn’t notice it exposing a fracture in modernity itself or encouraging me to confront uncomfortable truths about our history and about ourselves with absolute candidness, but then I didn’t read the blurb until after I saw it.

I also went to the Louise Bourgeois exhibition. Which I quite enjoyed although I wasn’t really in the right mood to give it the attention a major retrospective hopefully deserves. Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911 but has lived in New York since 1938. One interest was just to see work produced over such a long period; the earliest works were from the 1940s and the most recent from this year. I thought the objects were quite likeable—they had a very human sort of quality. A lot of contemporary art seems to be either highly finished and glossy or so roughly put together that it looks scruffy and half-arsed. This work avoids either quality. Apart from the traditional sculpture, I thought one example of that was the recent works which are ‘rooms’ assembled together out of found objects: furniture and tapestries and stuff. The objects themselves are battered and tatty, and it’s the kind of work which can often be a bit nothingy, but here I felt they were thoughtfully put together and really felt like coherent artworks. Those works also seemed very French; after 60 years in New York producing work that doesn’t seem so specific to a particular place, it’s interesting to see her returning to the details of her childhood in France.

Anyway. I can’t really claimed to have engaged with it in a very meaningful way, but it was interesting enough. I’ve got a cold and I’m feeling a bit shit, so rather than rambling on any more I think I’ll go and make some hot lemon and honey or something. Can anyone suggest any other favourite homemade cold remedies?

2 Comments

  1. 21 October 2007 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Add a touch (or more) of good Kentucky bourbon to that lemon and honey. And FWIW, I’m a fellow sufferer. I have a code in my node, too. Hope you feel better soon.

  2. Harry
    21 October 2007 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I may well resort to that later, although it might have to be scotch or rum.

    At the moment I’m drinking ginger tea with honey. Not actual tea, just slices of root ginger with boiling water on them and some honey stirred in. Which tastes nice though I don’t know if it’s actually doing me any good.

    And I hope you feel better soon.

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