Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Installations in the Tate

This summer, when I was in London, I went to the Tate Modern (an art museum) and basically spent a whole half a day there. I was so in love with the art work there. My favorites were two video installations.

Quarta-Feira de Cinzas
The first one was a projection of a natural setting with little tiny ants. There was tapping or rather plunking music in the background. The ants were carrying these little colorful discs on their backs over leaves and twigs and dirt. There were hundreds of these little guys and the shots got really close to follow them and showed how the little discs glinted in the sunlight. It was really magical, I could have sat and watched that forever. The explanation outside said that the installation was done by Rivane Neuenschwander and Cao Guimaraes after a celebration with lots of confetti (how fun by the way). The name of the piece is "Quarta-Feira de Cinzas."

The second one I loved was "Drum Roll" by Steve McQueen which was basically three vertical frames looking out of the top, side, and other side of a oil drum rolling down the streets of Manhattan, New York. The sound was normal, so you could here the artist say excuse me, watch out!, and see legs of people jumping out of the way; it was so funny. Also you could see the taxis swirling by and stiletto heels and bums and store front doors and dirt in the street. It was so surreal and real all at once. It really captured the chaos and beauty of the city. The other people and I sitting in the seats were laughing everytime the drum almost ran over someone. The exhibit in general became one of those experiences with art that you'll never forget. Unfortunately, I can't find any clips or photos of it to share with you. I guess a trip to England is in order...


  1. what if the drum ran into traffic? what if someone hit him? the ant thing...just reminds me of the huge pile of ants that are ALWAYS outside your house on your sidewalk that makes me want to smoosh them all and laugh as they die.

  2. noooo, it was on the sidewalk. the cars couldn't get him there...technically.

    And these ants were big ants. I'd have a panic attack if they were growing in my yard.