Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Tate Modern Excursion & Oskar Fischinger Find

Art, what is it good for? Bah! Went to Tate Modern over the bank holiday (it was that or DIY) in search of constructivist stuff, mostly. Starting badly, if you go now you're confronted with a Damien Hirst 'sculpture' in the forecourt, which is basically the kind of biological figure used in medicine - whoa! Ama-a-zing concept there.

Move on - overheard a kid (no more than six) saying 'Mummy, Damien Hirst' - ! - no lie, GI, they're catching 'em early, these days. He's featured in an exhibition, in case you didn't know. Here in the UK there's no escaping him - he's on breakfast TV through to morning chat shows featuring women on a sofa, then an afternoon game show called 'Can't Paint - Won't Paint', then the sic-o'clock news, and finally Newsnight, where he can be found pontificating on the problems of maintaining a mansion and paying tax - probably.

Shockingly, a fair few members of the proletariat were seen and heard in the galleries - kids in tow, teachin' 'em all about Art an' that. There really should be some kind of vetting system at the door - 'Can you tell which is the Beryl Cook and which is the Frida Khalo?' Actually, scrap that idea, I'd never get in.

'Don't go in there!' I had to scream at LJ when she appeared to be veering towards the Rothko room - phew, close thing. Oh how laughed at the idea that sitting gazing at Rothko was a most horrendous viewer cliché imaginable. Both being inveterate snobs, that wasn't on.  Funnily enough, as LJ pointed out, the room is darkened - probably so as to prevent some viewers from actually being able to clearly see what they're staring at and come to the wrong conclusion, namely that there's a lot of nice colours, rather than grasping what the man himself called 'the big emotions - tragedy, ecstasy, doom'.

One gallery contained a lot of strip lights. Needless to say, I took one peek, laughed, and turned swiftly on my heels. We did a lot of that.

The big find, though, was a room showing work by Oskar Fischinger. A three-panel slide show with music by Cage and Varese. I won't attempt to describe the work, being an art ignoramus and no kind of critic; suffice to say it's worth going to the Tate just to see it.


  1. Glad you liked it. The Oskar Fischinger room at Tate Modern isn't actually a slide show, but a three screen HD installation of his moving images from the mid-1920s (transferred to digital). The clip above isn't related to this exhibition at all. The installation Raumlichtkunst is also at Whitney Museum, NY through Oct 28.
    More on Oskar Fischinger's Raumlichtkunst,


    1. I stand corrected, knowing full well that it was more than just a 'slide show' but without the technical know how to say what it was, exactly. The CVM site is recommended, readers.


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