Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Tate's collection inspired by "Play" included this installation artwork by Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan. These boats and structures were all made by Liverpool families and schoolchildren. I liked that the viewer had to walk through the work on quite a rickety, irregular platform and look down onto the imagined environment. The naivety and simple innocence of the work was very pleasant, and it achieved a very distinct presence through a commodity of means. The structures were fantastical and, I felt, quite aspirational.

"Smear" by Franz West was a large , twisted blue sculpture that could be interacted with if the viewer wished. The work, to me, functioned much better as a bench than a piece of art. I found Otto Muehl's paintings similarly non-affecting and samey. "1 WITHOUT" by Wannes Goetschalckx was a more interesting piece. The work was a number of boxes with video screens showing the artist performing everyday actions loosely related to captivity. I believe the work may represent an aspect to modern living where we are all trapped by shared rituals and emotions. There was a frustration to the piece which I thought was quite unique amongst the other works.

"Embryology" by Magdalena Abakanowicz is displayed as part of the Biennial theme of "Touched." A series of cloth shapes are scattered around the space. I think the work may have alluded to cells and a sort of scientific visual identity, with the sack objects looking almost like growing cell clusters. I don't think this would have occurred to me had I not known the works title, and the atmosphere in the space was very flat and drab. Perhaps it was the works allusion to landscape, a format I find quite uninteresting, that made it hard for me to engage with. I do share Abakanowicz's interest in the cell and its representation however.

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