Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern

Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern

Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern
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The facade of the Tate Modern, the 6th most visited art gallery in the world in London seems cold and almost “Soviet” like in character. Some may better describe it as looking like a factory. In fact the history of the building itself adds to the charm and creative allure of the Tate Modern. It was a disused power station cleverly converted and adapted for use as a modern art gallery which houses the collection of British art since 1900 to date.
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On an extremely cold London afternoon two old university friends and I made our way to the Tate modern after visiting the South bank street food market, the British Film Industry (BFI) and the National Theatre. The Tate Modern welcomes over 6 million visitors annually and if like us you appreciate modern art not only from Britain but also from a strong contingent of international artists then you should spare a couple of hours sampling the delights of the Tate Modern.
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There is a plethora of fine modern art neatly categorised along the following themes.
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* History/Memory/Society
* Action/Body
* Landscape/Matter/Environment
* Still Life/Object/Real Life
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It took about an hour and a half of strolling around to make it from the ground floor to the upper floors. In between floors we popped into the Tate shop and the restaurant.
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Two exhibitions caught my eye and perhaps deserve a more in depth review.
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However, and totally unexpectedly, what I found most fascinating at the Tate Modern was watching people watching art. By art I mean the plethora of paintings, installations and exhibitions on show. There were folks studiously taking notes as they gazed at various paintings and sculptures. There were others utterly transfixed and in total awe at the art they were watching. Others were in a more contemplative mood perhaps busy making connections between what their eyes were feasting on and their own lives. Or perhaps they were simply trying to figure out if the piece of art they were watching had an agenda, perhaps a political one – anti-establishment? anti-colonialism? anti-capitalism? anti-Islam? Pro-vegetarianism, pro-atheism? pro-immigration?
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Some like me rekindled our faith and an opportunity to meditate on some of life’s most significant questions. In Abraham Cruzvillegas’ sculpture I stood motionless and contemplated on hope as I stared at it. In Cildo Meireles’ Tower of Babel installation I moved around frantically trying to recall the significance of God’s wrath against those who so badly wanted to build a tower to get to the heaven.
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The Tate Modern gave me and countless others a few moments or perhaps even hours to lose ourselves, challenge, think, contemplate, rediscover and to question long held beliefs and to reinforce others.
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The photos curated below personifies and symbolises this process as it happened.
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Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern Photo Essay: Watching people watching art at the Tate Modern



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